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Screenprinting, or serigraphy, previously known as Silkscreening is a printmaking technique that traditionally creates a sharp-edged image using a stencil and a porous fabric. A screenprint or serigraph is an image created using this technique. It is related to resist dyeing on cloth.

It began as an industrial technology, and was adopted by American graphic artists in the 1930s; the Pop Art movement of the 1960s further popularized the technique. Many of Andy Warhol's most famous works, including his Campbell's Soup Cans, were created using the technique. It is currently popular both in fine arts and in commercial printing, where it is commonly used to put images on T-shirts, hats, CDs, DVDs, ceramics, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper, metals, and wood.
In electronics, the term screenprinting or screenprinting legend often refers to the writing on a printed circuit board. Screenprinting may also be used in the process of etching the copper wiring on the board or computer chips.
Graphic screenprinting is widely used today to create many mass or large batch produced graphics, such as posters or display stands. Full color prints can be created by printing in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). Screenprinting is often preferred over other processes such as dye sublimation or inkjet printing because of its low cost and ability to print on many media.

History

Screenprinting has its origins in simple stencilling, most notably of the Japanese form (katazome), used on textiles, mostly for clothing. This was taken up in France. The modern screenprinting process originated from patents taken out by Samuel Simon in the early 1900s in England. This idea was then adopted in San Francisco, California, by John Pilsworth in 1914 who used screenprinting to form multicolor prints in much the same manner as screenprinting is done today.
Screenprinting took off during First World War as an industrial process for printing flags and banners. The use of photographic stencils at this time made the process more versatile and encouraged wide-spread use.
Screenprinting was pioneered at the Jepson Art Institute by printmaker Guy McCoy, who was among the first to develop the techniques of silk screen printing as a fine art medium. Herbert Jepson was also the founder of the Western Institute of Serigraphy.

Printing technique

A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric (originally silk, but typically made of polyester or nylon since the 1940s) stretched over a wood or aluminum frame. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material—a stencil—which is a positive of the image to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear.
The screen is placed on top of a piece of dry paper or fabric. Ink is placed on top of the screen, and a squeegee (rubber blade) is used to push the ink evenly into the screen openings and onto the substrate. The ink passes through the open spaces in the screen onto the paper or fabric below; the screen is lifted away and then the squeegee is pushed back across the screen, with the screen lifted, "flooding" the ink into the screen. The screen can be re-used after cleaning. If more than one color is being printed on the same surface, the ink is allowed to dry and then the process is repeated with another screen and different color of ink.
While the public thinks of garments in conjunction with screen printing, the technique is used on tens of thousands of items, including birthday cake designs, decals, clock and watch faces, the electromagnetic faces of Palm Pilots and so much more. The vast majority of silk-screen printings are monochromatic.

Versatility

Screenprinting is more versatile than traditional printing techniques. The surface does not have to be printed under pressure, unlike etching or lithography, and it does not have to be planar. Screenprinting inks can be used to work with a variety of materials, such as textiles, ceramics, metal, wood, paper, glass, and plastic. As a result, screen printing is used in many different industries, from clothing to product labels to circuit board printing.

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This is an extract from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia



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