Screen Printing Vs Heat Press

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Anyone now in the printing game could stick while selecting the heat press and screen printing. If you are also in the same pain, it’s not to hurt you anymore.

Both screen printing and heat press are equally efficient processes that provide you a huge room to create some inspiring and electrifying designs or graphics over different materials. In addition, both approaches offer you various advantages and benefits. But, simultaneously, they share some key differences too.

screen printing vs heat press

So, if you are intended to learn more about them and their key differences, stay here and learn everything about them!

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What Is Screen Printing?

In screen printing, you apply the ink-blocks, your design and are known as the stencils, on the material. In each stencil, the ink is present in liquid form, and it will transfer the complete design to the shirt. And at the end, press the link, and your t-shirt is ready.

heat press vs screen printing

It is one of the most commonly used methods for printing. You can use it effectively for all materials, including t-shirts, bottles, pens, and wood. Screen printing is not a suitable option for all the designs. In addition, you need to get a lot of equipment for this process.

What Is Heat Press?

In this process, the design is embedded in the material or t-shirt with the help of a machine. High pressure is applied about 40 to 80 psi and temperature about 350-400 degrees during the heat-press. The entire process is pretty efficient, and it can embed the design permanently in the fabric.

screen print machine

In this process, you first transfer your design into paper and then use that paper to transfer the design into the fabric. And the high temperature is used to convert the ink or dye directly from its solid to a gaseous state.

A heat press is a more popular and well-known printing procedure in the textile industry than other methods. It will always provide you premium-quality prints with full vibrant colors. The machine used for this process is pretty easy to operate.

Difference between Screen Printing and Heat Press

Well, both screen printing and heat press transfer the design on the material or fabric very efficiently. Both the process is equally good with some of its pros and cons. We will discuss the significant differences between these two processes.

screen printing vs. heat transfer

Speed of Printing

Screen printing takes a long time to get accomplished. For instance, during this process, you would have to prepare separate plates for each color. And the preparation of separate color plates takes a long time, and once the printing plates are ready, you can efficiently apply these plates to the fabric.

Screen printing would not be a suitable option when you have to print just a few shirts but go for screen printing if you prepare the prints in bulk. In contrast, the heat press is a more efficient and quick process. In this process, you can shift the entire design to the sublime paper at once.

Materials Required For Printing

In screen printing, actual screens are used. You can cut these screens to produce the actual colors. And then, later on, you can cut this screen to produce the stencils according to the selected designs. So, the more the number of colors, the more the number of the screen you required.

heat press vs screen printing

But in heat-press, this is not the case. You need to prepare a single design which would be containing all the designs. But, here, you would have to provide high temperature and pressure. So, during this process, you can use either a machine and the press machine would be an expensive option. You can also use iron for this purpose which is a pretty cheap option.

Size of the Printings

The screens are small in size. They can cover the t-shirts only. So, when it comes to larger objects like tablecloths, a screen may not remain a suitable option for them. In contrast, with heat-press, you can efficiently prepare the prints with giant graphics, and these designs can fill the tablecloths quickly.


The cost of each printing depends on the equipment it involves. The screens are undoubtedly a bit expensive to produce, but you can use them multiple numbers times. So, screen printing would be cost-effective only when you are printing in bulk.

In contrast to screen printing, a heat press is pretty cheap. You can produce about2 to 3 shirts with a meager manufacturing cost. So, if you are a small designer, this process is far more convenient for you.

So, if you have to prepare 1000 or more t-shirts, screen printing would be a better option for you. If you want to prepare just a few shirts, then go for screen printing.

Durability Of The Design

Well, the chances of fading the design are pretty low in a heat press. You can transfer the design on the paper with high heat and pressure and can enjoy the everlasting vibrant colors. You may not enjoy this advantage with screen printing.

Complex Designs

Screen printing is a complex process as it involves a large number of colors or screens. On the other hand, a heat press is a simple process that requires just a single design for the entire process.


Screen printing is an efficient process, but it would be ideal for preparing the t-shirts in bulk. On the other side, with screen printing, you can create only a very few designs. In contrast to screenprint, a heat press is a more cost-effective and quick process.

Screen printing is an excellent strategy if you want to prepare the prints in bulk but if you are interested in preparing just a few prints, then go for the heat process!

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