Screen printing is a great process for larger order of printed t-shirts (10+) and larger designs. Screen-printed t-shirts wash well and can maintain the print quality for some time. This process should not be confused with heat transfer printing (or thermal prints). Transfer prints do not last as well and are not as good in terms of print quality.
When screen printing, one colour at a time is applied and therefore the cost will increase with each additional colour applied. For each separate colour an additional screen is required, so a design with 4 colours in it will need 4 screens, this can make screen printing in many colours uneconomical if only a small run of clothing is required and digital printing might be a cheaper option. At the other end of the number scale the cost of 4 screens spread over a large number of garments doesn't add a lot extra to the cost per shirt. We have price breaks at 1-10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and at 500. If you want more than 500 then we will produce a bespoke quote for you. You can combine garments to get to the next price bracket as long as the print remains the same. If the print size is changed then this counts as a separate print run.
Pros and cons of screen printing
- Pros – Great for orders of 10 printed t-shirts or more; high quality, long-lasting print.
- The cons – Relatively high set-up cost on orders fewer than 10 printed t-shirts, particularly if there are a lot of colours in the design.
We will send a mock up of your design before we start printing to ensure you are happy with the design and colour/s used.
A digital heat transfer involves the logo or photo being printed onto a vinyl transfer paper with the machine cutting as required. This transfer is then applied to the garment using heat where it is “pressed” against the garment using a heat press that looks much like a modern-day sandwich press. The heat and time to press depends on the garments and inks used.
Generally, digital transfer is used for smaller run orders or some orders with lots of colours due to the setup costs associated with screen printing and for photos to be pressed onto the garment. For larger runs screen printing is the preferred option because application is generally quicker and more automated.
For screen printing, say your logo has 4 colours there would be four setups required, one for each screen. Instead with a digital transfer there is just the one setup. Hence digital transfer is the preferred option for small cost-conscious orders or prints that have a lot of detailed colours.