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Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing

Posted on 31 December 2017

Many custom clothing designers are heavily involved in the debate of digital printing vs. screen printing. Although digital printing is a newer process and screen printing is a tried, tested and true method that has been around as early as the Chinese Song Dynasty, many designers are still torn as to which they prefer to work with. Usually, when it comes to digital printing vs. screen printing, many people opt for the latter since they are looking to place a bulk order without sacrificing quality.

Let’s explore both types of printing below:

What does the screen printing process involve?

The screen printing process (sometimes referred to as silk screening) uses several stencils (known as screens) to apply layers of ink to items and materials. Each colour of your design needs its own stencil and must be applied one at a time to ensure that no details are missed. Screen printing requires more labour than digital printing but the results are generally brighter with better detailing. The ink used in screen printing is thicker than that used in digital printing and can withstand heavy washing without fading.

How does digital printing work?

Digital printing is a design process that involves processing a design on a computer before printing it directly onto a product or material. Because the ink is directly applied to the material it works best on lighter coloured materials, otherwise you risk losing the smaller details in your design. Digital printing does not require screens and takes little time to set up. However, you can only print one item at a time making bulk orders near impossible.

Digital printing vs. screen printing: Which is more vibrant?

Both types of printing offer many benefits but if you’re looking to choose one for your custom clothing needs, we can help you make the right decision. In the digital printing vs. screen printing debate, we stand by screen printing at R&P Prints. We like giving our clients vibrant designs that won’t fade after multiple washings.

Screen printing is more effective on dark clothing and speciality products because, as aforementioned, the ink is applied thicker than it would be for a digital print job. In addition, bulk orders will benefit from screen printing because each item of clothing no matter the colour will get the same amount of ink applied to it. For instance, if you were ordering a large quantity of active wear to outfit your entire basketball team and needed separate get-ups for your home and away games, you could get the same design screen printed to on each piece no matter the size and colour.

At R&P Prints we specialize in custom printing. We offer free estimates, no delivery charges or setup fees and a huge selection of items such as shirts, active wear, hats, bags, sweats and more. Contact us today and we can help you solve the digital printing vs. screen printing debate and determine the best option for your needs.

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