The difference between screen printing and heat transfer

December 29,2023

        Screen printing and heat transfer printing are very common in clothing technology. But which one of them is better and which one will suit your outfit better? This blog will introduce the difference between screen printing and heat transfer printing.

Introduction to two process principles

Screen printing
the basic principle of using the screen printing plate part of the mesh perforation of ink, and the non-graphic part of the mesh impermeable ink printing.
When printing, ink is poured into one end of the screen printing plate, and a certain pressure is applied to the ink part on the screen printing plate with a scraping scraper, and at the same time it moves towards the other end of the screen printing plate. 
The ink is squeezed onto the substrate by the scraper from the mesh of the graphic part as it moves.

Heat transfer printing:
Printing the pattern with ordinary ink or pigment ink on the special transfer paper, heating at a certain temperature at a certain time through the heat transfer machine, and the transfer printing on a layer of gum melts when it is heated and sticks to the clothes together with the printed pattern, and the heat stroke is generally used to transfer cotton fabrics.

Advantages and disadvantages of each

Screen printing
💠Advantages: Suitable for all kinds of materials, low cost, suitable for mass printing 

💠 Disadvantages: The cost of printing a small amount is high, and the mold plate needs to be opened. There is a layer of glue on the printed pattern, which is easy to fall off, pollute the environment, and easy to fade

Hot stamping
💠 Advantages: convenient and fast, high color reproduction, low cost, high printing reproduction, one piece can be printed
💠 Disadvantages: Large-area pattern has serious gelatinous feeling, is not breathable, wrinkled, and may have risks such as cracking and falling off after washing


Since screen printing, each color needs to be opened separately. Therefore, the color of the pattern printed by the process should not be too much.
The heat stamping print color can be very rich, but the hot stamped out of the pattern will have a gelatinous effect.

Therefore, the breathability of hot stamping is not as good as that of screen printing. Not suitable for printing large patterns