Screen printing, according to Wikipedia, is a “printing technique where the design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced into the mesh openings of the mesh by the fill blade or squeegee and onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke.” This technique entails the use of a stencil or screen to apply ink on the printing surface. Different stencil is used for each color, which is applied one at a time and mixed to achieve the final look.
Screen printing first appeared in 960–1279 AD during the Song Dynasty in China. Later, it was adapted by neighboring Asian countries and become popular in Western Europe in the late 18th century. According to the Printer's National Environmental Assistance Center, “Screen printing is arguably the most versatile of all printing processes. It can be used to print on a wide variety of substrates, including paper, paperboard, plastics, glass, metals, fabrics, and many other materials including paper, plastics, glass, metals, nylon and cotton.” When printing designs that needs to be exceptionally vibrant, screen printing is the best option. The ink used in this technique is much thicker than other methods, thus, creating brightly colored materials.
Any stretched surface can be screen printed—posters, t-shirts, and even public transportation. With the advancements in printing technology, screen printing has become more affordable. It’s the preferred method of printing these days even over digital printing.
Often, printers have minimum quantity of orders for screen printing. This is because of the materials and labor required to complete the process.