Screen printing is a well-known technique used in an entire scope of many industries. Even if you don't know about screen printing, you must have worn or utilized a screen-printed item. Screen printing is also known as silk-screen printing or serigraphy. But these names refer to a similar basic approach. Generally, as with all printing techniques, it has its advantages and disadvantages. But it depends on your requirements whether it is the best technique for you or not.
Screen printing is the method of moving a stenciled design to a plane surface. It includes the squeegee, ink, and mesh screen. Paper and fabric are the most popular screen-printed materials. But with the particular inks, you can print onto glass, plastic, metal, and even wood. It makes a stencil on a fine mesh screen then pushes ink for making an imprint of your design on the surface.
Sometimes, you can call it silk screen printing, screen printing, or silk screening. The printing process is always the same. But the mesh stencil creation process can be different contingent upon the materials utilized purposes. Screen printing is a widespread use method for garments design, creating posters, bold canvases, or artwork.
Advantages of Screen Printing
Designs printed by this technique can withstand more friction than by other printing methods. And it will not miss the quality of the original print. Because of the thickness of inks and the composition of screen printing.
Screen printing is a technique known for its adaptability. You can print on any surfaces, such as textiles, tapes, plastic, wood, or metal. To give some examples, you can print on shirts, signs, stationery, and a lot more! Screen printing is likewise adaptable with regards to items shaping. The technique is error-free if you want to print designs onto more obscure shaped items.
- Big Orders Friendly
Since this is a technique that needs to make separate screen for each color in any printing work. So, it is the best saved for big orders. The more quantity with the same printing put in an order, the less expensive the cost per unit will be.
It is a basic technique that doesn't need quick changes whether it’s automated or not. It's not tough to replace the tools in screen printing. They won’t get obsolete fast like other technologies.
- High Quality
One of the key benefits of screen printing is the excellent outcomes it gives. The screen-printing quality is much higher than different sorts of printing. Screen printing is a versatile printing technique that works great on different materials . When it comes to garments, the heat-dried ink in screen printing is hard to manage. Especially for a couple of washes without cracking or fading.
- Extraordinary Finish
Screen printing creates rich and vivid colors. The colors that are difficult to copy by other printing methods. Other printing like DTG (Direct to Garment) design CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) dots. These dots can reproduce the pictures, but it generally pales in contrast with screen printing. because screen printing is an incredible technique to focus on details.
One of the marvels of screen printing is that the more items you need to print, the cheaper it gets. Instead of having an intricate set-up process, screen printing needs to be set-up once. So, you can plan your design and start! This is something extraordinary. If you have a high volume of items to print, your expenses won't increase. Which is different from other techniques like digital printing
Disadvantages of Screen Printing
- Time Consuming
The set-up of screen printing is more complicated than any heat press or digital printing. It likewise takes more time, so it has a slow turnaround time than other print techniques. Generally speaking, the set-up of screen-printing includes three main steps.
First, design your patterns on a computer in AI or CDR format.
Second, output your design on the screen printing films.
Third, transfer your designs from the film to the fine-mesh screens. For each color of your designs, it needs a new mesh screen always.
- Needs High Print Volume
Screen printing is an ideal choice for the same items in high volumes. But it is not cost-effective if you have a couple of different patterns to print. A few printers will even limit the production capacity. So, it’s better to discuss all these facts with your print supplier first.
- Limited Color Choices
If you want to print a design using a great variety of colors then screen printing is not suitable for you. It is also not suitable for those who are looking for photography-based designs. It mixes the spot tones with a great measure of accuracy. But accomplishing explicit inclinations or shades is difficult.
Most of the print suppliers offer a limited number of color choices to choose from. So, it's better to approach your print supplier for advice considering your design. And ask how it can affect your products.
- Not environment friendly
Many people made efforts to make environment-friendly screens and inks but get failed. We can't deny the fact that screen printing wastes a large amount of water. Screen printing uses water to blend inks and clear the screens. It might not seem like much, but manufacturers create thousands of products in a day. So, when we begin to add up, it can get frightening.
- Needs More Equipment
Screen printing needs different pieces of equipment. Like meshes, ink, emulsion fluids, all needed to finish the screen-printing procedure. This extra equipment usually implies more expense for the buyer. For instance, a design with more colors will cost more than the pattern with one color only. You know why? Due to the extra expense to make various screens. The screens utilized in this method can become damaged or warp over time.
- Screen Print Complex Photo Picture
The outcomes of reproducing a picture can be less attractive. To do great picture reproduction, a skilled person must adjust the picture first. And then reproduce it onto the screens. Direct to garment is a process better than screen printing for reproducing pictures. Because it allows printing to resemble the original picture better than screen printing.
- Relative Complexity
It may seem like a contradiction but depending on your design, screen printing can be complex. Because you need to do more steps in screen printing than other printing techniques.
In Conclusion,from the above statements, we've covered all the basics of screen printing. When it comes to super-huge print runs, nothing compares to it. The set-up per print implies that little print runs are not useful because it prints each color at a time. You might face alignment errors and color-bleeds if your design includes many colors.
Nowadays, you can use screen printing both as an aesthetic medium and as a brand printing process. It’s a great method for delivering huge orders of custom clothing.
Here is a good video for your reference to understand better.