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Screen Printing Exposure Units

Understanding Phrases and Terms Used in Screen Printing
In the world of screen printing, there are various terms used for different parts of the process and the materials used. Many new screen printers need to make themselves familiar with all concepts of the process before beginning their first project.

In the following, some of the phrases and terms are briefly discussed.

  • A screen printer’s artwork is any picture, cartoon, drawing, image or words that are transformed onto a material such as a t-shirt. It is the starting point of the project.
  • Silk screen is a frame made of aluminum or wood that has a screen of mesh material. This screen is rather tightly stretched over the frame.
  • Mesh is a material that is tightly stretched over the frame. Mesh has many holes that will vary in size. These holes let ink flow to the fabric or material being printed upon.
  • Emulsion is a substance put into a screen that is allowed to dry to block mesh. It prevents ink from flowing through in areas where it should not.
  • Coating the screen is putting the emulsion on the screen before starting to burn the artwork to the silkscreen.
  • Burning the screen is a process using high wattage light to burn an image to a silkscreen.
  • Halogen or high watt light bulb is a light used to dry emulsion that is applied to a screen. It is also used to burn art images to a screen.
  • Squeegee is a useful tool that has flat blades of rubber. These are used to pull and even ink across a screen mesh. It pushes ink onto the fabric to create or print the design.