Screen Printing vs Vinyl Decal Printing - [What is Best For You]

What is the difference between Screen Printing and Vinyl Decal Printing | Printmoz

Deciding between vinyl printing or screen printing isn’t always easy. If an incorrect decision is made, you could be making a grave purchase mistake that will affect you in an awfully negative way. When it comes to making large spending choices such as this, intelligent research is very imperative. We can help you make the right decision by weighing the benefits of each printing method to help you reach a final conclusion.

How Does Each Method Work?

In order to properly compare the two, let’s first clearly define and specify the way they both operate. Both of these printing methods are helpful when they are used in certain ways to complete specific t-shirt printing tasks. Vinyl printingprinter printing main device you need when conducting vinyl decal printing is a machine containing heated pressure. Letters and designs are cut out from colored vinyl and are then pressed onto the t-shirt by the machine.

Screen Printing

If you are hoping to utilize screen printing, several screens are required in order to cut and create design templates of your desired t-shirt. One color of ink is chosen and spread over each screen, down to the shirt underneath. These are both effective options that result in an attractive looking t-shirt. Let’s delve deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of each method. There are certain factors you must consider when properly comparing the two. 

Quickness and Setup Time

Vinyl Printing

The great part about vinyl printing: the overall setup is fairly quick. The not-so-great part: the individual design and printing process can take a long printer printingtime. You must cut each design from a vinyl roll, followed by ridding the unwanted sections of the graphics, like the insides of the letters a,b,d, etc. This whole process must be repeated with every new color featured on the t-shirt you’re pressing. If you have a large number of t-shirts with the same design, this can become very tedious as you repeat these steps for each t-shirt.  If there are 100 or more t-shirts needing to be ordered quickly, this is not the correct printing decision to make.

Screen Printing

This method is the opposite of the vinyl printing process. In this instance, the setup time for screen printing takes longer, but that is the only heavily time-consuming part. Unlike vinyl printing, nothing will be individually changed, given the shirt design is the same. If large quantities of one design on the t-shirts need to be created quickly and efficiently, screen printing will get that particular job done. Screen printing is perfect for you if you want to order 100 or more t-shirts in a shorter amount of time.

Graphics and Color Details

Vinyl Printing

Simple graphics such as texts and numbers will appear nicely when utilizing vinyl decal printing. If you need a few jerseys or shirts with a simple message printed quickly, vinyl printing is the best decision for you. If the design isn’t too complicated, the colors will still appear clear and bright for all to see. This isn’t the best method to choose if you are looking for colors that are mixed or consist of different shades. The t-shirt designs will only appear bright and enticing if you stick to basic colors and refrain from picking complex color tones.

Screen Printing

If you’re searching for a way to print a more complex design, look no further than screen printing. This method gives you the artistic room to create more detailed and complex designs. You will be able to experiment with different shades and colors without any worry that the design will appear detailed and vibrant.

Fading or Cracking

Vinyl Printing

When it comes to your t-shirts remaining full and bright after they’re washed, vinyl printed garments will stay that way because of the properties of vinyl. Be sure to follow the proper washing techniques needed for vinyl printed shirts: do not dry clean the garment, dry it at a normal setting, avoid pouring bleach on the shirt, and wait 24 hours to wash it for the first time. If all of these rules are followed, the design should remain free of fades or cracks for at least five years.

Screen Printing

The design on a t-shirt created using screen printing should also last approximately five years or more. The most important thing to keep in mind when caring for these specific screen printed shirts is to put it inside-out when placed in the washer. Don’t forget to use cold water.


Both methods can provide impressive and attractive results. Your ultimate decision will depend on the type of t-shirt you are hoping to design and your desired amount. If you need around 10 to 15 orders of t-shirts with simple designs, vinyl printing is your best option. If you’d rather order a large bulk of t-shirts with complex graphics featuring different shades, choosing the screen printing method would be the smartest way to go. If you keep the above options in mind when searching for the best printing method, you’ll have absolutely no doubt that you’ve made the wise and correct purchasing decision with Printmoz.

  1. Platon Graphics
    Platon Graphics

    This really helps to know about the different types of printing! This actually really helps me know what is necessary to use for different situations, especially mine. I am actually looking for a place to print the certain type I need. I found this website that also has an article on different printing technologies and even offers those services for a good price but with high quality. What do you think about this? I would highly appreciate your insights on this.

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