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Understanding Screen Printing Techniques

By David Maslow

Screen printing techniques require a fine screen or mesh securely stretched around a sturdy casing. Sections on the screen that are not to be printed are blocked, stopping the ink from passing through. To produce a print, the screen is placed on a piece of dry paper or fabric and ink is placed over it. Then a rubber blade is used to spread ink uniformly across the screen. The ink passes through the unblocked spaces in the screen onto the paper or fabric below after which the screen is removed. This method is typically used on surfaces that are more or less flat.

This procedure is a combination of preparation, installation and orientation. In the preliminary stages, one needs to use cutting tools to create a design. Possible tools are art knives, scooping knives, multiple blades or scalpels. These blades are used to create a design on a monofilament or multifilament nylon or polyester surface or a photosensitive indirect screen printing film. It is necessary to have a collection of screen printing inks. With the help of blotting pens, the artist can block the parts that are not to be printed.

The next step entails spreading the ink with spatulas, rubber blades, or squeegees. After this step is completed, the artist must use screen printing frames. Beginners might consider using some clamps or tape to hold the article to be printed in place. While using photosensitive indirect screen printing film, you have to use a tabletop printer or garment printing machine.

Once the printing process is completed, you have to cure the ink. For this, you need a textile dryer, a flash dryer and a drying board. After the printing process is finished, a fabric cleaning brush is used to clean the ink out of the screen. In some cases, a chemical screen wash may be needed to remove any remaining ink stains. After two or three coats of ink, the ink may start to cake. Instant screen openers are handy to spray on a dry area of the screen to dissolve the inks.

In order to observe the particulars of screen printing, flash bulbs can be used. Equipment can be attained as needed or a screen printing kit containing all the necessary items can be purchased. Until a beginner artist grasps the process a little better, pre-made stencils or designs can be used in the early stages. Kits often come with manuals, which can be very helpful guides for beginners and advanced users alike.

David is passionate about screen printing equipment, however he also writes about computer desks. Check out his sites at: Used Screen Printing Equipment and Computer Table Desk.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Maslow, David "Understanding Screen Printing Techniques." Understanding Screen Printing Techniques. 1 Jul. 2010. 14 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Maslow, D (2010, July 1). Understanding Screen Printing Techniques. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Maslow, David "Understanding Screen Printing Techniques"

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