What is Hand Screen Printing?

What is Hand Screen Printing?
What is Hand Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeeze is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily alone a line of contact.

Hand screen printing is the technique being used since ancient times to print using stencils, frames and ink. Screen printing relates directly to the fabric being used that will be showcased after coming across the printing process when the dye/ink is walked over the screen to make sure ink is evenly spread and covers the unblocked area using rubber edge squeeze to make the design on the fabric.

This printing can be tried for a simple pattern with few colors. Though at present, there are top machineries to make the large manufacturing and printing machines work to scale up with the increasing demand of big orders to complete.

But even at some places, manually handled processes or hand printing still are able to attract customers with its aesthetics, beautiful designs and with a commitment of skilled craftsmen for presenting printed fabrics with different patterns and designs.

Does ink-print and dye-print cause some difference after getting screen printed?

When dye is used for screen printing it requires a final touch up after going through the printing process as there might be variation in color prints.

When there is use of ink, the design gets printed as it is, we can even touch and feel the print of fabric.

How Hand Screen Printing is done?

Hand screen printing requires a level of competency and accuracy to get the design as perfect as possible. So, the craftsmen should be able to recognize and familiar with the inks or pigments and the fabric to be used.

Proper condition of the printing screen

Printing material like plate, mesh distance and positioning of printing rule should be proper for coming up with the desired layout.

Scraper selection

For screen printing, the perfect squeegee must be chosen and flexible to work the screen and substrate contact for proper spread of ink. For different substrates, different scraper shapes should be chosen. Scraper length should be longer than graphic print.

Printing material preparation

Printing requirements should meet the following criteria,

Dryness adjust

Viscosity adjustment


Printing material should be stored for one day for better performance to limit the potentiality of occurrence of scratches while printing.

Network frame adjustment

When printing materials are usually in front of the network frame and within the blade’s area, printed material above excess shouldn’t cross cut the frame, making it easy for ink scraping.

Screen printing scraping

  • The substrates handled manually with rules down with screen frame, creates space for network between screen and plate.
  • Squeegee when pressed against the screen the angle of 50-60 degrees be adjusted for squeegee scraper for the speed of ink scraping. Pressure is released for printed material and from the mesh hole to printed leak to substrate squeegee scrape screen and separation of substrate. 
  • It depends on size of area to be printed and length of scraper, both hands scraping operations are implied for controlling the desired amount of print material, plate layout. Printed material shouldn’t be left on the plate.
  • By lifting the frame, substrate is removed from the plate.

Screen can be scrubbed

If blots occur or mesh gets clogged, scrub the plate with slightly water dipped cloth on graphics then to other places gently.

Role of colors in printings

Colors have to be chosen wisely, the ink color level of printing should be adjusted after light color printing dark. For scraping with a mix color, change the plate.

Being dried turn to next print

Once the area under hand screen printing turns dry start with next. Due to climatic temperature substrates might get contracted.

When screen printing becomes environmentally friendly?

During the hand screen printing processes, water-based inks are used, as those pigments don’t contain plastic. The ink dries off from unsteady parts which is better, lighter and breathable fabric proven for skin as well as water-based inks gets off easily from the equipment and screens.

Water based prints aren’t that easy for printing on dark color garments. But works better on light colored fabrics. The water-based inks are environment friendly and mostly eco-green for use.

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