Screen printing has been around for much longer than most people realize. Andy Warhol is often considered one of the most well-known users of the method, employing it to transfer his pop art images onto different media – canvas being one of his favorites. His affiliation with screen printing is definitely an important part of its history, but there are several others to know as well.
Song Dynasty: While we don’t know the name(s) of the person or people responsible, we do know that screen printing was created during The Song Dynasty (China, 960-1279 AD). It must’ve been a very time consuming process, and quite a bit more involved than how we do it today, but it was used to turn plain fabrics into fancier ones using various designs… just like we still do now!
Samuel Simon: A patent was issued to English chap Samuel Simon in 1907, and he is widely considered to be the first recipient of a patent related to screen printing. To make designs, he utilized silk and cotton stretched over frames made of wood, and stencils that were hand painted.
Rotary Multicolored Screen Printing Press: In 1960, this device was invented, and its job was to add designs and writing to clothing – more specifically, bowling shirts. That garment was the hottest item at that time and needed a logo and a team name. It wouldn’t be too long before t-shirts would take over the title (more on that in upcoming articles).
These are just a few events that are important to the industry – and there are so many more! In future newsletters, we’ll share more fun factoids and pertinent people in the history of screen printing, so stay tuned!