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Posted on 21 Oct 2019

Comparison of Screen Printing with Vinyl T-shirt Printing

Screen and vinyl printing are two most popular methods for printing on t-shirts. Both these methods produce high-quality prints but still most people prefer vinyl printing. For understanding the benefits of vinyl printing, you must know the comparison between screen printing and vinyl t-shirt printing. It is based on various factors like:

1. Speed of output production:

Vinyl printing is more suitable when small sets of t-shirts are required. It produces up to 16 pieces in one run. The set-up time is more which causes the delay, which makes it slower than screen printing. Each piece will need to be setup first before it can be printed. This kind of delay also makes the whole process of vinyl printing cost-inefficient in case more than 16 pieces are to be printed. This number goes up to 25 in case of screen printing services. The setup here is also time consuming, but it is a one-time thing to do. Once it is done, the whole lot of 25 t-shirts can be printed one after the other. Note that this is applicable when the design is the same.

2. Detailing and colour quality:

If the design is simple and the detailing is less, then using vinyl graphics is a better way. Simple design means text or basic shapes of which school or university jerseys are an example. However, if the design is complex- something like a picture having various subjects in it, then vinyl printing won’t be suitable. The gradients in the colour won’t come up nicely through it. Before getting the t-shirts printed, you should talk about the requirements with a company providing screen printing services.

In the case of screen printing, finer details are better highlighted. The outcome is beautiful and complex designs are better handled by this method. It also gives you option to use various shades whose variety is not available in vinyl graphics.

3. Lifeline of the print:

Generally, the lifeline of the prints by both these methods is reasonably long. In normal conditions, the print can last up to 5 years. There are ways to increase it though. Things like not going for dry cleaning, drying at normal setting, not using the bleach, not washing within a day of printing, washing with cold water, washing it inside-out are some of the things that can be done to add some time in the lifespan of the print of the t-shirt. With screen printing, the print can last as long as the t-shirt lasts. This is probably the only factor where screen printing and vinyl printing stands at the same level. Rest depends on how the t-shirt is used and taken care of.

In summary, screen printing services are better only if the minimum order quantity is large enough. If the quantity is very small or different designs needs to be made in small batches, then vinyl would be a better option.