Manufacturing 101: Silk Screen Printing
Silk screen printing, or “screen printing” is a very old style of printing onto a variety of surfaces, usually textiles or plastics. The process involves transferring an image onto a very fine mesh screen that allows ink to pass through in the shape of the image to be printed onto the surface of the material. The screen is metallic, and usually mounted to a wooden frame.
The ink that is used has low viscosity, meaning it is somewhat thick and does not flow well on its own. To enable the ink to pass through the screen onto the surface to be printed, an operator passes the ink across the screen with a type of squeegee from one side of the screen to the other. As the ink passes over the area of the screen that has the fine mesh in the shape of the image, the ink then passes through this area and onto the surface underneath the screen. Only one color of ink can be used at a time.