The high temperatures of Kilns are an essential part of the manufacture of ceramics. The extreme heat helps bond the materials to form an incredibly strong and robust final product.
So it is with the branding of ceramic products as part of the firing process includes sintering. This heats the clay until the particles partially melt and flow together, creating a strong, single mass, resulting in a long lasting quality print that is permanently bonded to the product.
Silkscreen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh stencil that allows ink through to create the desired image.
The process of silkscreen printing is not a new concept. Silkscreen Printing is a process that has secured its place in the market from decades past and has proven to be very reliable.
How does the process work?
On approval of any artwork, the different colours of that artwork need to be separated.
Each colour gets printed individually, one at a time. This is why all artwork needs to be in vector or open format to enable us to separate the colours. We also offer a redraw service.
Every separated colour is developed onto its own positive, a positive is a clear film with the specific separated colour on it appearing as a black image.
Every positive then gets exposed onto a silkscreen inside a darkroom which is light sensitive, we use a vacuum table and UV-lighting for this process.
Because the UV-light cannot penetrate through the black image on the positive, it cannot have an effect on the light sensitive emulsion on the silkscreen.
This means that after exposure, the image that remains behind on the silkscreen will appear as a negative which has various tiny openings, depending on the mesh size, through which the ink can be forced and printed onto special decal paper.
To enable us to remove the completed print from the decal paper and to apply it anywhere onto the product by hand, we need to apply a cover coat onto the printed images.
We are now able to submerge this print into soap water, which enables our decorators to handle and apply the decal by hand, anywhere where you desire for us to do so!
After decoration, the product gets fired in our kilns at 800’celcius for ceramics and 600’celcius for glass, the end result leaves us with a proper professional, permanent and scratch free print that is guaranteed to be dishwasher and microwave safe!