Screen Printing Vs. Heat Press

Screen Printing vs. Heat Press

When thinking about starting a T-shirt business, I’m sure your natural instinct is to go with the decorating method you know, direct screen printing. But did you know a Heat Press can achieve the same look/feel as direct screen printing? The Heat Press will cost you less, easier to learn and is portable. Find out the differences between screen printing vs. heat press.

Heat Press Advantages

  • Budget
  • Artwork Complexity
  • Speed
  • Personalization
  • Any Item
  • Creative Placement
  • Any Finish
  • Durability


You can get started with a Heat Press for under $1,000, if you’re looking to start direct screen printing it will cost you thousands to get started. Also, a Heat Press can operate out of a home.

Artwork Complexity

Artwork with multiple colors is very easy to execute with a Heat Press. Complicated designs can be easily applied in one application. You can also get details in designs which direct screen printing doesn’t allow for.


Most heat transfer finishes are achieved in one quick and easy step, some as fast as 4 seconds. While direct screen printing can be slow and cumbersome to set up and produce each color.


The Heat Press allows you to personalize any custom piece with ease. You don’t have to deal with the messy inks and screens for EACH name on the order.

Any Item

There are some items too difficult to customize through direct screen print. The Heat Press is ideal for hats, bags, laptop sleeves, blanks, umbrellas, and other items difficult to direct screen print.

Creative Placement

The Heat Press can accommodate unique placements on a garment which can be impossible or more difficult to screen print. Download the Design Size & Placement ebook.

Any Finish

Specialty HTV finishes like dimensional, silicone, flock, foil, metallic, puff, glow, textured, and reflective are much easier and less of a mess to use a Heat Press than direct screen print.


The average lifespan of a garment decorated with a Heat Press is 50+ home wash/dry cycles. This is equal to, if not better than direct screen printing.

Now that you’ve learned about the 8 advantages for heat pressing, check out the benefits of Hotronix® Heat Press machine over an imported press.

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2 thoughts on “Screen Printing vs. Heat Press”

  1. I am a retired screen printer with 30 years experience and recently sold my business. Just to keep current and satisfy my good customers, I invested in an IColor 500 Laser Printer but the
    results were not encouraging. No washability and the graphics did not last as long as my
    screen printing did. I need more info on your transfer sheets, including costs, multicolor
    designs, turn around time, etc.
    I still do business with Stahl’s occasionally but I need to secure screen printed transfers.
    Can you help and/or advise.

  2. Hi Turk! Thanks for your questions. You can check out all the information on our transfer sheets with our Stahls’ company, Transfer Express here: We offer standard color transfer sheets as well as the multicolor sheets you are looking for. Pricing will be listed on the website. As far as turnaround time, 3 days is the normal. As stated in the blog post above, we pride ourselves in a 50+ wash/dry cycles. Thanks for reading with us!

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