What Is the Difference Between Screen Printing and Vinyl T-shirt Printing?

Which is the best type of t-shirt to use for custom clothing? Should you go with vinyl or screen printing when it comes to personalized gear? When it comes to dressing an entire team or making unique swag for your staff, many of us have these questions. While both print processes have advantages, screen printing is generally preferred by printers and designers.

How do vinyl T-shirts get printed?

The first step in creating a t-shirt is applying vinyl to the worn garment. This is often known as vinyl heat transfer and involves a machine that cuts designs and words into pieces of coloured vinyl. Vinyl artworks and phrases are printed on various hues of vinyl. Then, each piece of vinyl is applied to the cloth using a heat press.

What does screen printing involve?

The most popular and frequently used pigment is silk screening. It consists of stencils (screens) that are used to colour the material after imprinting your design with ink. Each colour in the design has its own stencil, ensuring good quality. Because only the stencils you want allow the ink to pass through, it’s simple to rebuild your design.

Which type of screen printing or vinyl T-shirt printing is right for you?

When it comes to T-shirt printing or screen printing, there are four things to consider; details, colour, fading, and quantity.


When it comes to specifics, screen printing is hard to beat. Even the tiniest elements are visible on a screen-printed item. The same may be said for complex design elements since the procedure includes the production of several screens for each colour (more on that below). Vinyl T-shirt printing does allow some embellishment, but most of it will be lost.


When it comes to vinyl T-shirt printing or screen printing, the most vibrant colour is achieved through screen printing. Screen printing allows you to choose from a wider spectrum of colours while ensuring that the colours don’t run into one another and look chaotic by blending them.


Screen printing, on the other hand, is more durable. Both of these methods are successful, although screen printing will endure longer. Vinyl-printed garments generally last for a few years before fading. Shirts that have been screen printed, on the other hand, can endure the life of the garment. Screen printing is better at withstanding wear and strain and washing than vinyl printing.


Vinyl printing is typically used for small runs (1-12 items) since it takes less time to set up than screen printing. However, because you do not need to alter the setup from shirt to shirt, screen printing bulk orders are ideal. In fact, doing a small run of vinyl prints.