Screen Printing: Introduction & History

“Screen printing is one of the early methods of printing. It involves the passing of ink or any other printing medium through a mesh or ‘screen’ that has been stretched on a frame, and to which a stencil has been applied. The stencil openings determined the image that will thus be imprinted.”



Screen printing was a type of technique that was first used by the Chinese almost 2000 years ago. They used human hair stretched across a wooden frame to form the screen. To that they attached a stencil made from leaves stuck together into different shapes. This was the first application of screen printing ever.

Later date, the Japanese adopted the screen printing process and techniques and used woven silk to make the mesh and lacquers to make stencils . The use of silk is where screen printing got its alternative name Silk screening or silk screen printing.

Samuel Simon is the first man who have introduced Screen printing to the west. Samuel who patented the fist ever industrial screen printing process. Many years later close to WW I, John Pilsworth of San Francisco developed the Selectasine method, which basically introduced the concept of multicolour printing using the same screen. Different areas on the screen were blocked out for different colour inks, thus resulting in a multicoloured image. Later this technique then became hugely popular and widely used for printing signs and posters in large quantities.


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