Above all the noise of hilarious debate in the screen printing world, it is widely agreed that the earliest practices were introduced in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) where hair was stretched across a wooden frame.
The name was derived from Silkscreen, as early screens were made from silk, nylon, polyester and even metal. It was patented by Englishman Samuel Simon in 1907, primarily as a way to create wallpaper.
In the 1930’s a group of artists coined the term “Serigraphy” to define the process, taking from the Latin “sericum” for silk and Greek, “graphien” for draw, or write. They would later be known as the National Serigraphic Society. Their work has been popularized by artists like Andy Warhol, particularly for his 1962 depiction of Marilyn Monroe. He was quoted as saying “It was all so simple, quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it.”