At Bergin Glass, we’re passionate about screen printing. The unique process of screen printing on glass, also called applied color labeling, allows us to create durable, one-of-a-kind designs that are as spectacular as the contents of each bottle. Over many years and countless wine bottles, we’ve learned a lot about the history and technology of screen printing - here are five facts that might surprise you!
1. Screen printing is thousands of years old. Screen printing was invented during China’s Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Neighboring countries soon adopted the art form, and it was introduced to Europe in the 18th century, becoming popular as the silk trade expanded. Over the ages, screen printing has been used to create an incredible array of items, from books and wallpaper to Andy Warhol’s iconic artwork.
2. You can screen print on almost any material. The earliest screen prints were done on silk, but almost any textile—from wool to cotton—can be used. Modern technology makes it possible to print on a much wider variety of materials, including wood, paper, ceramic, electronics and glass, of course!
3. Screen printing is also known as serigraphy. This alternative name for the process was coined by a group of artists in the 1930s. It’s taken from the Latin word for silk (seri) and the Greek word for write or draw (graphein).
4. Screen printing creates long-lasting art on glass. You can print directly on glass using ceramic paint, which is adhered by firing in a furnace. This creates a high-definition design that won’t wear away over time. You can even print on glass using precious metals like gold, platinum, and copper!
5. Screen printing is an iconic part of film history. The first promotional screen printed item was a shirt designed to advertise The Wizard of Oz; it featured a simple logo of the film’s title.