Screen printing has its origins in the Far East where it was used extensively as early as 1000AD but it only really began to gain popularity in Europe at the start of the 20th century, coming into commercial use in the 1920’s. Artists first began using Screen printing in 1930s America and the term ‘serigraph’ was initially used to denote an artist’s print, as opposed to commercial work. It has been widely used by artists as a printmaking technique since the 1950s. Screen printing is still commonly used by artists and print makers to create editions of prints.
What other technical details do I need to know?
Mesh Counts and Image Detail:
Depending on the size of the mesh in your screen, you can achieve a high level of detail with screen printing – with the higher the mesh count, the smaller the spaces between threads and so the greater the detail of the print. Sometimes you need to use a different mesh count to print onto different surfaces, depending on how ink takes to them.
It’s also possible to print with multiple colours, with each colour being printed as a separate layer of ink. This makes screen printing quite a time consuming print method as individual screens need to be prepared for each colour layer of the design. It also creates the iconic look associated with Screen Printing of a flat, limited colour pallet, made famous by Andy Warhol.