Advantages Of Sublimation Printing vs Screen Printing

Crafting custom t-shirts is a great way to express your creativity while also making some side cash. There are two well-established ways to create t-shirts for yourself and for customers. These would include screen printing and sublimation printing. If you want to get into this great money-making hobby, you will need to understand the benefits of sublimation printing vs screen printing. Keep reading to learn more.

Screen Printing

This method of t-shirt creation uses a stencil and a squeegee. During the process, the ink is squeezed through a screen, and the design is then layered on the fabric. Some people refer to this as silk screening. This is actually a very ancient form of printing. On a t-shirt, you will notice that this method produces thick, raised-up designs.

This is a popular method because it is easy to do and can be used in almost all colors and fabrics.

There are some limitations, though, to what you can accomplish with screen printing. This is usually only a good option if you are only using a few colors, as the colors must be layered.


Sublimation printing is a very different and far more modern method. This method uses heat and pressure. Through heat and pressure, the dye can be chemically bonded with the fabric. Vivid designs can be created and are known for their durability. This is also a popular method because it can be used with a much wider variety of colors.

Under the extreme heat of the press, the dye is turned into a gas. This gas permeates the fibers of the fabric bonding to them. When cooled, the gas turns back into a solid which is now bound to the fabric. Because the dye is bound on a molecular level, the colors are far more durable.

Which Is Best?

It is hard to say that one method is necessarily better than another when looking at screen printing vs sublimation printing. It really depends on what your goals are. If you are looking for a simple way to start customizing simple patterned shirts, screen printing could be a great way to get started.

However, if you are looking to create long-lasting durable clothing designs for a serious business, you want to consider investing in sublimation printing equipment.

The sublimation printing equipment is somewhat more expensive than screen printing. You may also need more training to properly understand how to operate this type of equipment.