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What is the difference between digital print and screen print for your custom T-Shirts?

Jan 25, 2022 | Uncategorized

Digital print and screenprint are the two most common methods in custom t-shirts. Embroidery is another design method offered for decorating t-shirts and apparel. The choice of fabric, color, and print determine the choice between screen printing and digital print. Both screen and digital printing are lucrative business options and the demand and options are always on the rise. Screen printing software management services have taken the printing business to a new level of expertise and fluidity. The management has become smoother and production value has increased dramatically.

Digital printing and its benefits:

Digital printing is a relatively new method of printing customized designs on apparel and is also known as direct-to-garment printing. The ink used is for this type of printing is a lightweight water-based ink that absorbs easily into the garment fibers without any mess. Digital printing involves your artwork being processed by a computer and then converted to a format that prints directly onto the surface of your product. The printing industry has benefited from digital technology advances.

The digital printing method is usually used by T-shirt printing shops for a range of designs that can be chosen and digitally printed on t-shirts effortlessly.

Low per copy cost – If you have a small screen print shop, digital printing is much more economical as the setup costs are lower.

Faster turnaround – Digital printing is faster because there are no screens to create and set up. Particularly with complex designs where many screens are needed, a digital design does it all in one. The ink is applied thinner, meaning so less drying time too.

Photographic print effects – Without the need for screens and the thinner ink application, digital printing gives a photographic print quality with more detail than the traditional screen process. If your design best suits a modern and crisp finish then digital printing may be the way to go. It’s worth knowing that lighter-colored shirts show up better with digital.

Flexible with changes – It is easy to make changes in your design details and pattern in the digital printing process. If you change your marketing material frequently or want items personalized, digital printing is the best option. T-shirt printing shops often facilitate their customer with this option of sharing designs and getting them changed as per their liking before it goes for the final print.

Screen printing and its benefits.

Screen printing has been around for centuries. The ancient Egyptians used it, and it’s reported as early as 960AD in China. The Industrial Revolution then popularised the process for commercial fabric printing. Another common name for screen printing is silkscreen printing. At the start of this process, the artwork is first burned into the mesh screens. This creates a stencil of your artwork which will then be placed directly over your garment of choice. Next, the screens are loaded to a printing machine, and ink is added to be wiped over the “stencil”. For every color in the artwork, a different screen is created. Each layer of color is printed in separate runs. The last step is to let the inks on the t-shirt dry.

Vibrant colour – When you need very vibrant colours, a softer or nostalgic appearance, then screen printing is perfect for the job. Screen printing involves a thick application of ink, which results in a brighter colour finish that is best suited to darker-coloured fabrics and speciality products. A small screen print shop can also deliver the best results.

Cost-effective for larger jobs – If you require a high volume of repeat batches of printed material and custom t-shirts, screen printing is ideal. The initial setup costs can be expensive, however, the more you order the more economical it becomes. If you’re going to need more down the track, the artwork is already done so provided there are no changes, you can do another run easily. There is minimum order quantity because of the extra materials to make the screens and labor time setting up. With the help of screen printing software management, orders can be taken, tracked and payment for the same can be done much more smoothly and effectively. A small screen print shop can also take high-volume orders and repeat them according to the requirement of the order.

Customisable – Due to the thickness of ink used in this process, the printers can apply layers upon layers of ink to create unique effects. There is a broader range of inks and dyes available for screen printing than for digital printing to consider when you create your own t-shirt and products. Commercial print shops provide a unique design printing with the use of inks and dyes of a wide range.

Versatality – Screen printing works on all kinds of different materials, fabric and surfaces, not just cotton and cotton blends. The artwork can also be rearranged easily into different angles or positions on the product. Commercial print shops take order of designs on all types of fabrics.

Digital printing works like a big inkjet printer for products. Your design is uploaded to a computer that then prints directly onto your merchandise. Meanwhile, screen printing involves custom stencil (screen) creation. Each color requires a screen and applying thicker and multiple layers of ink to achieve the artwork detail. Each method has its own benefits and the deciding factor always narrows down to what requirement is at hand and which method of the two is best suited for it. In brief, if you wanted 100 individually personalized prints, the digital print would suit your needs. Alternatively, if you needed a higher quantity of prints that didn’t have to be personalized, then screen printing maybe your best option. Both methods have different finishes too – if you’re looking for a more authentic, retro or softer look, you may be more interested in screen printing, however, if you’re looking for a more modern, fresh, and crisp finish then digital printing is something to consider. This is just one of the things you have to consider when trying to work out the best printing method for you; we list the main benefits and drawbacks of each method below.