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What Is Screen Print Vs Digital Print

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By Author: Kim Smith
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There is always a debate as to which is better: Screen Printing or Digital Printing. Traditionally, screen printing is favored. However, with the advent of the latest technology, Digital Printing is gaining pace in the market. So, before jumping to any conclusion, let us first acquaint us with the respective types of printing.

Screen Printing
For screen printing, technicians first create the stencil. After this, special inks are used to print through the stencil on the garment layer by layer.
For every color, the technician uses one screen plate. Therefore, the number of plates needed grows with the number of colors. That is why; printers often try to cut the cost by printing more number of garments with the plates. Screen printing is more traditional that has somehow managed to survive in a modern world where printers need thousands of impressions at once.

Digital Printing
Digital Printing is a much more advanced printing process. It involves the process of printing directly on to the surface of the fabric. In addition, there is no heating process involved in digital printing. It does not need any separate stencils for different colors either which drastically cuts cost. Hence, this type of printing suits businesses where the output is on the lower side.

Benefits:

Garments
Screen printing offers an edge over digital printing when it comes to the range of color. It is also more suited for t-shirts where the design to be printed is all over it. It gives you flexibility over the garments, whereas digital printing are not much suited for light colored garments.

Cost
Digital printing comes to the rescue when printers need high amounts of details but a smaller quantity of print output. Moreover, the process involves zero heavy setups and is quite fast, cutting costs.

Feel
The print on the T-shirt should feel like that, there is nothing extra on it. Digital Printing gives you the best result when used on light and soft t-shirts. Screen printing is still used to give the desired feel on heavy and dark colored t-shirts.

Fabric
Screen printing can be used on a variety of fabrics like cotton, polyester, and Teflon coated etc. Digital Printing is mostly used for 100% cotton or polyester fabrics. Though this gap is narrowing down, but screen painting still has an edge over digital printing when it comes to the variety of fabrics that can be used.

Appeal
When used on the kind of fabrics that go with the type of printing, both types of printing offer a crispy and clear print on the t-shirts. Nevertheless, choice becomes more important when appeal factor is taken into consideration. Gonzo inks cannot be used in digital printing, whereas the same can be used in screen painting. The glow in the dark gives a definite edge to screen painting over digital printing.

Speed and Labor
Nothing can beat digital printing when it comes to speed. If the client/customer is in urgent need of the order, Digital Printing is the only option. The labor is also very much less in digital printing and results are quicker than in screen printing.

A business owner should base his/her decision on the analysis of cost, labor, final output result, time to finish and profit of margin. Moreover, the decision depends on what style of prints are in demand.

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