Silkscreening has its origins in simple stencilling,
most notably of the Japanese form (katazome), used on
textiles, mostly for clothing. This was taken up in
France. The modern
Imprinted Merchandise process originated from
patents taken out by Samuel Simon in 1907 in England.
This idea was then adopted in San Francisco, California,
by John Pilsworth in 1914 who used silkscreening to form
multicolor prints in a subtractive mode, differing from
Contract Silk Screen Printing as it is done today.
Silkscreening is such a great happy medium � nestled
comfortably half-way between hand-drawn and mass
production, more colorful than photocopying and with an
aesthetic all its own.
Silkscreening took off during the First World War as an
industrial process for printing flags and banners. The
use of photographic stencils at this time made the
process more versatile and encouraged widespread use.