Big Screen Printing
Before the invention of digital printing, the only way to print really really big, was with screen printing. Big Screen Printing was used for: Flags, Table Cloths, Banners and a wide range of other products, both paper and fabric.
In the mid 1990’s when companies like Roland, Mutoh and Mimaki started releasing, low cost digital printers, screen printing big started to fade. With wide format digital printing companies could make 65″ wide prints with no messy setup and very little manual work.
Screen Printing requires massive screens, gallons of ink and a lot of setup and breakdown time. With digital printing the setup is all done in a computer and the print can be printed directly to the item with no mess or clean up. Another big benefit of digital is the full range of colors that can be used.
With all of the benefits of the new medium of digital fabric printing, there are also many drawbacks and nuances that will ensure that screen printing will be around for years to come.
Digital printing is great when you want 1 or 2 items. When it’s time for hundreds or thousands, the price point becomes unreasonable. Screen printing is vastly more economical when running high numbers.
While digital printing is fast, it’s slow in comparison to fast screen printers. This means that at high run numbers not only is the cost lower for screen printing, but it’s also done much faster.
There is a big difference in how the two products look. Screen printing has a classic look that you can not replicate with a digital printer.
There are some forms of digital printing, like dye sublimation, that limit the use to strictly polyester fabrics. Screen printing can be used on any type of fabric.
These are just some of the top differences between the two technologies. There are many nuances that an experienced print agent can walk you through, to ensure that you use the right method for your application. If you are considering a project that involves screen printing, speak to a professional.
While screen printing may be a simple process, the nuances involved in successful screen printing are not simple. A professional can guide you through the process to ensure that you have the best chance for success.
There is room in the market for both digital and screen printing. Similar to how any industry operates, it all comes down to what the intended need and use is, and it is this, that will dictate which is the best method.
If you are looking for Large Format Screen Printing, we can help you. Please consider giving us a call (908) 806-8337 or email us.