Glass is one of the primal products that humans have ever produced and one that exists for millennia. Its history can be traced back to 3500 BCE in a region called Mesopotamia. The raw material for making glass is silica. The fascination for printed glasses started a few centuries ago when the upper class replaced their metal cups and mugs with fragile glassware. Since that time people have always printed glass products whatever they might have been using techniques that have evolved throughout the time. Although the techniques for creating glass haven’t changed much except replacing the working hand with automated machines, the printing methods on the other hand have improved year by year, making it more affordable, more durable, better quality and with faster production times. The use of printed glassware expands in every direction. The world that we live in demands from manufacturers the ability to customize products more effectively and more specific to customer needs. Everything around us has a personal feel. And it has to. From funny jokes written on glass mugs and quotes on wedding crystal glassware to company logos and a variety of other informational printings, be it for design or to advertise, all of these are a symbol of a growing culture and civilization. People understand how important visual information is and how personalized glassware can improve your day by making you feel special or by making you laugh. This is the reason why companies put a lot of effort in creating the best printing glassware on the market and delivering those products to customers. Customer’s satisfaction is our most important policy and we emphasize great deal in creating the most suited glasses for our customers as well as according to their needs.
Furthermore we provide you with a detailed description of how we print glassware. We want you to see how much we invest in creating these products and we hope that the quality speaks for itself.
The creation of customized and decorative glassware takes place with products that are specifically designed to adhere to a glass surface. Glass is non-porous and slick so getting paint or ink to stay on its surface can be quite challenging without the right materials. The surface, also called the substrate, and the ink series have to match because their chemical compatibility is critical for a durable and a quality printing.
The most common glassware printing methods are: screen printing and pad printing.
Screen printing is a very durable and affordable method. Usually this is the most preferred method of printing offering both quality and a high degree of production versatility which in the end results in a faster delivery. In this type of printing the paint is transferred to the material by squeezing it into a fine screen mesh which retains the design pattern. Then the wet paint has to be cooked in order to finish the process. Depending on the type of paint and the type of glass that it is printed as well as the complexity of the design pattern some products do not require oven cooking, the paint will simply dry if left in a low humidity area.
In the screen printing method the first step is to create the screen. The design is imposed a screen of fine mesh (e.g. silk). The screen has black areas coated with an impermeable substance and the ink will be forced through the mesh into the surface that is being printed. After this process if completed the screen is installed into the machine, on top of the area where each of the objects will be placed in order to be printed.
Screen printing cycle:
- The object is set in place. The object is placed bellow the screen, onto a specific slot that will allow it to be rolled in order that the entire round area, specific to glassware, will be covered. In automated systems the object is automatically place in the slot. The slot has rubber edges to guarantee a firm grip.
- The bed containing the screen and the ink on top of it is slid left for a thorough printing. As the bed begins sliding, be it by hand or by a machine on an automated process, the glassware is printed.
- The object is left aside for drying or placed in an oven.
Another printing method usually employed by manufactures is the Pad Printing method. This method provides a better quality compared to screen printing, but is also a bit more expensive and involves higher level of labor and a higher level of equipment. It is also limited to fewer objects providing the fact that it uses a pad in order to translate the design pattern onto the objects. This process involves a prating area that is more strict but on the other hand more efficient. Compared to screen printing that allow the printing of the entire area of the glass, the pad printing is limited to just a fraction of it.
In order to start the pad printing, a plate has to be embedded with a design. Then that plate has to be installed on into a machine. After that a bed tray has to be then filled with ink.
Pad Printing Cycle:
- Loading the glassware
- Sliding the bed to the left
- Bringing the pad to the printing plate to pick up the ink
- Sliding the bed back to the glassware
- Then transferring the image
Both printing methods are used specifically for certain printing areas and designs. When a customer demands a product that is uniformly printed with detailed, complex and colorful patterns then we use screen printing. On the hand when the customer demands a product that has a significant logo or a small quote or some design that is smaller and only has to be printed on a specific area of glassware, in that case we use pad printing, because it is more efficient and produces better results.
So no matter what printing method we chose to use we will deliver excellent imprinting on our glassware so you can enjoy our products longer and better.