Adopting Screen Printing Technique For The Production Of Commemorative Fabric

Project and Seminar Material for Fine Arts

Adopting Screen Printing Technique For The Production Of Commemorative Fabric


The conventional process of transferring designs unto screen has been the normal practice over the years. This method though useful, produces designs that are static and rigid. The research idea was focused on exploring other techniques of transferring designs unto screen using natural objects such as leaves. The outcome of the result was discussed and analysed critically. The research was based on the qualitative research approach and made use of the experimental and descriptive methods of research. This project will enable textile students, teachers and designers acquire new and interesting techniques in creating textile designs. Traditional African art was generally characterized by its relative functionality and aesthetics. Art was a functional and necessary part of everyday life for traditional Africans. Religion, government, education, work and entertainment were all inter-related components in traditional African societies. Whether tangible or intangible, all forms of artistic expressions were deeply woven into the very fabric of their socio-religious context For organizational convenience, this research project is divided into five different chapters. Chapter one which is an introduction presents in a parsimonious way the historical background of the study. It also looks at the method of research and general objectives of the study. Chapter two studies the historical of textile, textiles and screen printing while chapter three looks at the techniques used, materials that are involve and studio practice. Chapter four outlines the procedure and steps. While chapter five was the conclusion.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Corbman (1983) affirms that Designing in textile is an important component of textile production. Variety of good designed fabric that is more appealing and marketable may have been influenced by the initial designing process. The execution of a good design needs the consideration of certain essential factors such as the motif or subject matter, arrangement of motifs and style of rendering combined with the use of colour.

Design themes or motifs can be chosen from various sources such as natural, artificial, geometrical, traditional symbols, pictorial scenes, and proverbs among others. For a design to be transferred onto a fabric, it needs to go through a printing process.

According to Braniac (2010), states that Printing is the process of transferring design from rollers, screen, block and so on onto a textile material with print paste and it includes Roller printing, Screen printing, Block printing, Heat transfer, Polychromatic and Electronic printing. In screen printing however, the design is transferred onto a well stretched screen so that all but the design is covered with a resist material. The design which is open for dye penetration is put on the cloth and dyes forced through the tiny holes by a squeegee.

The design is made in small unit on paper; the next stage is to transfer the design on to a fabric .The small unit paper design will have to be repeated several times to produce an appreciable length of printed fabric. “The design is transferred to the screen, often by a photochemical process in which the design for each colour is photographed separately. The screen is coated with photosensitive material that serves as opaque sections of the screen, preventing dye penetration through the negative areas of the screen. The screen is held in contact with a tracing paper that corresponds to the patterns to be placed on the screen. This conventional method of developing screens is the photographical method where designs are copied onto screens coated with photo-sensitive chemicals which have been exposed to light, gives an accurate representation of designs when utilized. Again, designs produced by this method are static and rigid.

This project on the other hand is devoid of conventional method of transferring paper designs onto tracing paper and subsequently onto screens. On the other hand, designs are achieved directly from natural and artificial materials such as leaves, flowers, among others arranged into patterns before transferring onto screens for printing purposes. Other resist styles of printing are explored. The research affords one the ability to explore different creative and imaginative means of putting on fabric with extremely varied ideas and effects. Some materials from the natural environment as mentioned earlier are researched into and the appropriate ones selected for the project. One or more of the identified materials could be combined to develop designs for printing.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Screen printing has been an old method of patterning fabrics. It has gone through several changes of ensuring better result of printing. Among the numerous printing techniques, screen printing gives flexibility in designing and printing process. With evolution of time, three screen development has been explored in different methods to obtain designs or patterns on stretched silk mesh. Today, the conventional method of developing screens is by transferring paper designs unto tracing sheet before copying onto screens coated with photo-sensitive chemicals which have been exposed to light.

This conventional process of developing designs has been the normal practice over the years. It gives an accurate representation of designs when utilized but designs produced by the conventional method are static and rigid. This method apparently has been useful but more designs or patterns can be achieved by employing other innovative methods of screen development and printing. It was against this background that the researcher sought to explore other innovative methods of screen developing to advance the knowledge in methods of screen developing and printing.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To explore innovative ideas and methods of developing designs directly onto screen without the use of a diapositive.
  2. To discover other media that can be useful in creating patterns for screen printing.
  3. To print sample cloths using developed screens and innovative printing methods.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Research in this area would enable textile teachers, students and designers acquire new and interesting techniques in developing designs unto screen for printing. These new techniques will enhance innovation and creativity aiming at crafting new designs for the textiles market.

1.5 Scope of the Study

On the course of print making, there are different kinds of ink for different kinds of materials no matter the printing method or approach adopted. When one chooses to print on rubber, plastics or glasses he has no need using textile/ test fast ink, rather the use of PVC, is suitable for the mentioned materials. Tests could be carried out on numerous items or materials but I have limited my test just on few common materials on which daily activities rest upon. Such as Textile materials of different sorts.

1.6 Limitations

Taking into consideration the experimental nature of the project, it was not easy gathering enough materials that were feasible to achieve expected results within the time frame.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of the main outfit of one’s dressing.


It is a paper design which is transferred onto screen by the photographic method.


A flexible sheet material that is assembled of textile fibres and yarns that are woven, knitted, plaited, or otherwise bonded together to give the material mechanical strength.

Light box

It a term used for the screen exposure unit where designs or objects are transferred onto the screen for printing.


An ornamental design or decorative element in fabric.


It is a wooden or metal frame which consists of a synthetic fabric or metal gauze stretched tautly over it.

1.8 Organisation of the Study

The presentation of the project report is as follows; The Abstract gives a summary of the project report. The Introductory chapter highlights the topic by stating the problem, objectives, importance of study, delimitation, research methodology and for research.

Chapter two contains the literature review that includes an overview of the topic from various authors on textiles printing, silk screen printing, textile design, element and principles of design, types of pattern, innovative methods of screen printing and development. Chapter three looks at generation of textile designs, techniques used and Designs itself, Chapter four discusses field research findings and generation of textile designs from selected materials. Chapter five, summaries and conclude the report with recommendations.

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The main objective of this research was to explore innovative ideas and methods of screen printing technique for the production of commemorative attire for traditional flower design. The research began with review of related literature to the topic. Looking at what others have done and said concerning the topic helped the researcher to understand the topic better. Qualitative research which employed experimental research tool enabled the researcher to solicit useful information for the research. Through these research tools the researcher was able to discover four major techniques of creating textiles designs using the screen. Successful designs were printed, analyzed and appreciated considering aesthetic qualities with reference to arrangement of motifs, textures, and colour combinations.

Screen printing has increasingly become appreciated especially by textiles designers. Designs are relatively easy to transfer to screens and frame size can be readily varied. The designer also has the freedom to choose any repeat size. A significant characteristic of screen printing is that a greater thickness of the ink can be applied in the printing process than is possible with other printing techniques. This allows for some very interesting effects that are not possible using other printing methods. Because of the simplicity of the ink application process, a wider range of ink can be used in screen printing than in any other printing process.

The process of exploring other methods of transferring designs unto screen and printing has been very interesting and challenging. The process however yielded highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by the conventional method of drawing and painting the design on a tracing paper. This is a unique process that must be pursued not only by textile students but small scale textile designers. It is important to realise that textile designers can adopt similar method of creating designs as a means of producing exclusive fabrics for specialized market. These specialized fabrics can be highly patronized by fashion homes for producing custom made garments. This approach is highly capable of improving the textiles and the fashion industry in Nigeria and abroad.

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations have been made for consideration.

It is recommended that further research should be conducted to explore various innovative techniques in screen development and printing that is commercially viable to create competition in the textile market. Waste can actually be a good resource for textile screen printing. It is therefore recommended that textile students and designers should look around their environment and make maximum use of what they see as waste by turning them into good resource for textile designs. Lecturers and instructors in tertiary institutions should give screen printing project works that will compel students to use alternative materials and techniques different from the conventional method of screen printing. Students should be encouraged to undertake experiment in printing with different dye stuffs that have not been explored.

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