The Difference Between Screen-Printed Shirts & Iron On : eBay Guides

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Guide viewed: 6134 times Tags: Tees | T Shirt | Screenprint | Apparel | Iron On

There are a lot of really attractive t-shirts and other apparel on eBay.  However there is a big confusion between screen printed shirts and iron-on shirts.

Just to give you an idea of the difference: Overall, most of your college shirts, sport team shirts, and graphic tees you find in most stores (not all) are produced using screen printed method.  The best example, however, is a typical college t-shirt.

Screen Printed method.  The method goes as follows:
  • Method:
    • The graphic is printed directly onto the shirt.
  • Pros:
    • It is a cheaper method to produce screen-printed shirts, meaning the savings are usually passed onto the buyers (ideal for very large orders - certain events like a company/faculty baseball game, conventions, etc.).
    • These shirts can have multiple colors throughout the graphics, no extra preparation is needed.
  • Cons:
    • It's is not durable in the wash/dry as iron on shirts. You will began to see flaking and this fading will be more noticeable with each wash cycle.
    • The dry cycle can dry out the graphic very easily, causing cracking, peeling and flaking.

Iron-on method.  The method goes as follows:
  • Method:
    • The graphic is ironed onto the shirt.
  • Pros:
    • The shirt can withstand multiple wash and dry cycles without a problem.
    • This method is preferred among high-quality apparel retailers.
    • The design withstands cracking, peeling, and flaking. Some companies even guarantee it for the life of the shirt (like us!).
  • Cons:
    • The method is a more expensive method because it's an overall higher quality product compared to screen prints.
    • Usually it is difficult to produce more than one color per shirt.  However, professionals (established designers like us) can usually do this flawlessly.
Overall, you get what you pay for. Cheap shirts are cheap for a reason. Be prepared to trash them after 1-2 washes if you do buy cheap shirts. Quality shirts cost more, but you will wear them more often and for a longer period of time. Hopefully this helps someone out there!

Mad Cows Design

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Guide ID: 10000000004665806Guide created: 17/11/07 (updated 19/04/14)

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