Are Screen Printing and Silk Screening the Same?

Are Screen Printing and Silk Screening the Same?

If you buy printed t-shirts or other items, you have probably heard the terms silk screening and screen printing referring to the techniques used to put the graphics on the items. But you might be wondering “is there a difference?”  

The short answer is no, there is no difference. In fact, the two terms refer to the same technique. The difference is that silk screening is an older term. When the process was originally developed, a silk screen was used to transfer the image to the item- a shirt, a canvas, etc. However, over time, synthetics, such as polyester, have replaced the silk screen, and the term has been changed to screen printing to reflect that.

The process of screen printing or silk screening is relatively simple. The image is made into a stencil (or series of stencils, depending on the complexity of the image and number of colors), and it is placed in a frame. The frame is set up on the item, then the first color of ink is pressed through the stencil using a squeegee. Typically after the first color is applied, the item is allowed to dry before the next color is applied. The process is repeated for each color until the image is finished.

However, this process is quite time -consuming and does not work very well if many items are needed quickly. As a result, other devices have been developed to make the process easier and more profitable for commercial operations. These inventions allow the operator to screen print several items at a time.

Screen printing or silk screening allows a person or organization to show their style, express an opinion or show support for a cause in a very noticeable way. While most of us are familiar with screen printed t-shirts, the process can be used to transfer designs to a variety of items, including decals, clock faces, balloons and many other products.

Thanks to computers and the Internet, creating a custom design for an event, a cause or just for fun is easier than ever. If you can provide your own design, we can create it on a shirt, hat, apron, hoodie, or other piece of apparel.  If you want to choose from their wide selection of graphics, you can still create a unique look for your item. If you are not sure what you need, we have a friendly staff that is available to help you create a design that fits your needs.

So if you are looking for great custom screen printing, give us a call today at 417-869-3849.

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