Before anything else, let’s have a brief description of the screen printing and heat transfer processes. Screen printing refers to the forcing of inks through a stencil that is in a mesh material. Heat transfer, on the other hand, is a method of applying an image in T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats, bags and more by releasing an ink, dye, toner, etc. from a special transfer paper via heat. Now, let’s move onwards…
According to the article “Screen Printing vs. Heat Transfer” by Bruce Roberts which was posted at www.bfprinting.com, the author has mentioned some pros and cons in using the screen printing and heat transfer methods to produce printed apparels. The article has stated that screen printing is advisable if you are planning to do mass production of T-shirts. He has added that digital heat transfer must be considered for printing short runs because it avoids the expense and extra work of preparing screens and cleaning up ink and chemicals. With financial considerations, much money is needed in screen printing than in heat transfer if you want to set up a business. The screen printing process was also explained in Roberts’ article.
Advantages and Limitations of Screen Printing Screen printing is suitable for most projects which will be exposed to outdoor elements because of its inks that can last outdoors up to seven years against fading. Its other advantages include larger or smaller design format, use of half tones and blends, versatility and adaptability, great design reproduction capabilities, being good with fine detail, being economical on larger orders, and being permanent when applied properly. So, if you need printing on ridged materials like wood, glass, plastics, etc., it is absolutely the perfect choice for durability and value. However, it doesn’t work well on coarse textured substrates.
Advantages and Limitations of Heat Transfer The heat transfer process offers unlimited print color combinations, photographic quality reproductions, and the versatility to print small quantities with multicolor designs. It also allows an opportunity to have small quantities of shirts made with colorful designs at affordable prices. Moreover, heat transfer printed shirts are fully washable and can be ironed after a wash while screen-printed shirts cannot be ironed. However, this process doesn’t work properly on dark shirts.
There you have it, folks! With this information on screen printing and heat transfer, the choice is still left for you to decide on which process best suits you. I agree that both methods of printing can be truly fun and rewarding but then, there will always be one that will stand out from among these two. What do you think, is it screen printing or heat transfer?