Technical aspects of typical Singapore silk screen printing


Silkscreen printing is one of the most traditional methods of printing in Singapore. It is also extremely versatile and cost effective for large volumes of the same design such as t-shirt printing, cotton canvas tote bags printing and other corporate gifts products.

We are taking an example of a silkscreen printed canvas tote bag for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a reference project to explain the technical steps involve right from design conception to printed end products to be delivered to end user.

The most important step in silkscreen printing involves preparing the mould. To do that, we have to print the require design onto a piece of transparency like the picture on the right above. The transparency is usually printed in black. The darker the printed design, the nicer the mould will be.

Silkscreen mould / block preparation

silkscreen printing - block preparation and molding
silkscreen printing – block preparation and molding

The first step to mould preparation involves coating a meshed wooden frame with emulsion. This process is known as coating and the item that coats the emulsion onto the frame is known as scoop coater. It is generally made of stainless steel.

Once the frame is nicely coated with emulsion, we place the printed transparency onto the surface and place the whole frame onto a UV exposure machine. Generally we have to expose the frame and transparency for 30 seconds.

Hosing down for a complete mould

silkscreen printing - hosing down an UV exposed block
silkscreen printing – hosing down an UV exposed block

We can remove the transparency after 30 seconds. We will then use a high-pressure hose to splash water on the coated frame. The area which was previously covered by black design will start to run off revealing a clear and porous artwork.

Ink will seep through this porous surface to give us the require print work.

Silkscreen printing commencement

silkscreen printing - mounting a completed mold ready for printing
silkscreen printing – mounting a completed mold ready for printing
We can mount the completed mould onto a printing machine ready for printing. Ink is poured onto the frame and a squeezy is used to flood the artwork. The porous whitish area will allow ink to seep through giving us the final printed artwork we want.
Have a look at how we carry out 6 colors silkscreen canvas bags printing in-house by following this link and scroll all the way down. The video shows a complete but much more complicated project with 6 different colors printed on tote bag. Each color is manually and accurately printed at the designated locations based on client’s artwork. Enjoy the video!

DC9 Gifts Pte Ltd supplies customized corporate gifts in Singapore with in-house printing that ensures clients get the best printed end products. We print each gift product with patience bearing in mind high quality expectations of our valued customers.