Ranar: Understanding the Complexities of Screen Printing for Textiles and Beyond

As outlined by Oxford Web Studio in their article “What is screen printing?”, screen printing is a versatile printing method primarily intended for textiles but also used on various other materials. This technique is known for its application in decorating metal objects and printing promotional materials such as pens, lighters, stickers, and foils.

The Screen Printing Process

Screen printing, also known as perforation printing, begins with the creation of a printing base in the form of a special frame, typically made from wood or aluminum. The frame’s dimensions are customized to the material being printed. A polyester fabric is stretched over this frame and coated with a special emulsion. Once dried, the emulsion closes the screen’s pores. The motif to be printed is then prepared on a special film or tracing paper, which is exposed to UV rays to dry. The screen is subsequently washed, leaving open holes where the light did not reach, forming the print design. The screen is then mounted on a screen printing machine, and the printing process begins.

A special knife, known as a squeegee, is used to press ink through the screen’s open holes, leaving a print on the material. Screen printing machines are relatively inexpensive compared to other printing technologies and often feature a high degree of automation. This method is favored for its ability to apply a thick layer of ink, making it particularly suitable for large print runs due to its cost-effectiveness and fast production times.

Types of Inks Used in Screen Printing

Several types of inks are used in screen printing, each with unique properties:

  • Plastisol: Known for its excellent transparency and suitability for printing on dark fabrics.
  • PVC without Phthalates: A newer, non-toxic ink offering a soft print feel.
  • Water-Based Inks: Ideal for light fabrics needing dark prints and large print areas.
  • Glitter Inks: Create metallic effects, available in silver and gold.
  • Flock: Involves applying adhesive to fabric followed by flock or glossy foil.
  • Caviar Beads: Adhesive is printed in a shape, then special beads resembling caviar are applied.
  • Color Expanders: Added to plastisol inks to enhance or create 3D effects.
  • Lacquers: Transparent bases applied over colors for added gloss.
  • CMYK (Four-Color Printing): Uses a combination of four colors to prepare prints.

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Article with all rights reserved, courtesy of oxfordwebstudio.com

Photo with all rights reserved, courtesy of depositphotos.com

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