Print Quality – What’s Best?

BRANDING QUESTION OF THE WEEK (BQW)

Topic of Concern

Types of Printing – Which will last longer?

Question

What’s the difference in screen printing and dye sublimation printing and which is best? I order custom products on a regular basis but notice different companies use different types of printing. Why is that and is one better than the other?

Solution

Great question! I used to be confused too.

Here’s a quick explanation on the differences between screen printing and dye sublimation printing and which is more efficient.

Screen printing (aka silk screen):

Screen printing is used to print a design directly on top of a fabric and can be done on color or white fabrics.

The process includes ink being pressed onto a stencil through a screen and onto the fabric. This can be done by hand or by machine.

Due to the ink being layered on top of the fabric, screen printing is prone to cracking and flaking and the quality of print does not last as long as its printing counterpart.

Silk screen is ideal for bulk orders to keep cost down, but the life of the product is shorter lived.

Dye sublimation printing:

Dye sublimation printing is when a design is dyed directly into the fabric vs on top of the fabric. In order to achieve the desired dye color, the fabric used during the printing process must always be white.

Through dye sublimation the ink prints inside of the fabrics fibers and doesn’t peel away over time, therefore this style of printing increases the quality and life of the custom product. The cost will be slightly higher than that of screen printing.

Both screen printing and dye sublimation printing our ways to brand and label any item that is fabric. Depending on the product you order, whether custom tote bags, custom t-shirts or a custom canopy, the printer may use either printing styles to customize a product.

There are other printing systems used for items like promotional water bottles, custom pens and trendy custom pop sockets where screen printing and dye sublimation printing are not used.

 

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