Screen Printing is an artform that dates back to centuries. A traditional method that is used to print multiple copies of a single design.
WHERE HAVE I FOUND THE USE OF THIS TECHNIQUE?
Back in my engineering days, during an internship at a circuit manufacturing company: Ascent Circuits, we were shown the process of screen printing to print on their PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). This was a completely automated procedure that was part of their manufacturing process.
I have later noticed the use of Screen Printing for a variety of purposes like printing bulk quantities of cards, bags, flexes, wood and metal surfaces. And one of the places that benefits the most with this technique is the Fabric Industry where multiple prints need to be done of a single design.
So with all this in the background, there was no doubt that I would want to get a hands on experience in screen printing. I wanted to know the process well, what goes into it and how it can be done.
Screen printing seems great fun but does have a few procedures to be followed before actually printing on surfaces. The first step is to prepare your screen which is done using a photo sensitive substance to work on the design of your choice. The design is created with the help of a light box. Once the screen is ready, we can go ahead and get to print on surfaces using various colours.
The science behind the whole thing is to prepare a screen by using the photo sensitive substance which cures and turns non porous when subjected to very light. The remaining portion which is covered by the dark portion of the design doesn’t cure and goes off while washing. This way the screen works as a very accurate sort of stencil. This screen can be used multiple times and on various surfaces to repetitively print the same design.
HOW TO SCREEN PRINT?
Here’s how you can Screen Print multiple copies of your favorite design by using the Screen Printing technique with Fevicryl range of Soft Acrylic Colors.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Difficult
AGE GROUP: Adults
PREPARING THE SCREEN:
The first step under screen printing involves the preparation of the screen which will be used to print onto various fabrics. Select a screen of your required size, Photo Emulsion medium, putty blade, squeegee and a palette knife.
Scoop out sufficient amount of photo emulsion using the palette knife and apply a uniform layer of the emulsion onto the screen with the help of a putty blade.
Select a design of your choice and take a digital print on OHP sheet/tracing paper.
Place the design over the screen and place it in a dark closed box which has a light fitted inside it.
Turn on the light in the box and leave this for about half an hour. The idea is to properly expose the emulsion and “burn the screen” in those areas where the design is not present. In those areas which are covered with the design, the emulsion does not get exposed and can be washed off, leaving minute pores for the color to seep through.
A UV light or a bright focus light works better for this process. If you use a slightly usual sort of light source then you will have to leave it to cure (in the box) for a longer time. This entire process of preparation of the screen should be done in a dark room as you wouldn’t want the photo-sensitive material to cure all over and block the whole screen.
Take out the screen and wash it to obtain your design.
PRINTING A DESIGN:
Here, I have printed the design on paper.
Place the design onto a surface on which you would want to screen print. Use a Fevicryl soft Acrylic Color of your choice.
With a squeegee, spread the paint all over the screen. The squeegee allows for a thin and even application of paint.
You can obtain the design on your required surface. Allow the design to dry for a couple of minutes. You can start off by doing a trial on paper before moving to your fabric.
SCREEN PRINTING ON CANVAS:
To screen print on a canvas, you can make the base coat of the canvas using a color and texture of your choice. I have worked with Fevicryl Soft Acrylic Color: Burnt Sienna to create a random texture on my canvas. Allow the base coat to dry.
Screen print the design onto the canvas using Fevicryl Soft Acrylic color of your choice. I have used Fevicryl Soft Acrylic Color Black. Allow this to Dry.
Use a Fevicryl 3D outliner cone to enhance your design. I have used Fevicryl 3 D outliner cone White for this step.
SCREEN PRINTING ON CLOTH:
You can also screen print on cloth. I have followed the same procedure to screen print the same design on an apron.
Use Fevicyl Liquid Embroidery cones to enhance the design on fabric. I have used White and Burnt Sienna.
Once done, wash your screen to avoid the clogging of the pores.
OTHER SCREEN PRINTED ART PIECES:
Here are a few other things that I have Screen Printed. These have been done using multiple screens, multiple colours and multiple layers of the printing process to get a sort of a homogeneous blend of the subjects on a single canvas.
This DIY was designed for Hobby Ideas during my stint with them as a Content Expert.
Hobby Ideas is the creative wing of Pidilite Industries and is a leading Brand that promotes Art and Craft as a hobby.
I learnt the nuances of Screen Printing at a workshop organised at Bloom and Grow that was conducted by Bhavani Agarwal from the studio Let’s Ink.
Have you tried the screen printing technique? If yes and if you’ve loved the process, do share your experiences with me!!
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