Screen Printing vs Digital Printing: Which is Better for Tea Towels?

When it comes to printing tea towels, there are two printing methods that we use: screen printing and digital printing.

Both printing methods have unique benefits, but which one is the best for your business?

Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a traditional printing technique that uses a mesh screen to transfer ink onto fabric. We use water-based inks for screen printing which is very similar in terms of hand feel to the digital.

Screen printing is better for tea towels with prints that have solid colour which produces brighter, more vibrant colours than if the same area/design was printed with digital printing.

Key points about a screen print:

  1. Simple designs with 1-3 colours
  2. Where the quantity to be printed is 30+

Digital Printing

Digital printing is a newer printing technique that uses digital files to create prints eliminating the need to make screens.

This makes it cheaper to print when the quantity is under 30 or if the print has more than 3 colours in the design.

Key takeaways for digital printing;

  1. Better if you need to print complex designs and patterns
  2. Less expensive for small quantities, than screen printing

FAQs for Screen Print vs. Digital Print

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from the help desk – where people asked about the differences between screen printing and digital printing.

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What are the Pros and Cons of Using Screen v Digital?

Screen printing is a traditional printing method that uses a mesh screen to transfer ink onto a substrate, while digital printing is a newer technology that prints directly from a computer file using modified ink-jet printers.

Screen printing is cheaper for larger quantities, while digital printing is more expensive.

However, for designs with lots of colours digital is perfect. This is because it can produce an unlimited amount of colours in the design including many tones, fades and blends.

These kinds of images you just can’t screen print.

How Much is Screen Printing vs. Digital Printing?

Screen printing and digital printing are both different ways of printing. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, which can make one more suitable than the other depending on the job.

In general, screen printing is more expensive than digital printing for quantities under 30. This is because screen printing requires more materials and labour, and has a higher set-up cost.

Bulk screen printing typically has a lower per-unit cost than digital printing, making it more economical for larger orders.

manual screen printing - hand printing tea towels

What is the Turnaround Time for Screen Printing vs. Digital Printing?

The turnaround time for bulk screen printing is typically longer than that of a digital printed order.

The turnaround time for a short-run digital print is typically quicker than screen printing.

However, digital printing has the advantage over screen printing, of shorter turnaround times and more flexible designs.

How Does the Quality of Screen Printing vs. Digital Printing Compare?

There are many factors to consider when comparing the quality of screen printing vs. digital printing, but some of the most important include resolution, colour accuracy, and tonal range.

Screen printing generally produces bolder prints with more accurate colours (PMS) when compared to the same design printed with digital printing.

However, digital printing is more versatile and can be used for a wider variety of designs with lots of colour elements and a wide tonal range.

Ultimately, the best way to determine which printing method is best for your project will depend on your specific design and how many you want to print of that design.

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Screen printing and digital printing are both great choices for tea towels – but very much depend on your exact requirements.

Both methods produce a high-quality, durable product that will last through many washings.

If you need a large quantity of tea towels quickly and don’t mind sacrificing some of the colours, screen printing is the way to go.

No matter which printing method you choose, you’re sure to end up with a beautiful, long-lasting product that will make your tea taste even better.

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