Screen printing

It’s all about the details—especially when making a simple, one-color pattern sing. The quality of the paper, the color, and how the pattern is printed are all equally important factors. Screen printing means pushing dye over a screen where ink is impenetrable in certain areas to transfer a design. It is best used for patterns that are simple with few colors. When I designs a pattern to be screen printed, I will think about how it will translate onto the paper through the printing process. Therefore I found screen printing best for the kind of design pattern I wants to produce, even it is a very efficient method of wallpaper printing process. The process is a simple one, I tried in the print room in the college, first the artwork is printed onto a transparent film, which is then used to mask or expose the emulsion spread across a screen mesh to light; the image left is a negative of the design. Ink is then pushed through this negative image using a squeegee, and the resulting print is characteristically smooth and opaque.

On the next step each color of ink is carefully matched at the colour mixing station. Every color in a design is printed with one screen. So, my pattern has three colors, it is printed with three different screens, one for each color. Each color is printed individually, staggering every other repeat placement so that the ink has time to dry before coming back to fill in the repeat. Otherwise, the wet ink would get on the screen and print where you didn’t want it. Now what is the most important of all printing is the registration.

Registration in screen printing / wallpaper printing

Registration marks are placed on the printing plates to position the paper correctly for printing. They are indispensable, particularly for works produced through multiple printing. The quality of the work will depend greatly on the accuracy of these marks.

An in-register design is where each colour is ‘registered’ to sit tight against the previously laid down colour without any overlapping. This would apply to all the subsequent colours laid as the design is progressively built up. The beauty of this route is that it allows the achievement of very strong, bright colours. Printing onto a white background means that the subsequent colour is not influenced by the previous underlying colour. eg: if I had print the colour red onto white - it remains red, whereas if I had printed red onto yellow, it will appear orange.

When printing, first print one plate, with the registration marks included, on a sheet of paper and then cover the registration marks with masking tape for actual printing. When going on to the next plate, print a copy with the registration marks included on a transparent film, superimpose this over the paper copy with the registration marks you prepared. This way, I can check that the plate I am working on and the previous plate are properly registered.