The difference between silkscreen printing and hot stamping - Chiterion

April 16, 2024

Screen Printing and Hot Stamping are both popular printing methods used in handbag industry. Do you know the differences between them? When should we use Screen Printing and when should we use Hot Stamping? Let’s take a look:  



Screen Printing: Using a screen as the base plate and employing photosensitive plate-making methods to create screen printing plates with graphics and text. It consists of five main elements: screen printing plates, squeegees, ink, printing tables, and substrates. During printing, ink is poured into one end of the screen printing plate, and a squeegee applies pressure to the inked area of the screen printing plate while moving steadily towards the other end, transferring ink from the graphic portion of the mesh onto the substrate.

Hot Stamping: 

First print the pattern onto a PET film coated with a release agent, after drying, use this patterned film to iron onto the surface of fabrics at high temperature and pressure, leaving the pattern on fabrics, peel off the waste film to complete the ironing process. Therefore, this method is called "hot stamping" or "heat transfer stamping". 

Working Principles:

Screen printing operates on the basic principle of allowing ink to pass through the mesh of the screen printing plate where there are graphics and text, while areas without graphics and text prevent ink from passing through.


Hot stamping is a process where patterns on an electrochemical aluminum plate are transferred to the substrate through the application of heat and pressure. When the printing plate is heated to a certain temperature along with the attached electrothermal plate, pressure is applied through the electrochemical aluminum film onto the paper. Through the combined action of temperature and pressure, the adhesive layer, metal aluminum layer, and color layer attached to the polyester film are transferred onto the paper.


Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages of Screen Printing:

(1) Not Limited by Size and Shape of Substrate: Conventional printing is limited to flat surfaces, while screen printing can be performed not only on flat surfaces but also on molded objects with special shapes such as spherical or curved surfaces.

(2) Soft Plate with Small Printing Pressure: Screens are soft and elastic, requiring minimal printing pressure.

(3) Strong Coverage of Ink Layer: It can achieve strong coverage, allowing pure white printing on black paper with a strong three-dimensional effect.

(4) Strong Resistance to Gloss Loss: It maintains the gloss of printed materials unchanged (no effect from temperature or sunlight), eliminating the need for additional processes such as coating when printing labels.

(5) Convenient Plate Making, Low Cost, and Easy Mastery of Technology.

Disadvantages of Screen Printing:

- Screen printing uses one screen for each color. If materials are to be printed, repeated color overlaying is needed to produce the final product. However, there are limitations to color overlaying, and inaccuracies may occur, preventing gradient effects and result in increasing the rate of product rejection and consequently raising costs. For patterns with four or more colors or gradients, screen printing may not be suitable.

- Screen printing requires a set process including plate making and film output to print patterns. For small quantities, these costs become proportionally high. Therefore, screen printing companies generally avoid small orders due to the high costs involved.

Advantages of Hot stamping:

- The ink is transferred onto transfer film and then heat-pressed onto materials, there are no limitations to color overlaying, allowing for the creation of colorful effects such as photos and gradients.

- Can achieve three-dimensional effects for various patterns and more sophisticated visual effects with clear edges and rich colors.

Disadvantages of Hot Stamping:

- Limited applicability of stamping methods: is more suitable for printing on textiles.

- Higher cost: The process of hot stamping is relatively complex and requires multiple processing steps, resulting in higher costs.

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