Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials that can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas.
Direct to garment ink jet printers may provide an option if you have photographic artwork and are in need of just a few shirts, but you will still not achieve the quality of screen printing.
Iron on transfers, where your artwork is imaged on special paper and then ironed onto the garment, have all but been replaced with direct to garment ink jet printers. The problem with this process, like direct to garment ink jet printers, is that the colors are muted and the image deteriorates after just a few washings.
Screen printing is by far the best method for reproducing images in true-to-life colors and will look good for years to come. Screen printing is the most cost effective method of printing for large quantity print runs and will provide you with the best quality.
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