What are 3 fundamental differences between silkscreen and digital printing? To answer that, we need to know what silkscreen printing and digital printing is. Silkscreen printing works something like a stencil, stencil is placed over a piece of fabric and paint is brushed over the stencil, leaving a print on the fabric. Digital printing is applied by heat transfer print method, an image is printed on a piece of vinyl (white printable or clear printable). The vinyl of the image will be placed on the fabric and heat pressed on. This ensures that the image will be firmly affixed to the fabric.

The first difference between silkscreen printing and digital printing is range of colours. For Silkscreen printing, the more colours you choose, the more expensive the silkscreen printing will be. It is hard to achieve consistent gradient colours using silk screen printing and hence, it is not recommended by silkscreen printers. For Silk screen printing, solid colours are preferred, with up to 5 colours to choose from. For digital printing, we are using CYMK technology, and we can achieve a wide range of colours, even gradient colours. If your design/ logo is very colourful with gradients, we will usually recommend digital printing instead of silkscreen printing.

The second difference between silkscreen printing and digital printing is cost. The costs involved in silk screen printing are lower for bulk quantity (40 pieces and above). To produce a silkscreen print, raw materials needed are silk screen stencil and paint. The higher the quantity required, the most cost effective it is, as the silk screen stencil can be used multiple times. For digital printing, images are printed on vinyl using a digital printer, and the cost of the ink cartridges is high. There is also the cost of time needed to affix the image to the fabric, hence bringing up the cost of the digital print. Customers who value cost efficiency will usually choose silkscreen printing for higher quantities. If you are only doing a couple of prints, we will recommend digital printing as it is not cost effective to produce a silkscreen stencil just for a couple of prints, and in that case, digital print will be cheaper.

The third difference between silkscreen printing and digital printing is details. For digital printing, we are able to achieve higher quality details and finishing as compared to silk screen printing. Similar to a colour laser printing at your home or office, we can set print jobs at high resolution and print out very sharp edges and fine details. For silk screen printing, the print quality is good for bigger images, but for very fine details, we will suggest digital print or reverse silkscreen.

No matter what you are looking for, be it customised tee shirt printing, or customised polo tee printing, feel free to speak to one of our printing specialists to discuss the best options based on your design and requirements. For example, if your logo is light coloured and you want to print against a dark coloured tee, the printed effect might not be as good as printing a dark logo on a light coloured tee. In this case, our designers will advise on what is the better print process to use to achieve the desired result for your customised polo or tee-shirt.
Do contact us at +65 63520988 or email us at info@ark.sg to discuss your needs with us. We look forward to creating your dream customized polo tee shirt!