What is screen printing?

Essay by riotgirl83Junior High, 9th gradeA-, February 2007

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What is screen printing?

If you look carefully you would notice examples of screen printing everywhere. In the street you may notice posters, displays, and ads on buses have all been screen printed and at home you may have t shirts, clothing, badges and sports bags that have been screen printed. Screen printing (often called silk printing) is a popular method of transferring an image onto paper or fabric by forcing paint though a screen. It is a method that is easily able to print an image in great detail and colour.

How does screen printing work?

It is quite easy to screen print yourself at home, providing you have the right materials. To screen print you will firstly need a stencil of what you wish to print onto your material. Stencils can be hand-cut film stencils, light sensitive stencils or paper stencils. Paper stencils are ideal for beginners because they are simple and cheap.

Ready made commercial stencils are also available from craft stores.

Making a paper stencil



*Craft knife

*Cutting board


*Brown wrapping paper

*Tracing paper


1.Trace your desired image onto a piece of brown wrapping paper (or suitable paper alternative) making sure it is the correct measurements to fit onto your fabric.

2.Then place the paper onto the cutting board and cut out your design using the craft knife. The bit of paper where the design has been cut out is where the ink will go, printing the design onto your fabric.

To print


*A screen: a fine gauze mesh of fibres stretched over a rectangular frame. It is possible to buy screens but it is also possible to make you own. Screens are available in different sizes.

*A squeegee: stiff rubber or plastic with a handle, available in...