History of Screenprinting
Screen Printing can be seen all across today’s modern world. It’s everywhere you look and as of 2014 the industry has become the second most profitable form of apparel in the United States. The ancient art of screen printing can be traced all the way back to the Song Dynasty in 960 AD. During this era the Song Dynasty was known for advancing the arts. They developed a method using finely woven fibers and block stencils to transpose designs onto fabrics.
The art of screen printing soon spread throughout Asia. The country of Japan used human hair and other stiff bristled brushes to apply dyes to fabric. Later in Japan’s history silk mesh became the fabric of choice and created a technique named “ silkscreen printing “. As screen printing spread throughout Asia advancements in techniques were being made.
Western Europe did not learn the ability to “silkscreen print ” until the 18th century. Merchants and traders brought the materials necessary from Asia via the Silk Road. One of the center pieces for Western European art, France began using silkscreens placed over a solid frame to transpose their images onto fabrics. The factories of France began mass producing screen printing products with the introduction of this evolved technology.
Created by Englishmen Samuel Simon, the modern screen technology was patented in 1907. He developed a process by which a stencil drawn was placed onto a bottling cloth that was stretched over a wooden frame. This method quickly became the standard across the western world. The vast majority of the products were catered to the wealthy of Europe.
With the mass media coming into formation and mass protests taking place in the 1960 the screen printing industry experienced a massive BOOM. Protest signs, posters, bold print and clothing, screen printing provided the supply to the soaring cultural demand. Screen printing however was still a slower process until Michael Vasilantone created the rotary multicolored printing press. This allowed for the mass production of colorful garments leading us into the color bast that was the 1970’s.
Disco’s, tie dye shirts, and bell bottom jeans, the 1970’s began making screen printing products available to the masses. Today the screen printing world is still not done evolving. Companies like Ninja stitching based out of California are changing the game once again. With services ranging from Graphic design, screenprinting, patches, heat press, specialty embroidery, and large format printing, they have created a one stop shop for all your screen printing needs. Ninja stitching prides themselves on quality, efficiency, and customer service. Look them up at Ninjastitch.com.