Heat Transfer Vinyl vs Screen Printing – Know The Differences

If you are planning to make customized t-shirts for a party or just for yourself, you must be asking yourself which printing type will be the best.

Not only for personal reasons, but you can also have the same question in your mind for professional purposes. Other than t-shirts, this kind of printing becomes mandatory for customized tote bags, tablecloths, etc.

From the following article, you will get to know the difference between screen print and vinyl. With this information, you will easily find out which printing solution will be best for your upcoming or running project.

Both of them are excellent, but it all depends on your purpose and the kind of output you expect from your project. Read on to find out more.

Heat Transfer Vinyl vs Screen Printing

Heat Transfer Vinyl vs Screen Printing

The former process is very easy, and you will surely enjoy the experience. Whereas the latter one is also simple, but you have to use some other tools to get the job done. 

However, these two processes are very much in demand among people who are working in this field.

Below, you will find their in-depth details individually. Check it out.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing

Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing

In this process, you have to buy various colorful sheets that are made of vinyl. You can get these from the crafts or art store. Then, you have to cut them into pieces, which can include different designs, shapes, letters, etc. 

When you have to transfer the vinyl color on your chosen clothes, the combination of pressure and heat becomes mandatory. In this case, a heat press machine will be your ultimate savior.

Since it allows you to include colors into your clothing, you can easily use it to print jerseys or other creative designs in order to buzz attraction among people.

It is highly effective when you are going to do it for one or two pieces. Don’t worry about the fading issues because this heat transfer method is durable, and it won’t fail to live up to your expectation.

Screen Printing

Screen Printing

This method is used in industries and factories since it can produce mass amounts. If you are interested in using this process, you have to make or buy a couple of screens.

Screen printing includes the use of ink-blocking stencil, which is applied to a screen or nylon mesh.

Keep in mind that each screen has the capability to hold one or two designs, and not more than that. The stencil contains ink in its liquid form, and it is then transferred into bags, t-shirts, and other fabrics.

Surprisingly, this process can produce huge amounts of products from a single screen, which is why big companies love using it.

Unlike the previous process, you won’t be able to use it for all types of designs. As mentioned above, you will need equipment and chemicals for it to work properly.

If you are interested to know all the things this printing process requires, here are all of them.

  • Scrubbers
  • Films
  • Screens
  • Tape
  • Squeegees
  • Plastisol ink
  • Printers

Screen Printing vs Heat Transfer Vinyl: Which One Should You Go For?

Screen Printing vs htv

Well, it depends on your choice and objective. Don’t worry; we have got your back. 

Here are some of the aspects that can help you and clear out all your confusion.

Printing Units

Yes, the amount of printing you are going to do will determine which printing process will suit you best.

If you have to print 500 t-shirts, heat transfer vinyl printing will be a very bad choice because people will have to invest huge amounts of physical effort and time. Moreover, you won’t be able to get it done alone because it is a factory-level type of project.

In this situation, screen printing is the best solution. First of all, it is cost-effective, and secondly, it is not limited to any size. With only one screen, you can constantly print without any problem.

Customized Designs

heat press vinyl vs screen printing

Unfortunately, screen printing can only function with one or two colors. If you have complex designs, it won’t be able to fulfill your desire.

Suppose you have to work with multiple colors, and you are going to use this process anyhow. Though it is possible, you have to use around 20 screens to get the result. The machines must go through them to finish the task. In total, it is hectic and time-consuming.

On the other hand, heat transfer vinyl printing can make it simple for you. Just buy the vinyl sheets and cut them according to your chosen design. After that, you can easily transfer the color to the fabric.

Take the help of an iron or hairdryer to provide heat and pressure. That’s it; you are done with the work. Enjoy using your customized t-shirt or bag.


Now, you have got all the information on htv vs screen printing in your mind. So, decide which one you are going to pick and proceed with full confidence.

Consult with a professional if you are still confused in some areas.

Best of luck!

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