Screen printing textiles and garments has a long history. It is a refined stencil printing technique. In screen printing, ink is forced through a fine mesh (originally silk, hence silk screen) which is stretched very tightly across a frame. An open stencil image on or in the mesh protects the fabric or paper from ink where you don't want it and allows ink to move through where you do want it. Currently the image is usually applied photographically, and ink is forced through the open areas of the stencil onto a substrate like paper, t-shirt, bag, etc using a squeegee that is pulled across the screen forcing ink through the stencil open areas. Each color of a design has its own stencil and screen and the image builds color by color to complete the whole.
There are many reasons for selecting screen printing such as its vibrant color,excellent durability, versatility of substrates and the economics associated with big orders.
Screen printing is an evolving process with new techniques, supplies and equipment entering the marketplace all the time. Efficiency improvements, competition, environmental concerns and economics all drive the changes. You no longer have to settle for heavy thick shields of ink as was once the case. All inks can now be better controlled and be applied as a thin soft layer. New water based ink systems including discharge, and phthalate free plastisol inks have an entirely different feel or "hand" as it is called in the industry. Some people love that thick retro feel though and you can still get this but in more ways than ever before. Wildwood has kept pace with the changing times and is able to offer you a great variety of screen printing choices.
(The Tammejiro tee pictured in the upper right-hand corner is licensed image from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It is for available for resale. Please contact us for more information.)