What is screen printing?

It is one of the most versatile engraving techniques that exists, allows high detail, reaching photographic qualities, it also allows details of analog textures executed by hand with various tools used in painting and drawing. The industrial development of the inks used for its provide high range of printing possibilities on different substrates such as paper, wood, metal, ceramics, textiles, synthetics, glass, plastics, leather, electrical circuits and acrylic. In addition to this, it has inks for special finishes such as glitter, metallic, transparent varnishes, matte, glossy, relief, velvety, rough, etc. Due to its multiple applications in industrial fields, a large part of the objects that surround us on a daily basis are marked using this technique.

The printing is done through template or stencil-type matrix placed on a permeable silk that allows the ink to pass through the areas not blocked with the stencil, the design is transferred to the silk by various methods, either by blocking directly on the silk the non-printable areas with a brush or spatula and using vinyl glue, another method consists of cutting paper templates or lightweight waterproof materials as stencils and adhering the templates to the silk, this is the process used in Chicha posters that is a popular technique in Peru. Also for processes of photographic type or from digital files, positives printed on photographic material such as lith are used, where the area to be printed is black. To transfer these images to silk, a photosensitive emulsion is applied directly to the silk. and extended with a squeegee or emulsifying racket in order to have a thin and uniform film, when the emulsion dries, the positives are prepared, these are placed against the silk and illuminated for a certain period, in this way the areas of the emulsion affected by light are fixed and the areas blocked by the design in the positive prevent the passage of light preventing the photosensitive reaction, the frame is removed and it is subjected to a stop bath with water where the unilluminated areas are easily removed by rubbing or by the pressure of the water jet, thus creating the reserve areas and printing areas.

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