Screen Printing T-Shirts – Pros & Cons
T-shirt screen printing and direct to garment printing are two methods used by printers to achieve different sets of results nowadays. Making an informed choice between the two is possible only if you’re aware of the pros and cons of the both. The article mainly discusses advantages and disadvantages of screen printing t-shirts. In this case, an image or design is transferred on to the garment with the help of a mesh screen and stencil. The design created on the screen (polyester or silk) is pasted on the t-shirt.
Advantages of Screen Printing T-Shirts
• According to experts in the printing industry, screen printing can help you achieve superior print quality. It may seem a little odd as DTG is backed by advanced technology and therefore, the print quality of a DTG print should be higher. The fact of the matter, however, is that direct bonding of the ink to the t-shirt ensures a durable and fine print. Strange but true! This precisely the reason why many garment manufacturers still continue to use screen printing technique for producing high quality t-shirts and other apparels.
• Screen printing can work on all sorts of t-shirt designs. It’s even possible to use screen printing if you need to print an image or design on a jacket, collar, bag or hat. In other words, screen printing t-shirts is actually a versatile technique and that’s the reason why it’s still in use.
• If it’s a bulk order, the total cost involved reduces significantly. It’s the creation of screens that’s time consuming and expensive. For bulk orders, therefore, the setup cost is low. A manufacturer can give you a clear number, beyond which the total printing cost comes down to minimum (per piece).
Disadvantages of Screen Printing T-Shirts
• If you just want to print few t-shirts, screen printing is certainly not a cost-effective solution. For small orders, the setup costs (preparing screens and ink) are too high and thus screen printing becomes an expensive garment printing solution. Most companies that provide t-shirt screen printing services charge a flat fee for the effort involved in preparing stencils and ink.
• The tools and other materials required for screen printing are more in number when compared to direct to garment printing process. Startup, therefore, is slightly difficult and more complex if this technique is to be used at a garment printing facility, whether small or large.
• If it’s a ‘reproduction’ of an image or design, screen printing is certainly not the right solution for you. It’s a digital garment printer that can produce an exact replica of a digital image and not screen printing. Moreover, designs meant for a digital garment printer can be altered with great ease without having to change the required stencils all over again!
• Screen printing is no doubt labor intensive unlike DTG where a machine (costing around $10,000 to $30,000) can produce printed t-shirts on the go without requiring any serious inputs.