History of Screen Printing

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No one really knows for sure when the art of screen printing first came on the scene. However, we know that the art of silk screen originated in China. The technique of silk screening was the most efficient way of replicating patterns on to substrates such as wall paper. It was then later used on fine linens as well as fine silk.

It wasn't until nearly five hundred of years later that this craft finally made its way across the sea into the Americas.

Americans were for some reason very secretive about this replication process. They practiced it in the back room of their shops where their customers could not see them actually working. They were concerned that their craft might be replicated. Silk screening was a highly efficient and time saving method of reproducing an image from one type of surface on to another surface. In spite of Americans' best efforts to hide this process, this secretive method eventually leaked out and was adopted by other sectors of the economy such as glass blowers. As time went passed, this process eventually evolved into the preferred method of replicating one image onto another, such as records and tee shirts.

These days the most common use for screen printing is on T-shirts and other types of wearable items. Now days, one would find it very difficult to go into a public place and not see someone wearing a T-shirt with some kind of image or logo on it.

Textiles account for the overwhelming majority of screen printing done in this country. Technology has crossed into every sector of our lives and the silk screen industry is certainly no exception to that. Information shoots from one computer to another at the speed of light and from one cell phone to another. This has lent itself to the development of what is referred to as digital printing, which is the preferred process used for posters and display units. It completely eliminates the need for costly color separations and films and significantly simplifies the entire process. The main advantage in which the evolution of this digital application has given us is speed. Enormous amounts of product can be manufactured very quickly and easily with a state of the press. The T-shirt printing industry is evolving at an alarming rate. It makes one think, "What will things be like ten years from now?".