If you work with a company who hands out swag on occasion, or if you’re a part of a local team sport, there’s a good chance that you’ve worn a custom screen printed t-shirt. It may have a cool design on it, the company’s logo, or it might have a sentence of text, but regardless of what’s on the t-shirt, it probably came from a screen printing shop that uses the newest technology and automated systems to complete bulk orders quickly and efficiently. The process of screen printing, however, has come a long way since its inception and there have been many improvements to how the t-shirts’ designs are made.
Song Dynasty, China (960-1279 AD)
The beginning of screen printing can be traced back centuries ago to when prehistoric man used stencils and paint in caves. After that, screen printing became popular in China, where silk was the common medium used for stenciling. The would use paper stencils, silk, and brushes to paint ink onto a surface. The first techniques were then taken by neighboring Asian countries and slowly improved.
19th and 20th Century
Screen printing slowly spread throughout Asia and eventually found its way into Europe during the late 1700’s. At this point, the process was still limited to rich families who wanted custom wallpaper or printed designs on silk or linens. When the 20th century hit, there were four patents issued, all similar to screen printing. In 1907, an Englishman, Samuel Simon, patented and began modernizing the screen printing process.
The process finally reached American screen printing shops in the 20th century, where creating and reprinting images became easier and quicker. Some shops started using photo-emulsions to develop hard stencils that could create a more polished finished product. During this time, a technique developed by John Pilsworth made it possible to print with multiple colors.
The real boom of the industry occurred when screen printing shops were hired to create posters and t-shirts during the Civil Rights era for artists, protesters, movie theaters, and even bowling leagues. The artist most famous for using this process is, of course, Andy Warhol who created the iconic prints of Marilyn Monroe.
In more modern days, the process uses computer technology to automate the system. Screen printing can now be done on various substrates and uses special effects inks, electric presses, and other methods to ensure a quality finished product that can be made quickly.
At Lucky Dog Custom Apparel, we make sure we use the most innovative technology and equipment so that each of our customers gets a product that they will love. Each piece is made so that however detailed your logo or design is, you will be proud to call it yours.
Even though our process is far from where screen printing began, we are proud to be a part of this industry. Serving organizations, businesses, and sports teams across New Jersey, Lucky Dog Custom Apparel is a custom screen printing shop that offers a range of services and always the highest quality products. If you’re looking to place a screen printing order, get in touch with our team today. We’ll guide you through the entire process to ensure you’re completely satisfied.