Top 5 Printing Methods – Their Pros and Cons

Customized products are in high demand among youth. Moreover, with the growing popularity of movies, TV series and music bands, wearing customized apparel have become even more popular. Now a days major print shop love to use  advanced print screen software for customized products like t-shirts give an opportunity to people to leave reality for some time and get into the character they like. These printed t-shirts could have a simple quote, an abstract design, some movie characters, etc. That said, customization not limited to t-shirts alone, it has stemmed out to mobile cases, pillow covers, wallets and such.



Today, we are going to discuss the top 5 printing methods, plus their pros and cons


Screen Printing:

If you need a high-quality print on your t-shirt, screen printing is one of the best options in the industry. If you have ever come across a t-shirt that has vibrant colours on it and feels smooth when you touch it, it is likely that it was screen printed. In many ways, it is a great option but not perfect for everything like it is a suitable option for mass production but not efficient for one-offs. For better understanding about t-shirt design app you can go through details below:


The process is pretty simple. First, a stencil is cut out in the shape of the design will put in place by a screen called silk screen. Then ink is poured on the screen where a squeegee is used to press down and evenly spread-out the ink. Remaining ink is then wiped off, and the professional takes off the screen to reveal the final image.



  • Great for mass production
  • With mass production cost per design less
  • Creates high-quality prints with soft finish
  • Businesses can print multiple colors
  • Facilitates faster production of prints
  • Can be used on any type of material
  • Durable and scalable
  • Simple and versatile



  • One-offs are expensive
  • Not suitable for complicated designs
  • Initial setup is labour intensive and time consuming
  • Demands skilled workers and has a big learning curve
  • Leaves a messy work-station
  • Requires big space to accommodate washing, printing, and drying


Checkout the Best T-Shirt Design Software – inkXE Web to Print Solutions



Offset Printing:

The reason it is called offset printing is that the colour is not transferred directly to the fabric. Instead, it makes use of aluminium plates which is used to assign image on a rubber blanket, and then the picture turns into a sheet of paper. It leaves beautiful photos creating accurate colour and fine details.



  •    Highly cost-effective for large quantity runs
  •    It gets cheaper with best quality print
  •    An extensive variety of custom finishes will use
  •    Use special custom inks
  •    Creates high-quality prints with excellent details
  •    Printing plates can be generated faster using today’s technology



  •    It’s labour intensive and expensive to produce plates and set-up printing process
  •    Dishes demand special maintenance to keep it in working condition for a long time

Also see: net neutrality pros and cons


Direct to Garment is a relatively new and automated printing method as a flatbed printer is used to fed t-shirts on the conveyor belt and the image print on the t-shirt. However, it creates high-quality prints with accurate details.



  • The perfect solution for full-color printing with great details
  • Delivers soft-to-touch and professional print finish
  • Lower cost for one-offs
  • Needs no setup
  • Changing design is not expensive



  • High upfront cost and expensive equipment
  • Mass production is somehow costly
  • Demands big space for professional setup


Sublimation Printing:

Sublimation uses heat-sensitive inks which turn to gas upon heating. That is the reason why ink bonds with the material firmly. Since it becomes a part of the material, the designs don’t crack and don’t fade away. In this process, the pattern is first printed on the sublimation paper and then printed on the fabric using heat and pressure. It will typically do on polyester fabric.



  • Apart from fabric, sublimation can also be used to print on ceramic mugs and other home decorations items.
  • Use unlimited graphics, colours, and styles
  • All-over printing is more accessible to execute
  • Simple application technique
  • Create custom design for each print



  • It’s not applicable to cotton fabric
  • Printing is possible only on polyester fabric
  • Just mass production is cost-effective


Moulded Printing:

Moulded printing is similar to screen printing. However, firstly use on fabric that has absorbency like cotton



  • Provides better heat retention when it is heat treated
  • Creating vectorial patterns is cost-effective
  • A wide range of paint can be used
  • Creates low cost production



  • Colour hardens on fabric and makes it un-breathable
  • For low-quantity, it’s expensive
  • It requires separate mold for each prints.

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