Screen printing, also referred to as silk screen printing, is a highly versatile and widely utilized printing technique that has been around for many decades. This method involves a meticulous and layered process to create vivid and long-lasting prints on a variety of surfaces. A central component of screen printing is the creation of a stencil, historically made from silk, though nowadays, polyester or nylon screens are more common due to their durability. This stencil, which is often referred to as the screen, defines the image or design to be printed. To apply the ink, the screen is carefully positioned over the substrate, be it fabric, paper, plastic, glass, metal, or even wood. Then, a squeegee is used to force ink through the open areas of the stencil, transferring the desired image onto the surface below.
What sets screen printing apart is its suitability for producing bold and uncomplicated designs in bulk. It excels at creating vibrant and long-lasting prints with rich, opaque colors. This makes it the preferred choice for a wide range of applications, including custom apparel like t-shirts and hoodies, posters, banners, signage, and promotional products such as tote bags and drinkware. The versatility of screen printing allows for printing on both flat and contoured surfaces, making it adaptable for various artistic and commercial purposes. However, it's worth noting that screen printing can be less efficient and cost-effective for intricate, multi-colored designs and small print runs compared to other printing methods like digital printing. Despite this, it remains a go-to choice for projects requiring high-quality and enduring prints.
Type of Garment: For almost every product type we have an inexpensive, mid-range, and high end option, and there are many styles to choose from - not just t-shirts!
Quantity Ordered: Due to the setup involved in screen printing, the more shirts you order, the lower your price will be as you pass price break points.
Number of Locations Printed: Each location requires new setup and runs for your imprint. A front print only will always be cheaper than a front and back print.
Number of Colors on Each Design: The number of colors in each design affects the run time and setup for each location. A one color print will be less expensive than a three color print. If you have a lot of colors and tones of colors in your design, a process print may be a cheaper solution.
In-Hands Date: Orders are produced on-demand for your due date. Garments needed in a few days from your order placement date will be more expensive than those needed in a few weeks.
See the chart below for more detail on the advantages and disadvantages of each decoration type.
|Aspect||Screen Printing||Digital Printing||Heat Transfer|
|Full Color Designs (10+ colors)||Limited, dependent on the design||Yes. Great for photos, realistic images||Yes. Great for Full-color Prints, especially with vibrant colors|
|Durability||Very High||High, less durable than due to water-based inks||Very High|
|Cost-Efficiency (Order Size)||Most cost-effective for mid- size (1-3 print colors) to large orders (1-6 print colors)||Most cost-effective for 1-5 piece orders (1 color to full color prints)||Most cost-effective for mid-sized orders (4 print colors to full color prints)|
|Print Feel||Great feel when using dark colors inks. Good breathability with light color inks and large ink coverage||Great feel, soft and breathable||Great feel|
|Synthetic Materials||Certain colors and materials not recommended||Not recommended, best for 100% cotton apparel||A great option for syntical materials|
|Vibrancy||Very Vibrant||Muted, better for full color pictures||Very Vibrant|
|Specialty Prints/Inks||Limited: Glow-in-the-Dark||No||Yes: Foil, Glitter, Puff, and more|