Dye sublimation Vs Screen printing Vs Heat Transfer

Nowadays, most people are looking to have a deep comparison between the top 3 printing techniques. Yes, you trap right; it’s a comparison of dye sublimation VS screen printing VS heat transfer. Dye-sublimation and screen printing both are top-rated printing techniques. The only difference you can point out is that you use printers and heat presses to dye shirts in dye sublimation. But on the other hand, screen printing uses a scraper to squeeze ink on T-shirts and make beautiful designs.

Besides this, you can also narrate dye-sublimation and heat transfer. Sublimation printing is indeed a form of heat transfer. In dye-sublimation, the graphics are heated to over-dye on the material. However, as a comparison discussion, we can consider that screen printing is a long-term project criterion. While on the other hand, the color mixing process in the heat transfer method is more beneficial.


1.Dye Sublimation

Dye-sublimation printers use tints from the elastic film. It is a printing technique using an electrically heated component to generate images. It is mainly preferable for minor works.

2.Screen Printing

Screen printing is also a printing method in which a web is used to spread toner onto the fabric on which strips are present and make a unique design. Single color is used at a time in this method.

In the screen printing technique, the shades are cut to produce patterns and unique designs. Ink moves onto the patterns to make designs. Ink spread on these patterns. In screen printing, you can use only one at a time. Several colors are several patterns make on the fabric.

Screen Printing

3.Heat Transfer

In this process, the design easily passes onto fabric by heat and pressure. Comparison of dye-sublimation vs Screen printing vs heat transfer is worth reading and in trend to consider the best technique for the printing process.

Dye-sublimation and screen printing are both excellent silk-screening techniques. You can pick one according to your task need and the material used. If you want to dye the bulk of shirts, then screen printing is effective and cost-friendly. But, if you want to designs single or twice shirts, then choose the dye-sublimation method because it is costly and time-consuming.

Dye-Sublimation Vs Screen Printing

Selection Of Shades:

Dye-sublimation and screen printing both are active methods to make unique designs on T-shirts. Four tints are used in the screen printing technique using webs and marks. This technique needs serenity and rehearsal because dots need time to fill correctly. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and orange colors mix to make an exclusive design in the dye-sublimation process. In addition, the only drawback in this technique is that dye sublimation makes simple designs.

Swiftness And Capacity:

A Major difference between these two printing techniques is their time and volume. Dye sublimation is preferable for less work, and screen printing is suitable for bulk dying work because this is a faster technique.


The Budget of both printing techniques differs from each other. Dye sublimation is an expensive technique and consumes more time to give unique designs. Screen printing is also expensive but gives bulk designs in lesser time. So, choose the technique according to project needs.


Dye-sublimation is preferable mainly for T-shirts and flags. In addition, it can only work on a polyester material and is not suitable for cotton stuff. But, screen printing is resourceful and helpful to dye every type of fabric. Screen printing cannot dye different colors, but dye sublimation is a simple process and dyes diverse colors.

Which Method Is Better?

The answer to this question depends on the need of the project. If you require it to dye bulk shirts in less time, and the designs are less complex, consist of few colors, you should prefer screen printing.

Choose a dye sublimation technique if you want to dye fewer shirts, and the designs must be complex and of different colors. Now let’s move toward the next comparison in the list of Dye sublimation VS Screen printing VS Heat Transfer,

Dye Sublimation Vs Heat Transfer

Dye sublimation is a form of heat transfer. All designs need different methods and apparatus. In dye sublimation, the graphics are printing and then heating to put on the material at the molecular level. Dye sublimation is only preferable for polyester fabrics. Heat transfer covers a comprehensive range of fabrics than dye sublimation. Moreover, they also work perfectly on cotton stuff. Heat transfer is a good technique.
The main difference between both techniques is:

The Excellence Of Image:

Dye sublimation provides an everlasting and excellent image on T-shirts. In the heat transfer technique, heat is moving from paper to cloth.


The heat transfer technique uses different inks such as tint ink, dye ink, and solvent ink. The dye sublimation method uses transferal ink.

Type of Material:

The significant difference between these two printing techniques is that heat transfer works on all types of stuff, including 100% cotton. But, dye sublimation is only preferable for polyester type and complex objects such as mugs, glass, etc.


The time difference is also a significant difference between these two techniques. Heat transfer techniques consume more time and pressure than dye-sublimation techniques.

Life Span:

Dye sublimation prints are permanent and have a longer life span than the heat transfer technique. In addition, dye sublimation has easy setup machines than heat transfer technique.

Which Method is Better?

Both techniques are affordable, valuable, and suitable. Choose heat transfer technique if you are dealing with costumes printing corporate. Dye sublimation is best to make prints on mugs, glasses, polyester fabrics, and ceramic materials.

Screen Printing Vs Heat Transfer

In the screen printing technique, the shades are cut to produce patterns and unique designs. Ink moves onto the patterns to make designs. Ink spread on these patterns. In screen printing, you can use only one at a time. Several colors are several patterns make on the fabric.

Heat transfer technique by name includes heat pressure to make designs of your choice. Heat passes through the paper to fabric and makes exclusive designs. The heat transfer technique consists of two types of machines. The working machines are expensive or cost-friendly. If vinyl is used in the heat transfer technique, then some machines make cuts in the fabric. These machines help to transfer color vinyl strips on the fabric. Some stimulating differences between these techniques are:

The Swiftness Of Lithography:

Time is the significant difference among both techniques. Different patterns and strips are made in the screen printing technique, which is a very time-consuming process. Moreover, only one color is used in this technique at a time. Screen printing is valuable for bulk work. If you dye only two or three shirts, then this technique is very time-consuming.
Time feeding is the same in the heat transfer process if you are using vinyl. Heat transfer is a more desirable method than screen printing in this aspect.

Rated Efficiency:

The more fabrics you design greater the charges be. Strips you make in screen printing techniques are expensive but are easily recycled. The screen printing technique is for bulk work. But, if you only design few shirts, then you are not in the right place. We can say that screen printing is rate efficient if the project is in bulk quantity.
The rated efficiency of the heat transfer technique is the same all over the process, especially if you are using vinyl. The heat transfer technique is reasonable for minor runs.

Which Method is Better?

The same answer goes with this too. Both techniques are beneficial-all it depends on the need of users and project needs. If the work is bulk, then consider screen printing. But, if the order is not much significant, then the heat transfer method is appropriate.

Screen printing techniques need to make different strips to use diverse colors. But, the heat transfer method can use beautiful colors at a time.


Using a heat press and a dye-sublimation printer, you can print on T-shirts. Screen printing is a technique in which you can color a T-shirt using a tube and squeegee by pressing ink through a stencil on a fine woven screen.

The sublimation process is suitable with polyester, and the image will not feel on the shirt because of sublimation. It is very light-handed. In addition to this, the design will not crack or peel off over time like a heat transfer paper.

Dye Sublimation is the best possible solution for short projects, and it gives the perfect quality printing. On the flip side, the silkscreen is suitable for large projects with simple designs and various substrates.

Final Verdict

To conclude the comparison of dye sublimation vs screen printing vs heat transfer, we can say that all the printing techniques are affordable and beneficial. You can choose the appropriate method according to your project need because all the techniques give beautiful designs according to your choice. Moreover, all the techniques have positive and negative impacts side by side.

1 thought on “Dye sublimation Vs Screen printing Vs Heat Transfer”

  1. I am unknown about screen printing. But dealing in sublimation business from last few years. During this period sublimation printing process was found best.


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