Screen printing is a printing method for printing on fabric, paper, leather, T-shirts, etc., using a specially designed screen block. Many artists and most printers widely use this printing technique to implement their projects, as it is used to print on almost all surfaces.
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Two main types of screens are used for screen printing. Temporal screens are short-lived and suitable for single or limited prints on clothing and papers. They are effortless to make and do not require a lot of money or effort.
On the other hand, permanent displays last a long time and, if properly maintained, can last forever. Compared to the temporal screens, its preparation requires a lot of effort and money. There are different ways to make a screen for printing.
Paper stencil screen preparation is very similar to the manufacture of the stencil, although it is an extension. This involves transferring the finished design onto used paper while cutting out the positive areas of the paper. Then the prepared template is attached to the stretched screen block with the help of adhesive tape.
The process for preparing of candle wax screen, shellac screen, and lacquer screen is the same, with distinction only in the negative areas' coating material.
The finished design is transferred to the stretched screen block. Using a brush, apply molten wax, shellac, or lacquer to avoid negative areas of the design. Test the screen for pinholes by print test. Block if there are pinholes. Lacquer screen partitions are very durable and cheaper in terms of quality and quantity. They are ideal for simple and bold designs.
Photo screen preparation involves the use of light to design or highlight the design on the screen. The light sources can be natural or artificial. There are two main ways to make a photography screen: solar power during the day and strong fluorescent bulbs in a shooting box. Either way, the screens are coated in a dark room with a photo-emulsification solution with a sensitizer.
In the solar method, the inner or hollow part of the coated screen is filled with a bag of fine sand on a flat wooden board, and it is then turned upside down. The positive part of the paper is placed in front of the screen and covered with cloth.
Everything is exposed to the sun for a few minutes. The duration depends on the intensity of the sun. After removal, the screen is washed under running water. Design areas will be left open with blocked negative areas.
In the shooing box method, allow it to dry after coating the screen with a photo emulsion and sensitizing solution. The design is then placed face-up on the glass of the shooting box. The front part of the dry-coated screen is placed in the design with the inner or hollow part up.
The shooting box lights stay on for about five minutes. The duration may vary depending on the number of fluorescent bulbs in the box and the wattage. After removal, the screen is washed under running water. Afterward, it dries and is ready to print.