Student Question

What was silkscreening first used for when it was invented?

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The first official patent for silk screen printing was issued in 1907 to a British inventor, although the process was developed in Song Dynasty China, and had been used in both England and America since the 1880s. The early British and American screen printers primarily used the method to print expensive wallpaper, stencils for block writing, and other decorative draperies. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Andy Warhol popularized the use of silk screen printing for artistic and consumer purposes. Until Warhol’s silk screen printed pop art appeared on the scene, silk screened products, such as expensive wallpaper, were confined to the homes of the elite. Warhol’s artistic influence resulted in silk screen prints being used for the posters, clothing, and other popular consumer products that permeate our culture today.

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