Some of the earliest examples of this printing technique date back to the Song Dynasty in China (690AD-1279AD). Screen printing is one of the most cost-effective and diverse forms of printing and is used in everything from manufacturing to signage, as well as the production of promotional items including clothing, branded plastic gifts and printed ceramic mugs.
Screen printing forces ink through a tightly-stretched mesh, which is attached to a frame called a screen. The screen is coated with a photo-sensitive emulsion or film; a stencil or photo-positive of the required image is placed on top of this. The screen is then subjected to Ultraviolet light, which cures the emulsion and all parts of the screen, apart from the image. The screen is then cleaned, which allows the ink to pass through the mesh onto the substrate being printed. This process will print one colour at a time; to print numerous colours, a different screen is required each time, with the process repeated from scratch.
Screen printing is a printing method that makes it possible to print an image onto almost any surface such as paper, wood, glass, leather, and other materials.
Screen printing allows you to Pantone®-match colours with accuracy and precision, and is widely used here at HiGift for both flatbed and cylindrical printing.
- Being able to print on a wide variety of materials;
- It creates a crisp, sharp design that is aesthetically pleasing;
- Ideal for high volumes as the more items you print, the lower the costs;
- Print durability, even when the product is under direct contact with the sunlight.
- Not suitable when you want to print a photography-based image;
- Requires high print volume – not suitable for small quantities;
- Complicated set up of the printing mesh;
- Limited range of colours;
Screen printing is recommended for printing basic logos, company names, and simple graphics. It can be utilised for a variety of materials, with the most common promotional products using this method being apparel, corporate gifts, golf balls, electronics, drink ware and pens.