Silkscreen is an art technique that has been around for thousands of years. This is a technique that has been associated with other names but has become modernized over the years and been used for many other applications. Silkscreen has been known to date back to the Song Dynasty in 960 AD China. It was a technique used mostly in Asian countries and did not show up anywhere else until the early 1700’s in Western Europe. An interesting note was that silkscreen was first patented by Samuel Simon; a man from Manchester who learned it could be used to print on linen, silk, and on wallpaper among other things. He learned to perfect a rudimentary wooden frame with silk stretched over it and developed an emulsion that could be painted on to block out the images on the screen. Advancements in silkscreen began to appear more and more in the 1900’s, such as in silkscreen paintings and the invention of screen-printing equipment.
Silkscreen and screen-printing have been wildly misnamed and often confused with each other. Traditionally, and most certainly only in the beginning, silk was used for screen-printing. Using silk has possessed such a rich history with being able to tell sacred stories. The Chinese would advance this craft by combining it with hand painting and block lettering. Silk was becoming harder and harder to come across in Western Europe and people wanted to see if the silk screen technique could be applied to other fabrics. In the early 1900’s, several printers started to experiment with different chemicals to help create photo-reactive stencils. By experimenting and creating these stencils, they revolutionized the screen-printing world. It would take a while before the rest of the world caught on but soon after, an American realized that he could combine several different stencils on several different screens with several different colors to produce a multi-colored image. John Pilsworth was then able to create a...