A method of printmaking that first saw use as an industrial technology, but now sees popularity in both the fine arts and commercial printmaking. Due to the versatile nature of screen-printing, it's possible to print on any number of products, such as ceramics, clothing, CDs, DVDs, posters and much more besides.
The screen itself is made out of a porous and finely woven piece of fabric, which is stretched over a frame. Originally, the fabric of choice was silk, but now screens are usually made of polyester. Portions of the screen are blocked off with non-permeable material, leaving empty spaces which will allow the ink to come into contact with the product. Once the printing occurs, the screen can be cleaned off and used again.
This is the bare-bones of what screen-printing is; there are several methods that are specific to types of ink used, or the type of item being printed upon. Below, are some of the methods we utilize at Meridian Screen.You can click on some of the methods to view photos of the process and examples.
- Plastisol: The most common type of screen printing, plastisol is largely used in garment decoration. It provides good coverage even on dark cloth, with the detail of the graphic being clear and crisp. As the name might imply, it has more of a plastic texture, though this can be partially mitigated with certain additives.
- High Density: Information coming soon.
- Simulated Process: Multiple opaque plastisol are used to create a photographic print. This type of printing has better coverage and more accurate color matching capability than four color process. It allows you to produce identicial deesigns on dark and light garments alike, which isn't possible with four color process. It does require more colors, usually up to seven, to produce the full color spectrum. SEE EXAMPLE
- Metallic: Small silver flakes are suspended in plastisol ink to create a very becoming effect. Gold flakes can also be used, or the silver flakes can be colored with other inks previous to the screening process to create a wide range of shades. SEE EXAMPLE
- Expanding (Puff) Ink: Additives are mixed into plastisol ink to created a raised effect.
- Halftones: A printing technique that stimulates continuous tone imagery through the use of dots, varying either in size or in spacing. Where continuous tone imagery contains an infinite range of colors or greys, the halftone process reduces visual reproductions to a binary image that is printed with only one color of ink. This binary reproduction relies on a basic optical illusion-that these tiny half tone dots are blended into smooth tones by the human eye. SEE EXAMPLE
- Four Color Process: Through this process, a photographic print is made using only four screens. The color of ink used for each screen is measured on the CMYK scale, which is able to create the full visible spectrum. Given the type of ink used for this process, it is only used on white or light colored garments. SEE EXAMPLE
- Gloss: A clear base is laid over plastisol inks to create a glossy finish.
- Blend: Two or more inks are blended in a single screen to achieve a continuous blended effect. The ink shifts slightly between shirts resulting in that no two prints will have exactly the same blend, although they should be very similar. SEE EXAMPLE
- Nylobond: This additive allows printing on technical or waterproof fabrics.
- Suede Ink: Suede ink is both easy to print, and gives the image a textured look and feel that is reminiscent of suede. The ink itself is an additive that is usually worked into plastisol. It is similar to puff ink in the way it works, but doesn't expand quite as much.
- Glow in the Dark: This ink is a phosphorescent (glow-in-the-dark) plastisol ink. In daylight it appears as a pale off-white color and under complete darkness it radiates a bright light green color. If this ink is printed on darker garments an underbase of white will be required to achieve the desired effect. SEE EXAMPLE
- Clear base: This is a clear ink that appears either slightly lighter or darker than the garment it is applied to. It has a nice subtle glossy appearance. It is possible to tint a clear base as well so it is more legible. SEE EXAMPLE
Click on the links below for garment styles available: