Screen Printing vs Vinyl Printing; which is better?
There has been much discussion about which is better between vinyl printing and screen printing for t-shirts. Although both methods (screen printing vs vinyl ) offer lasting high-quality results, both have respective pros and cons that will be discussed in the article.
Did you know that the first shirts, created at the end of the 19th century, were intended as underwear and as clothing for people who had difficulty using buttons? Reduced to 2 centuries later, more than 3 billion shirts are sold every year.
It would be safe to say that the shirt has transcended all intentions, geographical areas and notions to be one of the most popular clothing options in the world. Much of the rise of the shirt to traditional clothing is due to the possibility of printing interesting things on them.
For many t-shirt buyers, color and printing on their shirts are an extension of their identity. We see it with almost all our customers. There are many thoughts they put into the designs they want on their shirts and attention to detail fascinates us! What is most interesting to us is the science of t-shirt printing. T-shirt printing began almost 60 years ago and today there are many ways to do it.
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Vinyl printing deals with heat transfer. Use a vinyl cutting machine to cut letters and drawings in colored vinyl and press them with the heat on the shirt to transfer the color. Vinyl printing actually depends on two things and this includes a combination of pressure and heat.
In this method, real screens are required. Basically, what you need to do is cut them to create patterns for the drawings. Then distribute the ink on each screen (only one color of ink per screen) and let it pass to the head below; You will need more screens to get the final product.
Now let’s look at the differences between screen printing and vinyl printing when customizing a t-shirt. Remember, both will provide lasting and quality results if the garment is worn correctly.
Vinyl printing is suitable for very small runs up to 16 shirts. This is due to the fact that the configuration time is reduced compared to that of screen printing. However, this method is much slower than screen printing because each shirt requires its own configuration. This, therefore, makes it too slow and profitable beyond the 16 shirt brand.
The configuration of the screen printing takes much longer than the vinyl print, but as soon as the configuration is finished, the printing process is rapid.
High speed is due to the fact that nothing has to change from shirt to shirt, as long as the designs remain the same. Screen printing is the right method if you want to work on large orders.
DETAIL AND COLOR: Screen Printing vs Vinyl
Vinyl printing is more suitable for simple graphics. If you are looking to create basic shapes or text-based designs, this is the method to use. Do you have to print the shirt numbers for your high school soccer team? Excellent! Do you want an elegant photograph of Madagascar penguins on your shirt? This method will not cut it. With vinyl printing, it is not possible to find real gradients (color fusion); Fine details will be easily lost.
If you are looking to print that photograph of the Penguins of Madagascar on your shirt, screen printing is the method that will do it for you.
This method allows access to a very high level of colors and details, which allows you to print photographs. In fact, complex designs arrive effortlessly and definitely beautiful. In addition, screen printing gives you access to a full range of colors; You can mix any tone you prefer.
With proper use, both methods should produce results that last for years. Here is a look at the life of the two methods and how to maximize it.
In normal use, the design should last more than five years. Following guidelines must be maintained for this purpose:
Do not dry clean the garment. Instead, wash it in a warm washing machine with a mild detergent. Dry the shirt with the normal configuration.
Do not use bleach with chlorine on the garment. Wait at least one day (24 hours) before the first wash after printing.
Graphics produced through screen printing should last the entire life of the shirt in normal and correct use. To prolong the life of the garment graphic, be sure to wash the garment upside down, only with cold water.
VINYL PRINTING VS SCREEN PRINTING
Screen Printing pros & cons
This is a popular printing technique on T-shirts and presents 3 key advantages:
It is economical: especially on a scale, the only significant expense is ink. The mesh screens are particularly durable and last for many printing sessions.
It is easily scalable: therefore, it is also easier to perform this printing technique on a large number of orders.
It is versatile as well.
But it does not arrive without its flaws:
Alignment problems: the serigraphy involves the positioning of several screens above the fabric in different positions. With more complex projects, alignment problems arise with bulk orders.
The resolution is not high: for high definition prints, screen printing is not recommended due to limited resolution.
Colour precision problems: since the colors are separated, the mix is also limited, which does not always guarantee that the color of the design is printed accurately.
Vinyl Printing Pros & Cons
Being a thermal press printing technique it has some obvious advantages:
Other positioning options: printing from the sleeve of the arm to the back of the shirts, whatever, you can do it with Cad Cut vinyl printing.
Minimum configuration cost: compared to other printing techniques, the configuration cost is much lower.
But as with any customizable design solution, there are disadvantages that go along with it:
Not scalable: if you print more than 20 pieces, this type of printing is generally not recommended.
Size limitations: with large drawings, this type of printing can add weight to the clothes, which is not always good
screen printing vs vinyl