The popularity of screen printing does not appear to have waned – with the advent of new technology that seems to be making old technologies redundant, screen printing still thrives as a very flexible printing method.
Screen printing (also known as photomechanical serigraphy) is one of the oldest forms of printing, first seen used in China. It is a versatile printing process that allows a printed image to be applied to many substrates that no other printing process can achieve. Today it is well know for it’s use of applying graphics to T-shirts but is also used for printing posters, textile fabric, product labels, printed electronics, including circuit board printing, balloons, plastic packaging, manufactured products – and the list goes on.
Screen printing: A printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas – wikipedia
The advantage of Screen printing is the density and viscosity of the inks used – they are opaque and rich in colour, flexible and adhere to a vast number of surfaces. there are about 5 types of inks used in this process: solvent, water, and solvent plastisol, water plastisol, and UV curable.
Screen printing is a printing method that is a truly hands-on process, and a potentially messy one at that. It is a relatively simple process that can be done from a home studio or be done by large automated machines.
Here is a video that goes into depth about the screen printing process, including finishing the job at the end with guillotining