Screen printing is the traditional form of printing that uses a stencil and a woven mesh. The technique was developed since ages and several civilizations have brought significant changes and improvements in its methods. Screen printing has its origins in China and the art was spread to different Asian countries from there.
Screen-printing came to western countries in the late sixteenth century. Since then several developments were made to this age old art of printing but still people use the technique to produce quality fabric prints.
Screen printing is primarily used for printing t-shirts. Even today when our markets are strewn with high quality digital printers, screen printing does almost 70 percent of the printing jobs for our fabrics industry. This proves the fact that the technology is still in trend. Cost effectiveness is one of the main reasons for this phenomenon. Screen-printing may take time to produce certain amount of printouts but they are feasible in large production factories.
In large printing companies, the entire screen printing process is divided into different departments. Each individual task associated with the printing and its preparatory stages are allotted to different departments on the basis of skill and labor requirement. This makes the entire production workflow to run smoothly without any clutter.
Digital print is the modern alternative for screen print. Nevertheless, even today every t-shirt manufacturing company has a Screen-printing section. No print company depends entirely on digital print. Digital print has its own pros and cons. And when it comes to quality no one can deny the fact that digital printed t-shirts are the best. This is because digital printers produce computer processed images on the t-shirt without any variation. This gave rise to the culture of photo-realistic t-shirt prints. The method was a trendsetter when it was first introduced. However, the application of screen printing is so well established that it is virtually impossible to replace the method with modern techniques.
Cost is the main hindrance faced by digital printing industry. Digital printers are too expensive and their regular maintenance further adds to its total cost. This discourages several print firms to adopt digital print as their mainstream printing technology. Nevertheless, several advertisement companies and paper printing firms depend on digital technology for creating their printouts. But the trend is not so prevalent in fabrics industry. The method of digitally creating images on a cloth is known as DTG or Direct To Garment. This is a costly affair than print on paper. Therefore, the method is not dominant in the field of garment print. Certainly, digital printed t-shirts are highly in demand and they are produced and marketed by several reputed brands. However, they are quite expensive compared to screen printed t-shirts or clothes.