Originating in China during the Song Dynasty around 1,000 years ago, screen printing has undergone massive changes over the centuries and only developed in its recognizable modern form since the 1960’s, when it became a customary method of printing designs onto T-shirts and other forms of apparel.
In more recent years, digital printing methods have appeared, and yet, traditional screen printing has largely held its ground. In fact, the screen printing industry seems to be booming and expanding faster than ever. Why?
Screen Printing Offers Several Advantages
The reason why screen printed items are as popular as they were decades ago is multifaceted. The advantages of this print technique are persuasive with sports teams, business owners, artists, and individuals who just want a custom-printed T-shirt more often than not. Here’s why:
1. Sharper, More Vibrant Images
Screen-printed fabrics absorb the ink deeper, and the ink is applied thicker, which yields greater vibrancy of color and greater durability as well.
For prints made to dark backgrounds, the advantage of screen printing over digital printing becomes stark, while the difference with lighter colored materials is more modest - but still discernible.
2. Incredible Versatility
A seemingly endless array of materials are good candidates for screen printing. This includes not only cotton, polyester, acrylics, jersey fabrics, wool, silk, and other textiles but also vinyl, metals, glass, foam board, and more.
You can use one printing company and one printing method for everything from T-shirts to posters to water bottles to umbrellas. The size and shape of the material can almost always be accommodated by the screen printing machine. Thus, it becomes the preferred method for both uniforms and a creative diversity of customized promotional items.
3. High-volume Efficiency
For high-volume orders especially, screen printing offers a high degree of cost efficiency. The speed at which large quantities of a product can be custom-printed is also very impressive with screen printing.
Now, digital printing may sometimes cost less per unit on very small orders, but even then it lacks the other benefits of a screen-printed product. But, with big orders of identical products, you’re almost always going to save money by opting for screen printing.
4. Extreme Durability
Durability of the bond between ink and print material, particularly with garments, is one of the strongest advantages screen printing possesses. Digital printing simply can’t compare on this front.
And if you go the extra mile and use heat drying, ink additives, and extra thick ink applications, you can enhance the durability yet further. Whether you’re talking about fading, cracking, scratching, or chemical/moisture damage, screen printed clothing scores high even after years of use and numerous times in the wash and dry cycle.
It’s possible to have an “eco-friendly” print shop regardless of which method you use, at least in theory, but in practice, it’s easier to accomplish with a screen-printing shop.
Screen prints can use water based inks that both absorb well into fabrics and are less of a threat to the environment. The use of more eco-friendly chemicals, reduction and recycling of waste, and the use of proper filtration systems are also all important and all very doable with screen printing.
These five advantages help explain the advent and resilience of the screen-printing industry. And they also indicate why consumers continue to choose this print method. To learn more, or to place an order, contact SportSanity Custom today!