Silk Screen Printing
A Brief History
Cutting intricate patterns was a highly prized skill in Japan, but it was hindered by the inherent fragility of paper stencils, and their tendency to tear during handling and printing.
The problem was solved by gluing strands of silk (or human hair) to the stencil to increase its strength and durability.
New levels of intricacy were achieved using this technique, and stencils became covered with an ever-expanding mesh of supporting threads.
The next logical step was to stretch a piece of woven silk on a wooden frame and then glue the stencil directly onto the silk mesh: the first "silk screen."
The art of silk screen printing moved to the West in the early 20th century, first as a commercial printing method, and then as a fine art form: serigraphy. It was adapted by the wallpaper industry as a method for making the highest quality handprints.