Screen printing has been the oldest method of imprinting patterns into cloth. It gained more popularity during the 1960s because of the artwork done by Andy Warhol, the invention of the multi color silkscreen printing machine and because of the clothing trend of the printed shirts.
Though innovations in technology have been rapidly progressing, the concept remains. It is pushing ink through a mesh stencil onto the substrate or fabric. This is still the mostly widely used form of decorating apparel around the world.
The Vibrancy of Screen Printing on Clothes
If a design or logo is meant to stand out or to pop off, screen printing can do the trick. Screen printing uses plastisol ink made up of PVC particles balanced with a plasticizing emulsion. This ink is extremely opaque and has a variety of colors making the print more vibrant in outcome.
Screen printing also freely allows special effects by adding extra dimensions to an output. It can be sparkles, shines, textures and glows; any design is available on the specialty inks or additives. The colors can be combined to come up with a design out of the imagination. As an example, mix high density, puff and suede to create an embroidered look or faux tackle-twill mesh, even with the fake stitching design. Stacking high density ink will also result to a print that may look like an appliqué which is typically used as a logo stamped on the sleeve of a shirt.
The following are specialty additives and inks:
- Discharge. This additive chemically separates the dye from the pigment of the fabric
- Water based ink. This absorbs into cloth for soft and lightweight print
- Fluorescent. These are bright neon color paints also called “day glow”
- Puff. An additive that expands while being used for a raised, soft feel.
- Glitter. Usually combined with a clear gel and produces a sparkly look.
- Metallic. This paint is used to achieve a shiny look. Usually available in silver, gold or copper.
- Suede. Like the puff but more fuzzier and softer in texture on the surface
- Glow in the dark. A light activated and clear ink that glows when in the dark.
- Soft hand. This is an additive to reduce the thickness of the ink to achieve softness.
- High density. An additive that creates layers for a three dimensional effect.
- Shimmer. This creates a reflective shine.