You see all these cool custom-made T-shirts, tote bags, caps, and you think it might be a great idea to start printing your own stuff. Now that you have decided to go into this business, or you want just to do it for fun, you may discover finding the right type of printer to be quite confusing. Heat Press Review helps decide by explaining the difference between these two options.
Screen printing versus heat press
Both these methods need to be understood individually before we make comparisons. If you want to screen print at home, there are 12 steps involved: getting supplies, preparing screen, selecting emulsion, spreading emulsion, drying screen, making print transparent, exposing screen, checking screen, cleaning screen, preparing to print, inking the image and finishing.
Now we move on to the steps involved in heat press printing:
- Select the image you want to print
- Print your image onto transfer paper
- Trim the image to be printed
- Setup the heat press (temperature, timer)
- Place the material to be printed on the heat press
- Place the image on the material
- Start the heat press
- Once it stops open the cover and remove the printed material
Now you can easily see that screen printing requires more time and effort than heat press printing.
Which is more economical?
Now we come to the tricky part-deciding which process is more economical. Obviously, screen printing is more time consuming and costly. But, how many items are you planning to get printed in one batch. If it is a small batch of a dozen or two, then screen printing will be costlier.
If you want to print team shirts, then you should go with the heat press review. But if you are asked to print a batch of 100 or more items, screen printing is more cost-effective.
But why would you invest in a heat press if you plan to print a dozen or two items. Investing in this will be something for a hobbyist and not for serious business. If you plan to do bulk printing in large quantities, then you should go down the screen-printing road.
Pros and Cons
Screen printing or heat press? Printing press makers and users both will insist that their recommendation is the right solution.
Both printing methods have their benefits and disadvantages. These are just some of the points that are widely discussed.
- Only certain materials can be printed.
- The image colour will fade in washes.
- The image won't be bright.
- Some colours won't show in the image
- Only certain colour materials can be printed.
- The image will seep through the fabric and feel sticky.
What is a feasible solution?
If you want to take up printing as a hobby and do small odd printing jobs, then go for a heat press. If you plan to go big-time into the printing business, then go for screen printing.
But a sensible solution is to opt for both. By investing in both, you offer a wider choice to your customers and are not limited to the items you can print or the material. So you can start small and expand later, or if you have done your homework right, you can invest in both and get on the way to your printing business. Best of luck in whichever venture you choose!