Should You Use A Screen Printer Or Screenprint On Your T-Shirts?



A number of people have asked me two questions lately, and the first one is: “Should I use a screen printer to start my business?” and the other one is “Should I screen print my t-shirts?” My sincere answer to both questions would be a resounding “HELL NO!” with two exceptions. This is my opinion. BUT, allow me to highlight the reasons I said NO!

Screen printing is an old, funny, dirty, crusty, horrible, expensive and time-consuming system especially for guys just coming out. I suggest that you use a design cutter, which can be used for simple designs. You could also use a print on demand service like Zazzle, CafePress, or Spreadshirt. They print your shirts and post them for you. You should not be doing heat transfers, except for when you have great equipment for it. Heat transfers are great when you’re working with a large quantity of clothing at once.

There are a couple of new machines that can be used for printing on t-shirts. Roland VersaStudio BN-20 makes your transfer for you, and you can lease it to make your printing. A DTG Machine is expensive, but a few of you guys could easily pull your coins together to purchase, because they are high-performance devices.

Printing on your t-shirts is nasty, time-consuming, messy, and there are lots of harsh chemicals that could affect you. It takes a long time, firstly, the color separation which takes time, you must print, then you must coat the screen with some chemicals, then you must let that dry, then you must shoot it, then spray and put in the dryer again, That process can easily take an hour to complete! It’s a long learning curve, and it’s likely that you are going to ruin countless t-shirts before you finally get the hang of it, so for this reason, I do not suggest it.

In business, you could run a business or own your job. I prefer to run a business. You work the business with your mind, and other people actually execute the manual demands of the job. Holding a position within your business simply means that you were more hands-on with your operations, which requires that you be engaged physically. So, let somebody else do that for you.

The exception

  1. You are already a screen printer and you have all the equipment to do this stuff. When I first started, I got a place and got all the equipment I needed, and even had some partners to help me with the printing process. Still, I hated it!. I do not suggest using a screen printer at all.

2. You already have the equipment and you can use it! There is a big learning curve in screen printing.

In all honesty, it wouldn’t be worth your time to do screen print your tees, so just use one of the new awesome ways to print on t-shirts. Besides, we’re in a new millennium, and we have much more modern and effective methods of printing on t-shirts.