Screenprinting

Screenprinting (occasionally known as “silkscreen”, or “serigraphy”) is a printmaking process where ink is forced through a mesh screen onto a surface. Making certain areas of the screen impervious to printing ink creates a stencil, which blocks the printing ink from passing through the screen. Ink is simply pushed through the stencil against the surface of the paper, most often with the aid of a squeegee. Generally, the technique uses a natural or synthetic ‘mesh’ fabric stretched tightly across a rectangular ‘frame,’ much like a stretched canvas. The fabric can be silk, nylon monofilament, multifilament polyester, or even stainless steel.

The essential tools required are a squeegee, a mesh fabric, a frame, and a stencil. Unlike many other printmaking processes, a printing press is not required, as screen printing is essentially stencil printing. Screen printing may be adapted to printing on a variety of materials, from paper, cloth, and canvas to rubber, glass, and metal. Artists have used the technique to print on bottles, on slabs of granite, directly onto walls, and to reproduce images on textiles which would distort under pressure from printing presses.

See also: Screenprint process explained by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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