The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate. Without it, universal understanding would be impossible.

To keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology, PRINTING United Alliance has developed this glossary of terms. Definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.
  • Screen proper
    The stencil portion of a printing screen.
  • Screen range
    The density difference between the highlight and shadow areas of copy that a halftone screen can produce.
  • Screen reclamation
    The process of removing the stencil from the mesh, so a new stencil can be applied.
  • Screen ruling
    The number of lines per centimeter or per linear inch in a halftone screen.
  • Screen seepage
    A leakage of ink through the open areas of the stencil when the printing action is stopped for a prolonged period of time.
  • Screen stability
    The ability of the stencil to print for a prolonged period without breaking down.
  • Screen tint
    A halftone film that has dots of uniform size and density across its surface; also refer to halftone tint.
  • Screen value
    The number of lines per square centimeter or square inch on any halftone, tint, or four-color separation. (The higher the screen value, the finer the screen and the more detail will be reproduced).
  • Screen washer
    A unit where printing screens can be rinsed to remove ink residue, or be reclaimed completely by removing the stencil.
  • Screen working temperature
    The temperature at which a heated printing screen is maintained while printing with thermoplastic inks.
  • Screenability
    A characteristic of how difficult or easy it is to print an ink, paste, or coating through the screen.
  • Screening
    The conversion of continuous tone copy to halftone copy.
  • Screening in continuous tone
    Screen printing with several colors of ink, or inks of several densities of hue that have been mechanically blended on the printing screen so that one will blend smoothly without demarcation line into the next, producing evenly graduated tones without the use of halftone screens.
  • Scribing
    To mark with a sharp pointed tool to make lines or other image.
  • Scrim
    A strong cloth of cotton or linen, canvas-like weave, coated or uncoated, used on banner edging as a support material.
  • Scuff resistance
    The ability of a dried ink film or substrate surface to withstand rubbing abrasion.
  • Scuffing
    To mar the surface by scraping or rubbing.
  • Scum
    (1) The slimy, colorless or nearly colorless residue that blocks the open areas of the printing screen when improper or incomplete wash out of the stencil occurs; (2) A cloudy or frosted appearance defect found on precious metal, bright surface of glaze, gloss, or porcelain enamel; (3) a dried skin that forms on the surface of stored ink.
  • Sealed substrate
    A porous substrate with a face coating designed to inhibit absorption.
  • Sealer
    Liquid, solution, coating, or other material used for blocking-out unwanted holes or open areas of a printing screen, preventing ink from being forced through the screen mesh during the printing operation; also refer to blockout.
  • Seam
    An imperfection in joint of glass or mold mark on an article.
  • Seamless nickel printing screen
    A seamless, self-supporting all nickel printing stencil made by coating a metal base sheet with photosensitive material, exposing through the film negative, processing to eliminate the coating in the areas to be blocked in the stencil, then electroplating with pure nickel, to a thickness of just a few mils. After plating, the nickel is stripped from the base metal, and adhered to metal frame with epoxy cement, then stretched with wedges, making the printing screen complete. Letter centers and other unattached elements are secured by a fabric of nickel obtained by sandwiching a cross-hatch gravure screen as fine as 150 line in with the film negative at the time of exposure. No supporting fabric is required as with the conventional screen printing stencil.
  • Seasoning
    A process of bringing the temperature and/or moisture content of a material to printing room levels before printing.
  • Second
    A level of quality used to describe an irregular garment.
  • Second surface
    The back or reverse side of a substrate.