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What is silk printing?

Silk printing is the name of a printing technique that uses a mesh screen made of silk. When the silk screen can be replaced with other materials such as cotton fabric, chemical fiber fabric, metal fabric, etc., this technique is more broadly called screen printing. We provide Dallas t shirt screen printing lets discuss this method. 

This printing technique can be applied to many types of materials such as nylon, fabric, glass, electronic circuits, watch faces,… or on materials such as wood, paper, metal,…

Operating principle of screen printing technique

Basically, screen printing is a printing method based on the principle of ink absorption. The ink will be poured into the frame and pushed back and forth with a rubber blade. The pressure of the squeegee helps some of the ink to penetrate the mesh and print onto the material to form a shape. The parts of the mesh that are not printed will be covered with a special chemical to create images or text.

Previously this method was done manually. However, with the help of modern machinery and equipment, screen printing has become quick and easy in large quantities.

Advantages and disadvantages of screen printing technique

Screen printing is one of the most used screen printing techniques in printing today.

Advantages :

  • Can be printed on many different materials and surfaces.
  • The printed colors are beautiful, sharp, and do not deviate according to the color of the material.
  • Print arbitrary quantities for businesses whether large or small.
  • The cost of screen printing is much cheaper than other printing techniques.

Disadvantages :

  • Printing time is relatively long, if printing small quantities it will be a bit expensive
  • Easy to peel and crack if you choose poor ink
  • Only print beautiful monochrome colors, but printing with variable or complex colors will be very difficult to do

Classification of silk printing techniques

There are many different types of screen printing, based on each characteristic they can be classified in the following ways:

  1. Classify according to the use of printing molds
  • Printed on a manual printing table.
  • Print on mechanical print bed.
  • Print on automatic machine.
  1. Classify according to the shape and design of the printing mold
  • Screen printing uses flat mesh molds.
  • Screen printing uses a mold with a circular mesh.
  1. Classification according to printing methods
  • Direct printing : Method of printing patterns directly on light colored materials (such as white, light blue, gray…) because they do not affect the printed color
  • Unattached printing : The printed pattern can be printed on a colored shirt, however, the background color of the material must be removed, then the printed color must be attached.
  • Backup printing : Method of printing samples on colored shirts in some cases when the break-on printing method cannot be used.

Step-by-step process of silk printing

Whether screen printing is manual or semi-manual or done by machine, this technique includes the following main stages:

Step 1 : Analyze the design pattern.

Before printing, we need to start with analyzing and adjusting the design file to best suit. In most cases, screen printing samples are designed with monochrome colors to achieve the highest quality output. The printer will produce a transparent film for each printed color.

In addition, it is necessary to consider the color correlation between the print design and the background color of the printed material to choose the best method of screen printing on fabric or make appropriate adjustments.

Step 2 : Prepare the printing mold and apply glue.

Next we need to prepare the printing mold (can be made from many different materials such as fiber, alloy…). There are many different stencil designs for you to choose from, but the most popular is the rectangular frame.

Next, use specialized glue to coat the mesh frame evenly in a dark room, then dry or hang to dry.

Step 3 : Take film (copy).

We take the film with a lamp or expose it to the sun. After about 1 – 3 minutes, take out the printing mold and spray it with water.

Step 4 : Test print on the product.

In order for the printed image to be beautiful and accurate in every detail, we need to firmly fix the material to be printed flat. Put ink on the frame and use a squeegee to remove the ink from the printing material. After the ink is absorbed evenly on both sides, we dry it and then stick the film on the outside of the printing screen. Secure the corners with tape, then press the film tightly against the mesh and leave it to dry for 3 – 5 minutes. Review and evaluate results for mass printing

Step 5 : Print in bulk.

After the test printed product achieves the desired quality and meets the set criteria and requirements, we will proceed with mass printing according to output.

Step 6 : Clean the print frame.

The frame after use needs to be cleaned for next use.

Some special printing styles

In addition to the classic printing style, screen printing technique also produces a number of special printing styles depending on the type of ink and printing material. May be mentioned as:

  • Heat transfer printing : Also known by many names such as heat printing, sublimation printing, transfer printing or dry heat printing with the principle of not printing ink directly on the shirt but through a specialized base paper. The ink will be hot pressed to penetrate the base paper to the material to be printed. This method helps the print penetrate completely into the fabric, without causing marks or scratches on the shirt. In addition, they also help prints avoid the effects of harmful environmental agents and detergents compared to traditional screen printing.
  • Embossed printing : This embossed screen printing technique uses special inks that contain ingredients that create an embossed image for the printed pattern. After printing as usual, the product will now be heated by the workers with saturated steam from 130 to 150 °C until the printed image swells, becoming foamy films on the surface. . Embossed printing brings high aesthetic effect, suitable for printing patterns that are numbers or simple drawing designs.
  • Feathering printing : As the name suggests, this printing technique does not use a regular knife. Instead, workers will use colorful boxes of short fur, about 0.3 mm in size. The feathers are shot through small holes in the printing screen onto the printing material (mainly paper and fabric). The resulting printed image will be very smooth and have unique feathers floating on the surface.

Application of screen printing in the garment sector

Screen printing is the most popular and appears in all professions and areas of life. Screen printing can print on all types of materials, even uneven ones. Therefore this is the method used to:

  • Print T-shirts, wedding invitations, fabrics, bottles, notebooks, water bottles, raincoats, umbrellas, cups,… with high sharpness and safe for users.
  • Used in printing and ceramic tile production
  • Is a complementary printing solution in some processes such as local UV coating printing, scratch cards,…

Wide application in life has helped silk printing become the most popular printing technique today. Although there are still some limitations such as printing time or color complexity, screen printing still meets almost all consumer needs from quality to price.

Hopefully this article has helped you better understand what silk screen printing technology is like at Uniform Fashion so that you can gain more experience and choose the silk screen printing technique on fabric that suits your needs.


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