Sublimation vs Screen Printing – which one is better for sportswear?

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Sublimation and Screen Printing are both good options for your custom jerseys, uniforms, and sportswear. But which is better? The answer depends on what you’re looking for!

The Process

Sublimation is a heat-based digital printing method where the solid ink is heated into a vapor, permeating the fabric. The design goes straight from our computer to the printer – no screens are needed, and our printers can print any colors in just a single pass. Once the designs are printed, we cut and sew the fabric into your uniform or jersey.

Screen printing is a little different. Each color in your design requires its own custom screen – which is just like it sounds. The screens have a very fine mesh where your design is, so the ink can pass through to the fabric. The screen is set up on top of the fabric and secured, and a squeegee is run across the top of the screen to transfer the ink to your garment. Once one color is done, the next screen is set up, and so on until your project is finished.

Fabric

Sublimation printing can only be done on polyester fabrics. The good news is, we have a huge range of different fabric options, from more lightweight basketball jersey fabrics to sweat-wicking tee shirt fabrics to stretchy football uniform fabrics. We select fabrics that are soft to the touch and comfortable for all-day play. With sublimation printing, the fabric is completely dyed: the ink permeates the entire fiber.

Screen printing can be done on nearly any type of fabric. With screen printing, the ink sits on top of the fabric: it doesn’t permeate through.

The Cost

Sublimation printing is one of the most affordable print methods available. It allows for nearly endless customizations and low order minimums. You can print any number of colors for no extra charge. 

Screen printing is usually cost-prohibitive to do in small runs, due to the labor and setup fees. Each color in your design will be an additional cost. Screen printing generally does get less expensive the more number of items you order. 

Which is better? 

For most of our clients, sublimation is a better option. They get unlimited bright and vibrant colors, comfortable and durable fabrics, and a great cost without having to order a huge number of uniforms or jerseys. 

Ready to get started with your custom sports uniform or jersey order? Get in touch here to start your order!