Types of Printing

Indirect Silk Screen Printing

Indirect silkscreen combines the elements of both the direct silkscreen preparation method and photographic film. The indirect silkscreen technique produces highly durable stencils that are used in applications whereby prints of high quality and finer details are required.

Direct Silk Screen Printing

Silkscreen printing, also know as screen printing, is a popular method for applying designs on t-shirts. It works like a stencil, in which the artwork is burned unto a mesh and empty areas are covered with an impervious chemical. After which, ink is applied and pushed through the mesh onto the t-shirt. As the silkscreen printing is done in a way that allows the ink to bond with the fibres of fabric, the print is durable and does not peel off.

Direct Silk Screen printing is suitable for big quantities as it is cheaper and faster to produce. For example, a silkscreen printing takes 5 minutes to produce, where-else digital printing (something like using a color printer on paper) takes up to 25 min

Vinyl Printing

Vinyl transfer printing involves a computer-controlled blade which digitally cuts the design out of the vinyl. This technique is commonly used for designs that need to look vibrant.

Some examples are personalised names and/or numbers on team wear, high-visibility work wear, nylon and technical fabrics such as hi-vis. Choose from a wide range of colours and special effect finishes for your designs such as glow-in-the dark, matt metallic and 3M Scotchlite Reflective Vinyls.

Digital Print

Digital transfer printing allows printing of brilliant, vibrant, full-coloured designs and logos of any sizes by producing an unlimited colour palette through CMYK. The quality of print and the range of colors, especially gradients is better using the digital print as compared to silk screen printing. Digital print is usually used only on cotton material.

Much like the color printer you use at home or in the office, consumables as as the cost of ink cartridges is very high, thus making digital printing costlier than silk screen  printing. Hence, for large quantities, we will usually recommend silk screen printing. For smaller quantities or if the quality of print is of the most importance, digital printing is recommended.

 

Sublimation

Sublimation printing is a fairly new technique that uses heat sensitive inks that turn into gas under the influence of heat and infuse directly into a 100% polyester fabric. Sublimation printing is a permanent infusion process where the heat sensitive ink will form part of the fabric.

The key advantages of sublimation printing are:
1. The designs on the fabric will not fade or crack with multiple washes
2. Cost does not increase with the number of colours in your design.
3. Designs can run right to the edge of the fabric.
4. Very vivid and vibrant colors.

Sublimation printing is mostly used for customised jerseys, polo tees, T-shirts and lanyards which require multi-coloured designs or even photos. The best effect would be achieved on white or light colour polyester fabric.