Apparel Graphic Academy

The demise of screen printing

Screen printing is dying a slow death

The last trade show I attended the big promotion was companies selling direct to garment printers (AKA DTG printers).

The traditional screen print equipment companies were well represented but their booths were not as crowded as the DTG manufacturers. This new process draws a crowd.

An interesting story I want to share with you:

A friend of mine owned a very successful photo finishing company in the Midwest. His company would process the pictures for professional photographers. He had 3 facilities for developing film. He was very successful and all his competitors were chomping at the bit to buy him out. This was about 20 years ago.

Then one day he happened across a very elementary digital camera. He bought it to try out. It was at that moment he saw the future. He had a real epiphany.  He put his photo labs for sale. One  of his competitors bought him out.

Today that competitor is out of business. My friend had the foresight to see the future of photography. Digital cameras ruined the photo processing business.

The digital print era is coming

We are now in the beginning of digital printing where anybody can have ease of entry. Basic DTG printers can be purchased for less than $10,000.00. Every one of these printers entering into the decorated apparel market takes a little bite out of the pie. Right now it seems they are not a threat. Just wait.

Our company has always contracted out our screen printing. We did this because we didn’t want the hassle of smelly inks, solvents, and crap in our embroidery factory.

We took a big step and purchased Kornit DTG printers. (3 to be exact). Since we got them on line it has been all uphill. We print on lights and darks. As many colors as the customer wants. We can do small orders. (Even one at a time). The set up costs are minimum.

The process is so simple.

Vulcan, Kornit, DTG
The new Kornit Vulcan Printer will be available We have two operators running three machines, a dryer and then folding and packing.

We have transferred most of our screen printed work in house. We have all but left our screen printer. Our business is up. We made a wise decision and we see the future in DTG.

This is why I feel screen printers are on the demise.