Advantages and Disadvantages of Screen Printing

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Screen Printing

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1 – Long lasting

Due to the composition and thickness of inks used in screen printing, designs placed with this method can withstand far more stress than others without losing the quality of the print.

screen print press, M&R Press

2 – Big Order Friendly

Since this is a method that requires the fabrication of screens for every color used in an artwork, it is best reserved for large orders. The more garments placed in an order then the cheaper the cost per unit will be.

3 – Great Finish

Screen printing produces vibrant colors that are hard to replicate by other printing techniques. Techniques like direct to garment (DTG) use cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) dots to recreate their images and while it is a great method to replicate details it usually pales (literally) in comparison to screen printing.

screen-printing4 – More Ink

Screen printing allows for greater thickness of the ink than other techniques, which result in greater possibilities when it comes to the finish of the piece.

5 – Versatility

It is hard to find a printing method as versatile as screen printing. It can be done on almost any surface as long as it is flat, fabric, wood, plastic and even metal, among many others.

6 – Straightforward

It is a basic process that does not change regardless if it’s automated or done by hand. The tools are not hard to replace and won’t become obsolete as fast as other technologies.

distressed logo


1 – Not practical for small orders

As we already mentioned, screen printing needs more prep than other techniques before going into production. This doesn’t make it suitable for “on-demand” printing, which is the creation of a garment as soon as it is ordered.

2 – The more colors, the more expensive it is

Turns out that having to create a screen for each color can be a bit of a hassle. Colorful designs complicate the process and make it more expensive, that is why it is better to keep designs for screen printing with as few tones as possible.

3 – It’s not environmentally friendly

While efforts have been made to create eco-friendly inks and screens, it is still a reality that screen printing wastes a lot of water. Water is used to mix up inks and clean the screens, which may not seem like much at first, but manufacturers produce hundreds of garments a day (if not thousands) and when we start to add up, it can get scary.

4 – Relative Complexity

It might sound like a contradiction, but screen printing can be quite complex depending on the design and project because it has more steps than other methods.

Questions on this article, please contact Erik Mickelson with Northwest Custom Apparel


erik mickelson

Randy Fountain created these Direct-To-Garment Designs on this Blog. Randy is the graphic artist for Northwest Custom Apparel. Randy enjoys drawing hot rods, off road trophy trucks, motorcycles and big rigs. Randy’s artwork services are $60.00 per hour. Please contact