CUSTOM Velo-Occasions Shirts!

Jul 07

CUSTOM Velo-Occasions Shirts!

Before I throw down the new Velo Occasion t-shirts and gear I’m going to throw some history at you. Look, silk screening is my side hobby. If I’m not cycling I’m designing and whipping up custom screen printed t shirts, hats, stickers and everything else. I’m all DIY these days but I worked for the Moxley Media back in the day, doing custom printing for big companies all around the world. Having since moved from Medford, Oregon I still appreciate the amazing quality that comes with their work and still if I need a big quantity or have some questions I put an order through Jeremy at Moxley Media – Screen Printing.

DIY SCREEN PrintedAnyway I put our custom screen printed t shirt order through Moxley Media the other day so this community is about to get some amazing shirts. I’m f*cking stoked!

Moxley Media
588 Parsons Dr Suite D
Medford, OR
(541) 601-9053

Screen printing, all around the world is a very common method of printing. It is popular both in the commercial printing industry and in the fine arts. The method is used to print CD covers, posters, t-shirts, hats. Etc. And it used on materials such as wood, paper, plastic and even metals. For sure, many of the stuff that you have at home are products of silk printing. But for us to appreciate the methods better, it would be useful to know its history. So what follows is a brief history.

It all started in China

It was the Chinese who first practiced silk screening as a method of dying. According to experts, the method was introduced around the year 1,000 AD. Eventually, the practiced reached Japan and then other countries in Asia. The method evolved over time. Silk Printing, as it is practiced today, is different from the way it was practiced in China. Of course, advancements in technology also contributed to the development of screen orienting. The Japanese and the people from other countries have added their modifications to the method. The Japanese is credited for introducing block printing and some manual painting methods.

Moxley Media Silk Screening

How the method arrived in the West

It was during the 18th century that this type of printing was introduced in the Western world, and it came to Western countries mainly through travelers who came from the East. It did not become an instant hit. The Westerner attitude towards printing though changes when the use of silk mesh was introduced. The silk mesh that is being used for printing also came from the East. So Europe became the leading market of silk traders from Asian countries. It is probably safe to say that trading between the East and the West has contributed to the popularity of silk screening not only in Europe but the whole world.

Secret techniques

In 1907, a man named Samuel Simon patented the screen printing process for the first time in England. The method was mainly used to print beautiful and elegant wall paper, linen, silk and some very expensive fabrics. During that time, many different screen printers have emerged with each having their modification to the technique. To dominate the competition, most of these printers have developed techniques that they have kept secret from other printers and the rest of the world. Some of the printers during that time have started working with photo-reactive substances that uses actinic light based cross-linking. These printers utilized compounds like traits of potassium, sodium, ammonium chromate among others. Gelatin and other types of glues are added to these chemicals.

Experts started experimenting

To improve the process of printing technology and the quality of the end product, experts during that time began to experiment with different types of chemicals. Some types of chemicals that they have worked on are salt sensitized emulsions to make stencils that are photo-reactive. Thanks to modern technology, commercial screen printers today are using sensitizers that are far safer than the chemicals being used during the 1900s. Different kinds of pre-sensitized and user-mixed emulsion chemicals are already available for the creation of stencils that are photo-sensitive. The process that is being done today is a lot safer and easier than the process done in the olden days.


The development of stencils

Now let me introduce to you another man who has made a valuable contribution to the craft of custom printing. In the year 1928, a man named Joseph Ulano discovered how to use a lacquer-soluble material for the creation of stencils used upon a removable base. To create prominent patterns, the stencil material was carved and then it was stuck to the mesh. During the time of Ulano, silk printing was already widespread in the fabric-making industry. Also during that time, artists have started employing the method to produce works of art. These artists have found the method to be convenient especially when it comes to replicating designs and blends. The process has made their work easier and more efficient.

The term serigraphy was born

During the 1930s. Some artists have started calling the process of creating artwork using printing techniques as serigraphy. Eventually, these artists formed the National Serigraphic Society. The primary objective of the group is to provide a new identity to the age-old method of screen printing. Today, the term serigraphy is interchangeably used with the phrase silk screening. And it is defined as the process of making images on fabric, paper and other materials through the method of pressing ink on a screen with some parts blocked off by a stencil.


Screen printing is still alive and kicking today

Through the years, many other printing methods have come and gone but printing is still alive and kicking. Indeed, other printing methods were not able to replace printing mainly because it produces prints that are vibrant and very artistic. Even in our day and age when computers seem to dominate all areas of human life, silk screening is still being used to print flyers, posters and even album covers.

Custom Screen Printing

The fact is; the demand for products that are made through screen printing have increased in recent years. One of the reasons for the methods longevity is the fact that it is probably one of the most efficient and economical printing method available. This is because all of the materials needed for printing is readily available and most of them are very affordable.

Of course, the method is not perfect. While it has many good points, it also has its share of bad points. Since it is a manual method of printing, it is highly subjected to human error. This means that the quality of the print depends significantly on the skill and experience of the printer. It seems that the method is here to stay, and it may take a while before it will finally say goodbye to the world. The method is still evolving. We can expect future technological developments to add significant improvements to it in the future. And you can bet my buddies at Moxley Media – Medford Screen Printing company is going to be on the cusp of innovation.

Moxley Media Logo

Once again check out Moxley is you are looking for a full service design studio.
Contact info above. They are an amazing company.


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