What's a Screen Print?

If you don't know what screen printing is, then no worries! Here's a little breakdown of what it is and why they're so special!

To put it simply, screen printing (or silkscreen printing) is a printing technique where a mesh screen is used as a stencil to make an image with ink. Sounds a bit vague, huh? First, let's imagine a very fine mesh screen in a frame. This screen gets coated in what we call 'emulsion' which, when cured with UV light, hardens like plastic. Now the way that we get an image into this screen is by creating a photo negative that will essentially block these areas from being cured, so that when you wash the screen, your image is 'burned' into it. This creates an area that we can now push ink through to print!

A squeegee is used to evenly push ink through the design in the screen onto whatever you've decided to put underneath (paper, wood, clothing, etc.)

Now, since these are hand printed, every colour needs to be its own layer. The more colours you want to use, the more complicated the design becomes. Screen prints with one layer are quick and relatively easy to print, but once you add a second, third, or fourth layer, you need to make sure that every layer is perfectly lined up with your image, or it won't look the way you want it!

That's a pretty simple breakdown of the process, but it doesn't really take into consideration the different kinds of inks, screens, equipment, and techniques used for printing. Long story short, it's time consuming and hard, but they look so wonderful when done, and the little nuances and changes in each print is what I personally love about it. Each print is unique!