History of Screen Printing

By: Sarah Wiltshire

I thought we would start out the semester with a short history of screen printing. Screen Printing, though nothing like what we have today, can be found at the beginning of recorded history. It was first practiced in early China. It was used as a method to transfer designs on to fabric. Modern silk screens, silk stretched over a frame, were introduced in 17th century France, but it is not known who started the practice. However it was not until the 20th century that squeegees began being used as a way of pushing the ink tim-screen-printing-3through the screen.

In most of its history screen printing was used primarily for commercial purposes. It wasn’t really until the medium was used by pop artist in the 1960’s, that it became a popular form of fine art. Also, due to its affordability and versatility, screen printing became popular in underground settings. It could be used as an expressive art form or as an effective way to produce propaganda.
Screen printing revolutionized the commercial world, but it also revolutionized fine arts connection with it. It paved the way for a generation of subculture and had a large effect on our modern society.

Images: 1,2

Sources: 1,2


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