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Print processes: screen printing

Screen printing vastly increases the graphic options available for product decoration

Screen printing, also known as silkscreen printing, is one of the oldest methods of printing. It first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) before emerging in Japan and a number of other Asian countries. Early silkscreen printing used silk mesh but as this material was not readily available in Europe the screen process was not introduced there until the latter part of the 18th century.


The ability of the screen process to print high volumes of ink onto the substrate was a significant factor behind its introduction into the label industry. The opportunity to produce a clear filmic self-adhesive label that matched the graphics produced on bottles that were ‘direct’ printed opened up new opportunities for the self-adhesive industry particularly in the personal care, wine and spirits and pharmaceutical markets.