What is Screen Printing?


Your not interested in learning how to screen print to start your own business, you just want to know if it's the best process.  Start Here for a quick explanation.

Screen Print vs DTG?


Have a smaller quantity, or an elaborate design?  DTG (Direct To Garment) printing may be a better option.  What is it?  Click Here to find out.

Getting Started?


Ok, I know what I want, I am ready to get started.  What do you need me to do?  

Click Here to find out. 

Just Want Pricing


I just want pricing, not a detailed explanation of all the screen print process.  How do I go about getting that?   Click Here to get a quote. 

Design Help


Know what I want to print, I just can't explain it, and I have no artistic ability.  You don't need it with our Online Shirt Designer.  Don't want to design, Click Here to browse our catalogs of stock designs.



I know what I want to print, now I need help finding out what to put it on.

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What is Screen Printing?


Screenprinting is...

  • Not an exact science
  • Best for vibrant designs
  • Done in bulk
  • Manually handled

How Does screen printing Work?

Ink + screen (mesh stencil) = screenprinting! Luckily, the process itself has very little limits on what surfaces can be used to print on. Staying on trend is easy-peasy with this process, considering all of the awesome ink types available that can manipulate the “look” of the final print. Expert printers (enter Threadbird!) understand the relationships between the various inks, shirt materials, and shirt colors - with this knowledge, we’re able to help achieve the look you’re going for.

Screen Printing - Technically Speaking

One screen (mesh stencil) is used for each color to be printed - screens must be lined up (or registered) and printed on test sheets to ensure that all of the colors line up correctly. Inks are then pushed through the screens one color at a time onto the apparel. Finally, each piece is run through a large dryer to cure the inks.


How do I choose which method?

The first thing to think about when deciding is your design. Are there fine details and/or many colors you want to incorporate? Or is it a simple design with only a few colors?

What is the size of the order – is it quite large or rather small?

Also, keep in mind print times. The DTG printing process is much slower compared to screen printing. DTG is machine dependent and averages just 30 – 60 garments per hour, while screen printing can average 1,000 garments and upwards per hour.

Use our pros and cons list to make an informed decision, and remember, the bottom line is there are positives and negatives to both, so it really all comes down to your individual circumstances and needs.


Screen Printing

Screen printing is widely considered the most popular method of printing. Why? Because it’s very cost effective for printing large batches of apparel, especially if printing all of the same color. Because a special screen must be made for each design, there needs to be a large number of orders for this method to be financially feasible.


  • Cost effective for large batches
  • The more product ordered, the cheaper they are
  • Ideal choice for simple designs with less colors


  • Simple designs and shapes are all that can be printed
  • Limited number of colors and less cost effective the more colors used
  • Large upfront monetary investment
  • One design per batch

DTG Printing

Instead of using screens to apply the ink to the garment, DTG printing actually uses something like an inkjet printer to print the ink directly onto the fabric. This method is able to take very intricate, detailed designs and a great multitude of colors and apply them with relative ease.

However, because of the time required to print each design, this method is not as cost effective for larger batches, but instead is more economical for smaller batches.


  • Better option for small batches and one-off pieces
  • Able to print detailed designs
  • Extensive color options
  • Easily customized designs


  • Not cost effective for larger batches
  • Limited design placement