Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing

Throughout decades, many printing methods have been established around the globe. However, only two techniques have stood the test of time – Digital printing and screen printing. What are their differences, you ask?

In screen printing (the older of the two), a stencil is created and used to apply ink layers on the surface to be printed. The stencil – also referred to as a screen during printing – applies different color layers on the surface, each at a time. This assortment of color layers combines to achieve the final print look.


Digital printing, on the other hand, is a more advanced printing process. A computer is used to process your selected artwork, after which special printers are used to print the processed image onto the surface of your fabric. Heat transfer is not used here. Instead, the ink is efficiently adhered onto the selected attire.

Pros and cons

Both printing processes have their fair share of benefits and shortcomings. Screen printing, for instance, best suits designs that need a high degree of vibrancy. This could apply to cases where you require printing dark shirts, or for a highly unique product. More ink is used in screen printing, leading to thicker prints and bright, crisp colors even on the darkest attire. Screen printers can easily print unique products such as curved water bottles and cups. On the down side, screen printing is both time and labor intensive.

Digital printing is perfect for prints requiring a high degree of detail. It is mainly used for small-scale printing orders. Since digital printers don’t rely on screens, it’s possible to produce an outstanding photographic print. Compared to the traditional screen printing, digital printing results in more detailed prints. However, this printing method achieves lighter colored garments since thinner ink is applied. This allows the intricate design to shine easily. The only downer is the fact that few garments can be printed digitally.

Which printing method should you use?


Before making a choice between Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing, it’s crucial to factor in some issues. For instance, what is the nature of your printing surface? Would you prefer a radiating shirt with bright, beaming colors or would you prefer a simple, laid-back print that has sharp contrast and lighter colors?

If you desire a design look that’s subtle and feels light, almost like there’s nothing printed, then digital printing could serve this role perfectly. On the other hand, screen printing will help you achieve a deep, eye-catching print that perfectly puts your design out there. It especially blends well with black t-shirts and other dark attire.

The type of garment material also matters when choosing between Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing. When it comes to printing, cotton is always preferred since it readily absorbs ink. Screen printing can be applied on a diverse range of fabric including nylon, polyester, bamboo and burlap. Digital printing is limited to only cotton and polyester garments.

How to Create Graphics for Clothes

yellowishMany people have printed graphics clothes that have cracked and split, making the cloth look terrible. Some people have had their clothing specially made or bought it from a concert or other occasion to remember it. These items of clothing can be expensive and will not last very long if you do not know how to properly care for them. Getting the most out of your graphic tee is not an issue if you follow a few rules when cleaning and wearing it.

The first thing to do is to buy detergent that will not harm your clothing. Look for detergent that has been made to be gentle on colors or generally delicate on clothing. Some laundry detergents are very harsh and will fade and destroy custom clothing very quickly. The detergent may be more expensive than what you are used to, but if you only use it on certain clothing then it will last for a longer period of time.

Set your washer on a delicate setting for your clothes.

Your washer should have a gentle or delicate cycle that can help you to preserve the graphic on your clothes for a long period of time. Some people have a hand wash setting on their washer that they use for printed graphic clothing. If you take your clothes to a Laundromat, you should not have any trouble finding a washer with a gentle or delicate cycle.

b-wMake sure you are color separating the clothes before washing. You do not want your cloth to look dingy or have other colors bleed into it. You don’t want the colors from it to bleed onto your other clothes, either. Separate the darks from the lights and wash them accordingly. All of your clothes will benefit from the color separation before washing.

It can be tempting to throw everything together when you don’t have a lot of time, but if you plan ahead and have two hampers, you can make the separation a lot easier. As soon as you take your clothes off, separate them between the two hampers according to light and dark colors. If you don’t have hampers and throw all of your clothes down a laundry chute, you may want to at least get a laundry basket and keep light or dark clothes aside.

tshirtWash your clothes in cold water and make sure the clothes are inside-out. Cold water prevents peeling and shrinking of the clothes and graphic, and it will save you a little money on your energy bill. Make sure your graphic cloth is inside-out to further protect the graphic from cracking and other damage. Again, as soon as you take the shirt off, turn it inside-out to save time later.

Hang your shirt to dry. The heat from the dryer can severely damage your graphic cloth. The signs of damage may not be visible at first, but eventually you will see what the heat has done to destroy your clothes. You can hang your shirt on a wooden hanger anywhere that you have the space to hang it; you do not need a clothesline to do this.