It is likely that each of us has come across something printed using the screen printing method at least once in our lives.
The artisanal technique of handmade screen printing has been around for millennia, and it remains an elegant and timeless art form.
This practice can also be enacted artistically, even Andy Warhol's iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe was made using the screen printing technique!
There is still debate today about who exactly invented this system-some say the Phoenicians, others believe it was the Japanese-but whoever did it, the technique has been around for millennia.
At Malini's as mentioned several times we prefer and love true craftsmanship, so we have chosen to use exclusively the technique of hand screen printing.
The beauty of handmade screen printing is the ability to print large-format designs with excellent definition on any natural fabric.
The technique is very similar to block printing (Hand block print article here) but much more precise and rich in detail.
The process is the same as block printing/block printing, for each color you create a picture and then pass the various pictures in sequence over the surface where you want to print and slowly you will see the print taking shape with the various shades of color.
It is a very fascinating sight to behold, for us in the craft, it's always a thrill to see one's creations come to life one step at a time.
Manual square printing or screen printing gives the possibility of layering different shades on top of each other.
This process allows us to comfortably experiment with various color schemes to decide what we like best, and also to come up with new ideas, creating color variations makes each print different, the design is always the same but the emotion it conveys through color variations is different, and that is spectacular.
Hand screen printing can be used on any type of fabric, from linen to wool, cashmere to silk.
Although it may seem like a simple technique, it requires extensive knowledge to ensure that the result is not distorted and that the colors do not mix differently than intended.
It should be kept in mind that in between color applications it is necessary to wait for the fabric to dry, making the procedure quite lengthy.
The basics of manual screen printing
Manual square printing or screen printing is a method of applying color to a surface using a stencil and squeegee and creating a multicolor (even single-color) print
For screen printing, you need to create a series of negatives, as many as the number of colors you want to apply.
Each negative will be placed in the same spot in a specific sequence.
Each time the screen printing picture is placed liquid color is poured over it, then the craftsman with a squeegee spreads the color over the entire surface of the picture.
To smear the color he proceeds in a motion from top to bottom and vice versa, sometimes even two people do this step, depending on the size of the painting.
The color will pass only where the painting will allow it to pass, so it is also important to respect the correct sequence of paintings to be overlaid.
After adding a layer of pigment, this process must be repeated for each color you wish to apply.
in the image above you can see the printing frames and an image of the same print with the different color variations.
Why is it important for it to be handmade?
The advantages of manual screen printing are:
the ability to create a truly unique design, impossible to achieve with other textile printing methods.
There are no limits to the complexity of the design, and fabrics can be created with double-sided printing!
Textile printing machines can only print on the front side of fabrics, they do not have enough pressure to give a good transition to the color on the other side.
Manual screen printing, on the other hand, allows printing on any type of fabric, regardless of its thickness.
All this thanks mainly to the human hand that is able to impart the right energy to get the color through to the other side of the fabric as well.
Another advantage of manual screen printing is the ability to print on irregularly shaped fabrics, which is impossible with textile printing presses.
And it is also possible to print on non-textile materials, such as wood and paper.
Steps in the hand screen printing process
The steps in the screen printing process are different and each has its own purpose.
Organization and planning are essential in each stage of the process.
The first step is to design a stencil and draw an image.
The stencil consists of a mesh of fabric glued onto a wooden or metal frame.
The design is then imprinted on the stencil fabric and cured on the screen printing frame.
Once the stencil is ready this is placed on the fabric or surface on which the print is to be created.
The color is put on and smeared with the squeegee.
The sequence of the squares is done in an alternating manner, leaving gaps between passes so that the color dries slightly as the various squares/stencils are passed.
This technique explained so broadly sounds complicated but one day we will try to make a video to show you the simplicity of the sequence and the difficulty of execution.
During our travels in India in search of artisans and ancient techniques, we visited several workshops, our research is geared toward inspiring the imagination of our clients, allowing us to create surreal fantasies to make you travel with your mind to unexplored worlds-after all, this is what the world of fashion is all about, fantasies embellished with small details that tell fantastic stories.
All of these can make a difference especially if they are handmade using environmentally sustainable and fair trade methods!