Screen printing is a permeable printing process. It consists of a wooden or metal frame onto which a fine mesh material is attached under tension. The mesh is usually made of polyester thread. This structure is known as the stencil or the screen. This image is created by leaving open areas of mesh through which ink passes, while others are blocked off. This technique is used for making fine art prints and for commercial applications. The main features of screen printing are opacity and bright colours.

In nineteenth century this technique was used initially to print fabrics in France, in the Lyon area, which gave name to a printing system known as lyonnaise.

 

historia
During the Second World War the USA discovered the advantages of this technique to mark military weapons in factories and on the front line; a number of portable printing works were found after the war was over.

From the 1950’s the development of advertisement and industrial labour turned screen printing into printing system of choice because of its material composition, shape, size and features which are not available on other printing machines such as those of offset, rotogravure, flexography, etc. The almost unlimited possibilities of screen printing makes this technique highly recommended.

Screen printing is also known as “Serigraphy”. The word comes from the Latin “Seri” (silk) and the Greek word “graphein” (to write or draw). It was Carl Zigrosser, the curator of the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts and director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York, who popularized the term in the early twentieth century. Nowadays silk-screen is used for trade and industrial applications and serigraphy is used for artistic reproductions.

 
serigrafia

 

In the 1960s a group of Pop Art and Hyperrealist American artists, like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, T. Wesselman, Jasper Johns, R. Rauschenberg began to experiment with screen printing.  And painters  such as Kandinsky, Vasarely, Miró, Tàpies, Dalí, Soto, Feitó, Rolando Faba all used or are using serigraphy to reproduce their works of art.

Today this technique has reached a high level of perfection. We can make works without difficulty with screens of 60 lines per centimetre or 150 lpi.  Moreover, screen printing offers better durability and colour quality, as well as the possibility of applying ink layers of 300 microns which are necessary to achieve outstanding finishes.