Direct to Fabric vs Screen Print; The Pros and Cons of Each

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Direct to Fabric vs Screen Print; The Pros and Cons of Each


Direct to fabric printing, also known as digital printing, is a newer printing process that involves printing a computer-processed image directly onto the fabric of your product. This printing method does not involve any heat transfer or adhesive. The ink used in digital printing adheres to the fibers of the actual item (shirt, hat, blanket, etc).

Screen printing requires creating a stencil, and then repeatedly using that stencil to imprint layers of ink onto the printing surface of your merchandise. Each color is added with a different stencil, one by one, until the image is complete. Both screen and digital printing have their strengths. Other than technique, there are some main differences between both printing styles.

Digital printing performs best with items that demand a high level of detail. Digital printing methods are able to create a photographic print, which projects a full digital image with significantly more detail than a traditional screen print. Without the cost associated with setting up stencils and the physical printing process, as with screen printing, direct to fabric printing is ideal for smaller-sized orders.

Screen printing is the best option for items that require a finished product with a high level of vibrancy, such as for specialty products or when printing on dark materials. Since the ink is applied thicker in screen printing, the image produced is more vibrant than with digital printing. With products being printed by hand, there is a market for unique products, such as printing on mugs, water bottles, or koozies. A screen printing process can handle uneven and curved surfaces, but does generally come with a minimum order quantity, due to the extra time and labor it takes to print in this fashion.

BilityPrints offers both screen and digital printing methods for your printing needs. Our experienced staff reviews every project and makes sure the best option is selected for each and every project we handle. Let us know what we can print for you today!

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