The History of Screen Printing

Screen printing is a practice that was created sometime from the years 960-1279 AD. Having its origins in China during the Song Dynasty, silk screens were used as stencils to transfer ink onto various materials like silk and cotton. The job, being a bit more laborious back then, eventually made its way to nearby Asian countries. Here, silk screening began to evolve, resulting in a more efficient and advanced application. Silk screening didn’t make its way to the Western world until the 18th century.

Fast forward to the 20th century, this may be the biggest turning point in the silk screening world. Samuel Simon is credited with this achievement by patenting the silk screen in 1907. During this time, other materials began to be used in screen printing such as nylon mesh and polyester. The introduction of different photo emulsion techniques took place as well, allowing for more precise detailed designs on the prints.

In the 1960s, the concept of screen printing started gaining popularity as a commercial printing method, and not solely for decorative designs. As it became closely associated with the rise of the pop art movement, the technique was used to create vibrant and bold prints. Artists like Andy Warhol embraced screen printing and used it to create iconic works of art, such as his famous Marilyn Monroe prints. Screen printing became a popular method for producing posters, advertisements, and other graphic designs. 

Today, screen printing is widely used for apparel, promotional items, artwork, and other custom products. It’s a versatile and durable printing method that allows for a variety of colors and intricate designs. Screen printing’s rich history is important for us to remember as Graphicwear intends on preserving the tradition while also embracing innovation. From custom apparel to art prints, screen printing offers endless possibilities for creative expression in the present day just as it did in the past.

Learn more about our screen printing options and pricing now.

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