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What Are the Advantages And Disadvantages Of Screen Printing?

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The Advantages

A long-lasting effect

With T-Shirt Screen Printing Jacksonville FL | Custom Printing | Prints R Us, designs can withstand far more stress than other methods without losing quality because of the composition and thickness of inks used. A long sleeve safety orange T-shirt is printed on a screen printing press

Friendly to large orders

Due to the requirement of fabricating screens for every color in an artwork, this method should be reserved for large orders. The smaller the order, the cheaper the per-unit cost will be.

An excellent finish

The vibrant colors produced by screen printing cannot be replicated by other printing techniques. For direct-to-garment printing (DTG), cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) dots are used. The ability to replicate details with this method is excellent, but it pales in comparison to screen printing (literally).

The need for more ink

Ink thickness is greater with screen printing than with other techniques, so the piece can be finished differently.

5- Versatility

There are few printing methods that are as versatile as screen printing. You can do it on almost any flat surface, whether it is fabric, wood, plastic, or even metal.

Shirts for kids are great for screen printing

A straight-forward approach

This is a fundamental process that doesn’t change whether it’s automated or done by hand. Unlike other technologies, the tools are easy to replace and won’t become obsolete as quickly.

Disadvantages

Unpractical for small orders

It has already been mentioned that screen printing requires more preparation before going into production than other techniques. “On-demand” printing, where a garment is created as soon as it is ordered, is not feasible because of the additional setup time.

Colors Make It Expensive

There’s a bit of a hassle involved in creating screens for each color. It is better to keep designs for screen printing with as few tones as possible because they complicate the process and make it more expensive.

Environmentally Unfriendly

Despite efforts to create eco-friendly inks and screens, screen printing still wastes a lot of water. Mixing inks and cleaning screens use water, which might not seem like much, but when you add it up, it adds up. Manufacturers produce hundreds of garments every day (if not thousands).

Complexity

Because screen printing involves more steps than other methods, it can be quite complex depending on the design and project.

Difficult To Remove

It is difficult to remove a screen print from a t-shirt. T-shirt fabrics are well suited to plastisol ink because it works well with them. You can sometimes add a new print to an existing shirt by purchasing a new one. Although difficult to remove, you can use nail polish remover or spot removal fluid.

Home screen printing is messy

The process of screen printing in your bathroom or garage is extremely messy. Would you consider using a screen print press in a bathroom even if you wanted to save money on overhead? In addition, your garage is full of grease, dust, and ink. But more importantly, how can you attract customers to your shop?

Types of Screen Printing Inks

Among the most commonly used screenprinting inks are discharge inks, plastisol inks, and water-based inks.

Depending on the material and printing pattern, these inks have different properties. Using these inks requires specific skills and expertise. A significant increase has been observed in the demand for soft-hand screenprints in apparel and accessories over the past few years.

In terms of prints, customers are increasingly interested in soft, subtle prints that do not feel plastic-like when touched. The use of water-based inks for printing is steadily catching up with the demand for such soft prints.

How does water-based screen printing ink work?

An ink that dissolves in water is called a water-based ink. To carry the color pigments, these inks use water as their primary component. Unlike plastisol ink, water-based ink completely soaks into the fabric instead of sitting on top. It is for this reason that water-based inks provide a soft, clean, and long-lasting print. 

Furthermore, water-based ink is easy to work with for those who do not have or have little experience with screen printing. It takes time and proper heat for the ink to fully dry because it gets soaked up into the fabric fibers.

You can choose from a variety of water-based inks. High solid acrylic inks (HSA) and ready to use inks (RFU) are both available.

Water-based inks are easier to work with and offer a great finish. Pre-mixed colors are available in a wide variety of vibrant hues in RFU inks. Lighter fabrics can be used directly with these colors. When using RFU on dark fabrics, use a white under base for proper pigmentation, higher coverage, and a sleek finish.

Inks formulated with high solid acrylics are designed to solve some of the problems associated with traditional water-based inks.

Traditionally, water-based inks are thin, runny, and transparent. Furthermore, screen ink tends to dry out on its own. All these concerns can be addressed with high solid acrylic inks. 

Plastisol inks have plastisol-like properties thanks to a thickening binder added to them. It is possible to print on top of each other with HSA inks because they dry slowly and can stretch.

Additionally, HSA inks are suitable for complex prints such as halftones and simulated prints. Soft and clean results are produced with this ink, which works much like plastisol ink. 

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