Our lives are being greatly influenced by modern-day screen printing, be it your iPad, bicycle, monitor, or even the t-shirt you are wearing. Almost every other virtual thing that we are using regularly is screen printed, for example, logo, name, slogan, etc. It has become so advanced with the time that now it is being used on a large scale all over the world.
Wherever you look, you will have an example/product of screen printing. To be more specific, the electronic products that we use at our workplaces and homes have been screen printed, i.e. they have printed circuit boards (PCB) that are screen printed and provide support to connections and wiring.
Screen Printing VS. Manual Printing
Screen printing has proved to be better, efficient, and time-saving as compared to the manual one, which is why the manual printing process has almost lost its charm. With the use of advanced technology and modern equipment, the process of printing has transformed entirely. In the present age, the printing industry continues to flourish with the help of machines that are both semi-automatic and fully automatic, and carry the potential to print almost anything on everything.
Why Screen Printing?
With screen printing, you have a wide variety for outdoor and indoor applications, high-end colour retention, and the best quality results on almost every kind of surface. This also includes textiles. In today’s age, a variety of presses are being used, and every one of them is used for a unique and specific purpose, function, or application. These applications know no boundaries. From children’s toys to retail packaging, and from fine art printing to sporting goods, screen printing proves to be the best solution. It has become easier nowadays to find a service provider for screen printing, so if you are looking for screen printing services in Dubai, you might not have to put in a lot of effort.
Screen Printing Trends
The advancements made in screen printing are offering fully-automated methods of production that require less labor and are cost-effective. They not only provide quality results but also become a source of customer satisfaction. Talking about printing surfaces, almost every surface can be screen printed from semi-rigid to rigid. Also, sizes, shapes are not an issue anymore. Exceptional surfaces like plastic, ceramic, or glass can now be easily screen printed.
However, just like changing trends of other industries, screen printing trends have also evolved with time. Let’s have a look!
Apparel trends can help you to know what your customers are expecting and what samples will you need to show. Scanning the offerings of your supplier is the best option to know what options are available at customers’ demands. Here is what’s trending.
- Vintage and Soft Feeling Fabrics: For the last few years, fabrics that have an element of softness and a vintage feel have been favourite, and they still are. Customers are more likely to prefer t-shirts, sweaters, sweatpants made from soft fabric as they are comfortable to wear and easier to wash. Specifically, women’s apparel trends have shifted towards relaxed fits from the form-fitting outfits.
- Athleisure: If you are worried about selecting athleisure garments for your customers, the first thing you must look for is versatility. Of course, professionals prefer zip-up jackets or quarter zip-ups that can be worn with khakis or dress pants on a casual weekday, over gym clothes, or with denim jeans for a comfortable experience. Athleisure bottoms, i.e. yoga tights and sweatpants made from soft fabric are also high in demand.
- Fanny Packs and Backpacks: Consider offering fanny packs and mini backpacks to your customers this season. They are fresher than draw-string backpacks and tote bags. Rustic details, buckle closures, plaid linings, and leather trims are what your customers will love.
- Flannels: Novel apparel for 2020 is flannel. Flannel, as a pattern as well as a fabric, is preferred by many. Traditional flannel prints in blocky designs on jackets and shirts are popular. For towels, blankets, and other accessories, the bold flannel pattern is a good choice.
New year, new trends, new colors. This year is going to be all about bold and dramatic colors.
- Hues: Living Coral stands on the top when it comes to intriguing hues. However, many other shades can be added to apparels and ink lineups in the year 2020. Don’t forget about Bold Cobalt, as it continues to trend as a standalone color. If you are looking for the best choices to print on lighter garments, it is better to go for lighter shades such as light blue, fr4esh spring green, and buttery yellow.
- Neons? Neons.: You read it right! Neons from the 1990s are back in action and will continue to attract customers. Overlapping neons is your best option to add an element of uniqueness. You can print with multiple neon inks on a white or black substrate, or a neon garment.
- White and Black Prints: Bold colors will continue to dominate 2020. But black and white is a combination that will never go out of style. Minimal black prints on white garments or delicate white prints on black garments will offer a classy look.
Screen Printing Techniques
- Design Creation: For starting, a design is selected that printers want to print on their final product. The design is printed onto a transparent acetate film. This is later used for the creation of the stencil.
- Preparing Screen: In order to suit the design’s complexity and the texture of the fabric that is being printed, the printer will select a mesh screen. The mesh screen is coated with a layer of light reactive emulsion, which, when developed under bright light, will harden.
- Exposing Emulsion: The design featuring acetate sheet is laid onto the screen that is emulsion-coated and is exposed to bright light. The light will harden the emulsion, leaving the parts of the screen that the design is covering, in liquid form. If the finished design is supposed to have more than one color, a separate screen will be used for the application of each ink’s layer. To produce multi-color products, the printer uses his skills to prepare each stencil, and perfectly line them up to ensure the error-free final design.
- Washing-off Emulsion and Stencil Creation: After exposing the screen for a certain time, the areas that are not covered by design will turn hard. The rest unhardened emulsion is rinsed away carefully, leaving a perfectly clear imprint of the design on the screen. The screen is then left for drying. Necessary corrections and touch-ups will be done if required in order to make the finished product as perfect as possible. Finally, the stencil is ready to use.
- Preparing for Printing: The printer will place the screen on the printing press. The garment or the item that is being printed will be laid down onto the printing board flatly, underneath the screen. There are numerous presses including automatic and manual styles, but many commercial printers nowadays are using the automatic rotary printer as this offers multiple screens to work at once. For prints that are multi-colored, this type of printer will be helpful for the application of separate layers of colors in a short time.
- Pressing Ink: The screen is then lowered down onto the printing board. The printer adds ink to the screen’s top and uses a squeegee for pulling the ink along the screen’s length. This allows for pressing ink through the areas of the stencil that are open, imprinting the design on the product. If multiple items are being created, the printer raises the screen to place a new item or garment underneath and repeats the whole process. When the printer is done printing all the items, and there is no need to use the stencil for further printing, the remaining emulsion is then removed with the help of a special washing fluid so as to reuse the mesh for creating new stencils.
- Drying the Product: The printer then passes the final product through a dryer that dries the wet ink leaving the product with a smooth finish. The finished product is then checked and washed so as to ensure there is no remaining emulsion or residue before sending it further to the new owner. It is possible to complete screen printing with a mesh screen and squeegee, however many printers use a press as it allows for efficient printing of lots of products as the screen is held in place by the press between the prints. This makes it easier for the printer to change the clothing or the paper that is being printed.
Screen printing is way better than manual printing, and in the present age, almost all the printers are shifting towards it so as to work efficiently by saving more time and costs.
Today, screen printing is being used as both artistic medium as well as the commercial printing process. Single stencil can be used to recreate the same design thousands of times, so it proves to be the best printing technique in order to produce customized bulk-quantity orders.