The silkscreen technique has its origin in Japan, where the stencil print was refined by using hair or silk, instead of allowing broad connections of the stencil material. As a result, much finer designs could be printed. The Japanese artists Yuzensai Miyazaki (1654-1736) and Zissukeo Hirose (1822-1890) are considered to be the inventors of the Yuzen print and Katagami stencils. These so-called hair stencils were used particularly in the textile industry. It was invented because the Japanese emperor only allowed more highly placed persons to wear embroidered clothes. Ordinary people were only allowed to wear simple clothes. Yuzensai has put an end to this through the silkscreen technique.
In the art world the silkscreen became more widely known when Andy Warhol started experimenting with this technique in the 1960s. After the silkscreen disappeared within the art world for a while, it is now gaining popularity again because street artists and contemporary pop-art artists have started using this technique again.