If you’re thinking about starting a business making custom-printed apparel, having the right tools is essential. Of course, the most important tool creating graphic printed clothing is the device that will transfer the designs.
Heat pressing and silk screen printing are the two most common methods used for applying printed designs on textiles. While both methods yield relatively similar results, the process involved is quite different. The option you choose can have a big impact on your bottom line and the overall success of your business.
So, which should you choose: heat pressing or silk screening? If you want your business to be as lucrative as possible, the former is definitely the way to go. Why? – Read on to find out.
Heat Pressing vs Screen Printing
Both heat pressing and screen printing are used to create images on substrates, and both methods can produce amazing results; however, the two processes differ greatly. Below, we outline the process involved with each method so you can gain a better understanding of why using a heat press machine is a better option than screen printing for the overall success of your graphic garment production business.
The process of heat pressing involves using a heat press machine, which applies graphic images and designs to substrates using both heat and pressure.
With heat pressing, a design is either printed on heat transfer paper or cut out of heat transfer vinyl with a vinyl cutter machine. The design is then pressed into a medium – T-shirts, tote bags, baseball caps, etc – with a heat press machine. Of all the different methods used to create graphic printed items – including screen printing – the heat press machine is the preferred method for business owners. Why? – Because it’s easier and yields faster results than screen printing; plus, the creative options are virtually limitless. A heat press machine can be used to apply images and designs onto a wide-variety of substrates, and there’s no limit to the type of designs that can be created.
Silk Screen Printing
With silk screen printing, a design is cut into mesh screens, and the screens serve as stencils. The screens are laid onto a substrate – a T-shirt, for example – and then ink is spread over the top of the screen. The ink passes through the screen to the item underneath it, imprinting the stencil onto the item.
While screen printing can produce incredible graphic images, the process is limiting. For example, only a single color can be applied to one screen, so if you want to create a print with several colors, you’ll need to use several screens. Obviously, it’s more cumbersome and takes a lot more time. It can also become quite expensive. Furthermore, the design options are limited to the images that can be cut into the screens and cutting screens into stencils can be a difficult process. Lastly, while silk screening can be used to apply designs to various mediums, it can be used to create designs on as many substrates as heat pressing can.
Which is Better?
While heat pressing and screen printing can produce incredible results, if you’re looking to turn out products as quickly as possible and you want to invest the lowest amount of money possible, the heat press machine is a better option than a screen printing machine. Because it’s easier to use, less complex, the design options are virtually limitless, less cost prohibitive, and you can produce large quantities at a faster rate, you’ll see a better return on investment for your business when you invest in a heat press machine.