Vinyl vs. Screen Printing: Which One Last Longer on T-Shirts

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Choosing the best printing that is preserved for its durability and durability, of course, is not an easy matter, especially when faced with a variety of choices that will be astonishing. 

 

The Important of T-shirt Printing for Clothing Business

T-shirt printing has become one of the most important things, especially on T-shirts, which are able to give characteristics to the wearer, and are also able to show the self-expression of the wearer.

Because the fans of T-shirt printing are always in demand, of course, this can also be used as a business field for those who want to start a business selling distribution shirts, T-shirts with homemade designs, or open a T-shirt screen printing service business.

Not only for you as the owner of a T-shirt business, distributions, and others, knowing the best type of T-shirt printing for the T-shirt that you will use is useful for fans and T-shirt users.

As a T-shirt screen printing business owner or selling distribution T-shirts, knowing the right type of T-shirt printing will help ensure the T-shirt printing results will bring out the strength of the designs you have prepared for the T-shirt.

Meanwhile, for users, knowing the best type of screen printing will be useful when you are going to buy a printing shirt, so you don't choose the wrong one, and also when you want to print a custom T-shirt that you have with your chosen design or homemade.

In choosing a screen printing that is durable and long-lasting, you must first identify what the characteristics of a screen printing ink are and also what type and color of T-shirt. 

On this page, you will learn about the difference between vinyl printing and manual screen printing, the advantages and the disadvantages of both printings.

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What is The Vinyl Printing Technique?

The vinyl printing technique is a screen printing technique by attaching a vinyl sticker to a T-shirt that has a design embedded in it. If you use this vinyl technique, you don't need different types of ink because they aren't necessary. You only need to buy a vinyl sticker, then attach it to the T-shirt.

Vinyl stickers are stickers made of flexible and very suitable vinyl for outdoor needs.

This type of vinyl sticker usually has a white or transparent surface, the coating looks glossy or glossy, so it will make the printed vinyl sticker look more luxurious and elegant.

This vinyl sticker itself can be customized at will and without limitations so that it is able to realize a variety of sticker designs, regardless of the color used, solid or gradation, and as complex as the design.

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The Characteristics of Vinyl Stickers

When you use vinyl screen printing, you should choose the Heat Transfer vinyl sticker that can stick perfectly to a bumpy surface, such as T-shirt material, so it doesn't wrinkle easily.

You can use the printing methods that can be done on vinyl stickers as needed, although it should be noted that not all printing vendors are able to provide vinyl printing services for these three methods, especially for the heat transfer vinyl process, which is more appropriate for digital screen printing service providers for a T-shirt.

Of course, with these very flexible characteristics, this vinyl sticker will have several advantages when compared to other types of stickers, although it cannot be denied that there are also weaknesses of this type of vinyl sticker. 

But usually, it is more due to supporting factors and not from the vinyl material itself. One of the factors that become a weakness for vinyl stickers is the use of poor ink. So you should be more careful choosing the vinyl ink.

The vinyl ink that is good to use, especially for outdoor needs, is oil-based ink such as solvent ink, eco-solvent, mild solvent, and also latex ink, and so on. You can choose those vinyl ink types when you choose vinyl printing.

In terms of quality, vinyl printing can provide several advantages, including more durable screen printing results because vinyl is elastic, does not fade, adheres strongly, and can produce vinyl screen printing with solid colors. That's why vinyl printing has become quite popular.

Here is the summary of the vinyl sticker’s characteristics:

  • Vinyl has a glossy surface (glossy), but there is also a result that is a bit matte,

  • Vinyl is capable of printing complex designs,

  • Vinyl is able to display a variety of colors ranging from solid colors to gradations.

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The Advantages of Vinyl Printing

The quality produced by vinyl printing is not inferior to other digital screen printing results. This is because vinyl printing is known to have excellent adhesion. Well, for more details, here are some of the advantages offered by vinyl printing.

  • If you choose and use high-quality vinyl printing, the vinyl T-shirt will last a long time.

  • In making vinyl screen printing, this type of vinyl printing can be completed much faster than other types of vinyl screen printing.

  • This vinyl printing usually allows you to print units, and it doesn't have to be in large quantities.

  • Vinyl printing has image quality on the printed screen and does not fade quickly even though the T-shirts are often washed and worn.

  • Vinyl printing has a higher quality vinyl screen printing result in terms of accuracy and is certainly neater.

 

The Disadvantages of This Vinyl Printing

This will also make it easy for you to consider and make choices in choosing and using the type of vinyl screen printing. Curious what are the disadvantages of vinyl printing? Then you should read and consider the following explanation:

  • The existence of this vinyl printing is still not popular.  

  • This vinyl material also has a limited size. Therefore, the T-shirt design was printed with a limited size.

  • Using a printing machine with vinyl material is quite expensive.

  • The vinyl color choices are not as many as digital printing.

  • If you print T-shirts using vinyl printing, you need vinyl material which is quite expensive as a screen-printing production material.

After knowing vinyl printing, the advantages, and disadvantages of this vinyl printing, you need to know about screen printing in order to understand which one is preferred to print on a T-shirt.

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What is Screen Printing Technique?

Manual screen printing is a screen printing technique that has existed for a long time, which is often known as screen printing, where the screen printing process will be carried out using screen and screen printing ink, which will be manually coated on the T-shirt.

What is meant by T-shirt screen printing itself is the process of transferring the design that you create or want on the surface of the plain T-shirt that has been provided so that the design will permeate and blend with the T-shirt material.

Before we get into the manual screen printing method, you first need to prepare the necessary equipment before starting the screen printing process.

These tools and materials will be crucial in determining the results of your manual screen printing, so make sure you have them all before starting the manual screen printing process.

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The Necessary Equipment of Manual Screen Printing

In a t-shirt printing process using the screen printing method, the following are some of the tools needed:

  • Screen and Frame, the main equipment needed to do manual screen printing, which is in the form of a wooden frame (frame) with a screen cloth in the middle, which has pores to regulate the amount of ink to be coated on the shirt, and usually has a size of 30 x 40 cm.

  • Rakel is a 15-20cm long tool that will be used to sweep the screen, printing ink onto the surface of the shirt until it is evenly distributed.

  • Foam, which is used as a placemat for the screen so that the dripping ink will soak in and is usually larger than the screen.

  • Clear Glass, a tool used as a tool to flatten and create effects such as sunlight. Its size is 40 x 50 cm.

  • Photo Emulsion, which will be used to coat the design,

  • 250watt lamp, to emit heat when drying the screen printing ink,

  • Latex Gloves

  • Plain T-shirt

  • Quality screen printing Ink

  • Dark Room

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Manual Screen Printing Process

This manual screen printing process, as the name implies, is done manually. Starting from making a mixture of colors, making the area you want to design on a shirt or T-shirt.

  • Prepare Equipment

  • Create a design that you want to print

  • Coat the screen with Emulsion

  • Heat the Design with Lights

  • Flush the screen with Cold Water

  • Start screen printing Process

  • Heat the T-shirt

  • Clean Equipment

The manual T-shirt screen printing method is indeed not the most practical technique or method, but it still provides many advantages over other screen printing techniques, especially those that require you to buy a machine at an expensive price.

The minus of T-shirt screen printing technique always prioritizes accuracy, and patience is also what may take it a long time to work on but will not disappoint.

However, the time-consuming process and the high cost of producing units are other considerations that you need to think about, especially if you have enough money to buy a machine and want to offer individual T-shirt orders.

Advantages of Manual Screen Printing

The screen printing method is well known for its high quality. However, to understand this here is a summary of the advantages of screen printing when compared to other methods:

  • The color of the screen printing does not fade quickly, although this will depend a lot on the type of ink used, in general, the results of manual screen printing will be more durable than others,

  • The types of screen printing inks that can be used are unlimited, whether it's for embossing, discharge, and so on, all of which can be done using manual screen printing techniques.

  • Production costs in bulk will be cheaper, especially compared to other techniques.

Disadvantages of Manual Screen Printing

Although it has many advantages and is said to be one of the best printing methods, screen printing also has its own weaknesses. The following are some of the disadvantages of screen printing that you need to take into consideration:

  • Not as easy as other screen printing techniques, so this screen printing technique will be more impractical and also requires a lot of human resources and equipment to produce large quantities.

  • Processing takes longer because the method is still very manual, so processing orders will take longer than other techniques that already use machines.

  • Unit costs will be very expensive, and because of that, manual screen printing is not very appropriate to use to work on unit orders because the materials needed are too expensive if only to work on one T-shirt.

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How to Take Care of Vinyl Printing T-shirts?

Usually, vinyl printing is used on shirts, jackets, and bags. Although vinyl has several advantages mentioned above, it is also necessary to pay attention to how to properly care for vinyl screen printing T-shirts.

Of course, so that the vinyl printing results can be more durable and not easily damaged. In addition, the vinyl T-shirt material used is also more durable and does not fade easily.

In addition, do not dry the T-shirt with vinyl printing under direct sunlight. Because vinyl screen printing can be at risk of becoming dry and cracked. Therefore, when drying, just air vinyl in a place that is not damp.

The last way to care for the vinyl screen printing T-shirt is to avoid ironing the vinyl screen printing. Because ironing fabrics that contain vinyl screen printing can directly damage the vinyl.

It's good if you really want to iron the part of the shirt that has vinyl screen printing by coating it using cloth as a base. This is to prevent excessive heat from the iron. Because the vinyl screen printing is exposed to iron from a hot iron, it can melt, and the vinyl screen print can be lifted from the T-shirt fabric.

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How to Take care of a Manual Screen Printing T-shirt?

Some of you may still be confused about how to take care of a printed t-shirt with screen printing. Don't worry; here are some steps or tips that you can emulate:

1. Avoid Using The Washing Machine

    The earliest way to care for screen printing shirts is to avoid using a washing machine to wash them. How to care for this screen printing shirt must be considered, of course, so that the condition of the screen printing attached to the shirt can be more durable.

    There is an increase in washing with screen printing, namely manually or by hand. This is because the use of a washing machine can attract the results of the screen printing, and then it can affect the flexibility and texture of the screen printing attached to the shirt. 

    In fact, there are T-shirts with various different fabric materials in the washing machine, which can also reduce the quality of the screen printing that is attached to it.

    Although it is washed manually, pay attention to the washing process. Try not to do the process of soaking the T-shirt for too long in the water. Just soak for 10-15 minutes because the process of soaking the T-shirt with screen printing for too long can cause the risk of the screen printing peeling off.

    2. Be Careful With Soaking Process

      In addition to how to treat screen printing T-shirts by avoiding the soaking process, the use of laundry soap with bleach content also needs to be avoided because the laundry soap has the potential to damage the screen printing on the T-shirt.

      There may be stains on the screen printing. Actually, it is not recommended to brush it. However, if you are forced to clean the vinyl screen, try to brush it slowly.

      This is to avoid the screen printing being damaged and even peeling off. In addition, the type of brush used also needs to be considered. Do not use a brush that has coarse and stiff bristles.

      3. Pay Attention How to Dry Screen Printing

        It's is very important to know how to dry screen printing. Never twist a T-shirt that has a screen-printed on it to remove the water used for washing. It can damage the texture of the attached screen printing.

        To remove the water used for washing, just gently wring the part that does not contain the screen printing part. Then the hanger on the hanger with the screen printing position inside.

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        Conclusion

        All of the above types of vinyl and screen printing certainly have their respective advantages and disadvantages, both in terms of quality and price or cost. Both types of printing have unique characteristics for the T-shirt business. And which one should be chosen depends on your needs and the production budget that you have prepared. 

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