• Printable film silk screen

    Silk screen printing is one of modern day's most widely used printing methods in product branding. The process involves pushing ink through an image created on a screen, using a squeegee. The technique is used for creating impressions on cards, boards, paper, fabrics as well as on name plates. While earlier on the technique used artworks created by hand, and which were in some cases very imprecise, modern technology has come to the aid of the technique. Today, all that one needs is a graphics software with which to develop the desired artwork. Alternatively, one can download the artwork from the internet and use a desktop printer to reproduce the image on a printable film silk screen positive. The positive is then used to create the image on the screen, which is used for final printing of the artwork on the medium of choice.

    In both small scale and industrial silk screen printing, image precision and perfection has become a key factor in business growth. Shoddy image reproduction has no place in the modern competitive market, while firms using superior production techniques continue expanding their markets. This is more so the case in branding. The quality of the imprint on items such as T-shirts, sweat shirts, umbrellas and caps, is often seen as a reflection of the organization's image and market position. In such cases, the final quality of the print might be taken to represent the market value of a brand, further underscoring the importance of high print quality.

    Such levels of perfection require use of quality artworks, silk screens, as well as proper screen printing positive films. Printable film silk screens fall into three categories. There are clear laser sheets used in image reproduction from the computer to the end medium via laser printing technology. There is also inkjet sheets, which come as individual sheets of varying sizes, such as A3, A4 and A5, as well as the inkjet roll film, which comes as a continuous feed into the inkjet type of printers. The latter is used in production of wider format printouts, which may be used in creating decorations on items such as bed sheets and curtains.

    To further illustrate the centrality of the printable film silk screen, this is how it features in the entire print production process. Once an image has been printed on the film using either a laser jet or inkjet printer, the film is mounted on a screen coated with a photo-sensitive chemical. The parts covered by the image on the screen block out the light, while the clear areas let the light in and through the screen underneath. The photo sensitive chemical replicates the image on the screen by mapping out the areas with light and those with shade. In a multi-coloured printout each colour will have its own film and plate, and each set undergoes the same process. This is how the image is transferred from the film to the screen.

    Once the image transfer process is done, the impressions on the screen are printed on the medium, one at a time, with the technician ensuring proper registration for all the colours involved.

    For best results, the printable film silk screen should be clear for optimum exposure to light. Translucent films may be used for aesthetic purposes. However, the films should be anti-static to prevent double sheet feeding, which may result in fuzzed edges on the images. Good quality films produce consistent quality and are durable. They are faster and easier to work with, reflect the true colour intensity of the digital artwork and consume less toner.