Digital Print Emblems: The Evolution of Screen Printing

Every new technological development is a culmination of various evolutionary technological points in history. We see this in almost every industry. This is especially true with apparel decorations. Like many of these new developments, screen-printing was once the breakthrough of its time. However, it is with the dawning of this breakthrough that many others would see their fruition as well. At the end of this evolutionary path is where we find the latest apparel decoration to “breakthrough” in today’s industry, Digital Print.

Although credit is largely given to Andy Warhol for popularizing screen printing with his famous depiction of Marilyn Monroe during the 1960s, the process of screen printing is actually recorded to have begun in China as early as 960 AD. At this point, silk was still in its earliest forms of development. Then referred to as “silk printing”, it wasn’t until it reached Japan when, with newer stenciling techniques and the use of different fabrics, the actual process of screen-printing itself was coined. The process spread throughout the rest of Asia until trade routes were established that could reach the Western world. It was then, in the late 1700s, when the act of screen-printing began to be available throughout Western Europe.

Though it did not gain a large acceptance at first, eventually this process would become culturally significant. The act of screen printing itself would become so integral in the apparel industry at the time that it would be taken with European immigrants across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of the “New World.” Centuries later, Andy Warhol and several other artists during the 1960s, would coin the term “serigraphy” and use screen-printing in forms never utilized before. This would evolve the process in completely different ways. From this point on, screen printing no longer was limited to be used on apparel alone, but could be utilized in several other ways as well, including in the creation of works of art.

Once the computer age began during the 1970s, so was the process of dye sublimation. As people started to experiment with different ways to integrate this ancient technology with newer technology, one such man, Wes Hoekstra, would be a pioneer of this method with his development of the first computer output system for dye sublimation. Printing on apparel was no longer limited to the availability of inks or the particular stencil one had available. With this new process of sublimation, people began to print whole images onto their garments. As far as the process of screen printing was furthered throughout its lifetime, nothing could compare to the imagery possible with dye sublimation.

Though both of these processes continue to be heavily utilized today, newer forms of apparel decorations have already begun to grace today’s market. World Emblem International is one company who exemplifies this with its newest innovation, Digital Print. World Emblem International’s new Digital Print Emblems will forever change the quality and look of uniforms and apparel. The image capability that can be achieved with Digital Print Emblems far exceeds those of its predecessors as well as any other embellishment products in the market today. Digital Print Emblems have unlimited color capabilities as well as unsurpassed photographic quality. Customers no longer have to limit colors or pay by the color when integrating Digital Print Emblems into their embellishment offering.  With high resolution, photographic images, small clean details, unlimited colors as well as the possibility of forming standard and intricate laser cut shapes, with or without a border; Digital Print Emblems will certainly excel on all decorated apparel.

Throughout history we see that all current trends and technologies had a starting point. Such is certainly true with Digital Print emblems. With an ancestry that spans back to the era of the great dynasties of China, such a product has certainly seen many evolutionary changes throughout its lifetime. Thus, every time we reach one of these “new points,” it is important to look back on our history and see how this evolution once began.


Posted on October 17, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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