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Screen Printing vs Dye Sublimation


Screen Printing Vs Dye Sublimation

When it comes to screen printing and dye sublimation, some people may get confused on the differences between the two. We are here to help you understand a little bit into more detail and to help figure out which would be best for your business size and labour intensity. 

What is Screen Printing? 

A stencil is placed atop a mesh screen with the fabric underneath. Once everything is completely flat, ink is then added to the top of the mesh screen. A rubber squeegee is then dragged down, this lets the ink get in the right places. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages? 

  • This is perfectly suited for single or double color designs.
  • It creates a richness in the saturated colors. 
  • Saves costs as the production team grows.
  • At times this can be labor intensive 
  • Not generally recommended for Photography or design with a lot of color gradients.
  • Can create a lot of waste in ink supplies.

What is Dye Sublimation? 

The process can be broken down into two very easy steps. 

  1. Print your design with an inkjet printer. For this process you will have to be equipped with special sublimation paper and inks. 
  2. Transfer the design onto the surface that will be used using a heat press to apply. This heat press can be the big industrial type or simply an iron.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

  • A short learning curve that is relatively simple and easy to follow. 
  • As long as you have the correct inks, there is an unlimited range of colors. With the basic four inks (CMYK) you are able to obtain thousands of colors. This comes in hand for more complex designs or photos. 
  • It cuts down production time tremendously without intensive laboring. 
  • The fabric that is being used must be at ⅔ polyester. If non-textiles are being used, only the items that have a special polyester coating can be used. 
  • The color may not last as long as others due to the effect of UV rays from the sun. 

In a world where versatility, durability, high quality, and cost efficiency is important, it is truly up to the business owner or individual to decide whether screen printing or dye sublimation is right for them! We look forward to you telling us!