Apparel printing has been around for quite some time and, like any technology, advancements have been made beyond some of the original technologies like screen printing. Each printing technique has its benefits, but how effective and affordable are they? Today, we’re giving screen printing the spotlight for its long reign in the industry as well as to shed some light on when to choose screen printing for your own orders.
Why We Love It
Screen printing is still quite popular despite being one of the oldest printing techniques. Some clients prefer its texture and durability above others. This is often because screen printing maintains durability even through mass-scale printing. It is a great option for large scale companies that want to get fabrics printed in bulk.
You can use this method to have designs printed on pretty much every piece of fabric – from shirts to bed sheets and even curtains. Screen printing has remained reliable over the years and technology expansions because it’s suitable for almost every fabric type and garment shape, unlike other print methods that require specific fabric requirements.
Note, that the designs and colors used in screen printing are basic. Intricate designs are not typically suitable for this style of printing. Simple, block designs, big patterns, single-color shapes and embellishments are best suited for this method. Screen printing is great for efficiency and designs that are simplistic will help with that!
How it Compares
Though screen printing has been updated with the times, it is still considered to be one of the most labor intensive in the industry. Set up is laborious before printing can even begin. Designs must be separated into pieces by colour and burned individually into their own screens – a process that can take 1-2 days alone. It is simply not as feasible to do said set up for 10 shirts versus 200. This is why most screen printers have a required minimum unit number for orders. With that said, costs also spread themselves out with the more units you order.
Digital printing is a relatively newer technique that allows complicated patterns, multiple colors, and photo realistic designs on the fabric. Unlike screen printing, you can design the pattern on a computer and then get it transferred onto the fabric electronically and almost instantly.
Both digital printing and screen printing have their fair share of pros and cons. Digital printing is suitable for D.I.Y. projects and small-scale orders. Screen printing would be a practical solution for companies that want to complete large wholesale orders in a short time frame despite the volume requested. Digital printing methods can come at a cost though, as they often have increased prices per unit based on their own set up procedures.
When It’s Recommended
Let’s break it down now!
Screen printing is usually recommended for large sized orders. 50-100 units or more would get the client the most bang for their buck. You can print the same design on multiple garments regardless of their size, fabric, or colour. Screen printers focus on increasing productivity, so keeping that in mind can get you a lot of mixed garments at a decent cost. As mentioned, designs most suitable for screen printing are often simplistic in detail and have around 4-5 colours or less. If that’s you, then screen printing is the perfect option! Consider the size and scalability of the order before you make a choice.
Let’s Get You Started
Now that you’ve had some time to break down your job’s suitability, you’re ready to get ordering! Still lost? No worries! Here at Rogue Star, we have a team of design and production artists who can help you narrow down print method based on your needs or adjust your details to fit the requirements for screen printing. Give us a call today and we can get your order started! We’re more than happy to handle whatever sized order you have from wherever you’re based out of – Edmonton area or not!