How Does Screen Printing Clothing Compare to Digital Printing?

Screen printing technology has been around for over 100 years, but like most industries, the printing industry has evolved with advances in technology. One of the newer advancements in printing is digital printing, which was created in the early 90's.

The main difference between silk screen printing and digital printing is that the digital printing process allows designs to be taken from a computer and printed directly on a shirt. This is a process known as Direct to Garment printing (DTG). Let's take a deeper look at how digital printing compares to screen printing.

Digital Printing

Pros & Cons of Digital Printing

The main advantage of digital printing is that you can use as many colors as you want to recreate anything you desire. Imagine digital printing like printing out a piece of paper from your printer at home, except on a much larger scale with ink made for fabric. That means you're also able to achieve a higher degree of detail with digital printing than with screen printing.

However, digital printing is limited to exclusively 100% cotton apparel whereas screen printing can be done on virtually any material. Digital printing also tends to be more expensive than screen printing and is a bit more time consuming. Check out our complete digital printing capabilities here

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Pros & Cons of Screen Printing

Custom screen printing is the most popular decoration method in the world thanks to its versatility, efficiency, and vibrancy. When it comes to customizing a large number of products, there is no decoration method more efficient and cost-effective than custom screen printing. Screen printing can also be done on just about any fabric or surface as long as it lays flay.

While custom screen printing is ideal for bulk orders, the materials and cleanup that go into screen printing make it a less ideal customization method for single products and smaller order sizes. Additionally, screen printing limits the number of colors used more than digital printing. Screen printed logos and designs usually turn out best when four or fewer colors are used. Like DTG printing, screen printing is typically reserved for items than can be laid flat. For solid objects like drinkware and 

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Next Steps

Both screen printing and digital printing are decoration methods available at Merchology. You can read more about the screen printing process and our screen printing capabilities, or check out our complete Custom Decoration Methods Guide to find the perfect decoration type for any application.


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