Dye Sublimation Or Screen Printing, Which One Is Better
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Written By Tenaui Middle East

2021-09-30

Epson Inkjet Large Format Printer | Epson Printer

Fabric printing is a fun and satisfying pastime. However, you will need to select a printing technique like Epson Printer. You can print everything from logos to texts, photos, graphs, and more. So you may also make personalized mousepads, coffee mugs, badges, and other items in some situations.

You will, however, need to select the appropriate technique for this. Both screen printing and sublimation are great alternatives. Depending on your application, both methods provide visually pleasing results and offer various other advantages, but they’re not the same.

Here, we’ll go through how they vary and pick the best one for your requirements and wants. So, let’s get started!

What Exactly Is Sublimation?

The dye sublimation process involves printing a computerized picture on sublimation paper. This paper is then placed next to a blank cloth or item, and the image is immediately transferred into the template using a heat press machine. Instead of passing through the liquid state, a heat press machine converts the image directly from a solid form to a gaseous state.

As you may expect, proper sublimation requires time and hard work, but the results are long-lasting and attractive. The printing quality and general durability are exceptional.

Of course, it necessitates the use of specialist equipment like the Epson sublimation printer and correct procedures. However, the final product is well worth the effort.

What Is Screen Printing, And How Does It Work?

Screen printing, also famous as silkscreen or serigraphy, involves using stencils to print the desired pattern and ink to paint the design. Ink is poured over the stencil and distributed evenly with a cotton-like instrument to permeate the material.

Screen printing takes a long time to accomplish, but it can be easily reproduced numerous times. The results are frequently vivid and bright, resulting in the exceptional quality of output.

Although screen printing does not necessitate the use of complex technology, it does necessitate the proper instruments. Nonetheless, it produces outstanding outcomes.

The following are some major differences in both printing techniques. Let’s have a deep look at them one by one.

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1. The Difference In Technique

Screen printing is an analog technique that requires squeezing ink through a stencil on a fine mesh screen and onto the medium to be decorated with a squeegee. This procedure can be done by hand on a manual screen printing press or by machine.
Dye sublimation is a digital printing technique requiring a specific Epson printer comparable to an inkjet printer.

2. Use Of Colors

Color use in screen printing is more complicated and works best in basic designs. In screen printing, one layer/stencil is required for each ink color. It not only adds to the time investment but also raises the likelihood of printing errors.
Sublimation allows you to print several colors at once. That implies no clutter when adding a touch; printing will be quickly and straightforward using the Epson sublimation printer.

3. Handling Difficult Designs

Precise details and realistic pictures may be reproduced with both screen printing and dye sublimation. Using Epson Digital printer, Dye sublimation always employs CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow, and clear overcoat) ink combinations to generate whatever color you choose. Thus photorealistic pictures don’t require any extra preparation.
While better suited to smaller patterns, screen printing may accomplish the same outcome utilizing a four-color process or simulated process printing processes, which use grids of tiny dots to replicate lifelike pictures. Because the dots must be precisely aligned to obtain the intended outcome, this takes some experience to get it right.

4. Patterns

While dye sublimation makes it simple to generate precise prints, it does so at the price of unique effects. Dye sublimation produces a flat pattern that is absorbed into the fibers of the garment.
Screen printing allows you to utilize specialty inks to produce a wide range of effects, including gleaming metal flake, shimmer, and foil patterns, as well as 3D puff ink prints.

5. Financial Investment

Sublimation requires a significant amount of time and work, as well as a significant financial investment. However, it produces complicated designs quickly and efficiently, even in small numbers.
Screen printing is equally expensive and time-consuming. It, on the other hand, works brilliantly for big batches and basic patterns. The expenses are thus relative. If you’re printing tiny batches with intricate patterns, sublimation is the way to go.
However, screen printing is the most cost-effective option whether you’re printing big volumes or basic pictures.

6. Volume and Speed

Another significant distinction between screen printing and sublimation is that the two processes have different speeds and volume capacities. Sublimation works wonderfully by using the Epson printer for small batches and a wide range of products. The lack of sophistication makes it quick, yet it still takes time when dealing with big amounts.
For big volumes, screen printing is typically faster and more efficient. Repeating patterns is a breeze once the stencils are in place and the ink colors have been determined. So, if you’re dealing with huge numbers of the same design, screen printing is the way to go. However, if you need more variation in tiny numbers, sublimation is your best choice.

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7. Variability and Restrictions of Materials

Screen printing is an extremely versatile method that allows you to print on practically any fabric in almost any place, as well as on almost any substrate other than shirts – but it’s simplest on flat surfaces and most often used on clothes.
While dye sublimation may be used to adorn nearly any object (particularly banners and flags), your possibilities for t-shirts are relatively restricted. Dye sublimation cannot be used on any other material besides polyester or other specific synthetic clothing.
Therefore cotton shirts are out. Dye sublimation produces vivid prints but only on white or extremely light-colored clothing due to the use of the Epson printers.

8. Durability

When deciding between sublimation and screen printing, consider how long the prints will last. Screen printing produces rather durable effects. They are, however, vulnerable to fading and flaking with time. After laundering, the ink may fracture (if it is of poor quality) or wear away.
Sublimation, on the other hand, has a higher tensile strength. The consistent heating procedure ensures that every dye particle is well embedded in the fabric, preventing chipping, cracking, and even fading over time.

9. Labour Intensive jobs

Because you can only apply one color to the substrate at a time with screen printing, multicolor patterns require numerous screens with different colors of ink that must all be correctly aligned. Screen printing is time-intensive and requires a lot of effort to set up, especially for multicolor works.
With dye sublimation, you won’t have to bother lining up different layers of ink; this process prints all colors at once, thanks to the Epson printer. In comparison to screen printing, dye sublimation allows you to customize unique patterns more easily. All you have to do with dye sublimation is alter the artwork file and print a new transfer; screen printing necessitates creating a whole new design.

Conclusion

Prints having a silky touch may be produce using both screen printing and dye sublimation. Because dye sublimation ink penetrates the substrate material by nature, the finished design has no apparent weight, resulting in a more comfortable garment.
Screen printing using water-based or discharge ink can also be used to achieve this. Both procedures will produce long-lasting prints that will neither break nor fade after repeated washing if done correctly.
For garment and promotional product designers, both screen printing and dye sublimation are valuable and flexible processes. Both screen printing and dye sublimation method have their pros and cons, as well as projects for which they are best suited and ones for which they are not. Hence it is vital to select the techniques that suit you the most to get fantastic results.

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