Where Did Screen Printing Originate?

Where Did Screen Printing Originate?

The art of screen printing has been around for over a thousand years. It is said that it was invented in China sometime between 960 and 1279 CE. The methods used at first were simplistic and produced rough images. Over time, the craft found its way to Japan and Europe where it was refined. Screen printing was first used to print images on silk or linen for wealthy customers. Eventually, it would be used to print on many different kinds of fabric and paper.

In the early 1900’s people in Europe began to develop the photo emulsion method of printing. The photo emulsion method is when the screen is coated with light sensitive liquid. The image is affixed to the screen and then ‘burned’ into the screen with light. The part of the image that was not burned into the screen gets washed away. The final product is a screen that can produce very accurate and detailed images. This type of printing would prove to be critical in the advancement of the craft. By using this technique, one could achieve a very precise image over and over again. This method is still used commercially today but with safer and more consistent chemicals.

Andy Warhol is generally considered the person who introduced screen printing into the contemporary world during the 1960’s. He used screen printing in his work many times, but one of his most famous prints was of Marilyn Monroe. Many other fine artists started to use this method for their work. Screen printing became well known in the punk culture as well because the materials needed are easily found and inexpensive. Punks became heavily involved in the DIY movement that started in the 1960’s. They made their own band shirts and patches with rudimentary printing set ups and techniques.

Since the 1960’s, screen printing’s popularity exploded over the United States and the world. It is such a simple and accurate way to create any image imaginable. Screen printing will continue to live on as a widely celebrated medium among artists and craftsmen alike.

Today, screen printing is a popular way to get custom shirts, aprons, hats, and other apparel that shows off who you are and what you represent. It’s a great form of marketing and a great way to bring a team together. Express Press has a huge variety of printing options, a free, full time graphic arts department to help you hone your design and no minimum order, so you can get one shirt for Mother’s Day, or one thousand shirts for a corporate conference.

Give us a call today, at 417-869-3849, to learn more.

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