Industry Tips, Screenprinting

Profitable Advantages and Disadvantages of Screen Printing You Must Know

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


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 Printing Safety Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Screen Printing Press printing a long sleeve safety orange T-Shirt

2- Big Order Friendly

Since this method 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, 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. While it is an excellent method to replicate details, it usually pales (literally) compared to screen printing.

4- More Ink

Screen printing allows for a greater thickness of the ink than other techniques, which results in greater possibilities for the piece’s finish.

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.

Screen Print Kid Safety Shirt
Kid’s Shirts work great for screen printing

6- Straightforward

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


1- Not Practical For Small Orders

As we already mentioned, screen printing needs more prep than other techniques before going into production. The extra setup time does not 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

It 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, so it is better to keep designs for screen printing with as few tones as possible.

3- It is not environmentally friendly

While efforts have been made to create eco-friendly inks and screens, it is still a reality that screen printing wastes much 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 contradictory, but screen printing can be quite complex depending on the design and project because it has more steps than other methods.

5- Difficult To Remove From A Shirt

Removing a screen print from a t-shirt is difficult. The ink is made of plastisol that binds well with the t-shirt fabric. Sometimes the best option is to purchase a new t-shirt and add a new print. Despite being difficult to remove, you can use spot removal fluid or nail polish remover.

6- Screen printing at home is Messy

Screen printing in your home’s bathroom or garage is extremely messy. As much as you want to save money on overhead, can you imagine using a bathroom with a screen print press? Furthermore, your garage has grease, dust, and ink. More importantly, how can you have a customer visit you in your shop?

Screen Printing Quoting Tool

This is a screen print quoting tool using Sanmar products.

Northwest Custom Apparel’s minimum order is 24 shirts when quoting. Anything less will quote at $0.00


Once you receive your quote, please get in touch with us, and we can further assist you.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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