Best Printer For Screen Printing Transparencies-2021: T-Shirt & Fabric Printing Techniques

best printer for screen printing transparencies

Transparent papers are very thin sheets made from plastic and can be very tricky to handle. These papers are used for various purposes. From photocopy to artworks, transparent papers have gained fame in the world of papers.

In this article, I will let you know about the two types of modern printers, printer specifications compatible and perfect for best printer for screening printing transparencies t-shirts, important rules of screen printing, screen printing method of printing on fabrics in details and other methods of printing so that you can grow your business by the time.

The followings are the printers that I recommend for screen printing on T-Shirts and fabrics. You must want to know that not printers are suitable for transparency paper.





  1. 1
    250 sheet tray capacity
  2. 2
    26 PPM speed
  3. 3
    Transparencies support 


  1. 1
    9600 x 2400 DPI
  2. 2
    Duplex support
  3. 3
    Airprint Support 


  1. 1
    Auto 2 sided printing
  2. 2
    Huge ink storage 
  3. 3
    250 sheets paper tray


  1. 1
    Variable printing media
  2. 2
    Airprint 2.0
  3. 3
    Fast printing 


  1. 1
    Specially designed for transparencies 
  2. 2
    two sided up to 40 ppm
  3. 3
    6000 monthly pages 


  1. 1
    25 ppm speed
  2. 2
    Duplex support
  3. 3
    250 sheets tray

One of the most popular uses of the transparent paper is in the screen printing methods of creating artworks on fabrics. But for the job to be accurate, you will need to be careful about a few things. You will need a good transparent paper at first. Then, you will be need a very high quality printer and perfectly designed screen or template. If you fail to choose the right printer for transparencies, you will be dealing with a lot of paper jams and wasting you ink and may be destroying your printer. But luckily the printer manufacturers have designed some specific printers which are especially suited for transparencies papers.

fabric printing techniques

So, let’s get started with the two types of modern printers. The two modern printers are inkjet and laser printer.

  • Inkjet printer.
  • Laser printer.

Inkjet printer: Inkjet printer uses inkjet technology in which the ink is automatically sprayed on the papers upon instruction. This is the most popularly used printer that is known for its precision and accuracy of detail works. This type of printer is favored by the architects, artists and engineers as they require the image to be perfect. The starting price of an inkjet printer is about $80. But each of them comes with specific specifications and the price varies. The operating cost is usually more compared to the laser printer.

If you do not want to know about the printers and want a short cut answer. You can follow a rule of thumb to choose the best printer for screen printing transparencies. You should go for an inkjet printer which is compatible with transparent papers and capable of printing the papers of your desired sizes. The second basic you want to follow is the printer must have six color tanks. The third thing I suggest you to follow the above two rules and purchase a printer around $600 and you will be good to go.

Laser printer: Laser printer uses laser technology which is based on the theories of static electricity. Basically, laser printer uses dry powder and friction energies to create images. This type of printer was first started by the Xerox Company which was designed by an engineer of the company.

The price of a laser printer is comparatively more than a laser printer but the good part is the operating cost can be very low compared to the inkjet printer.

Laser printers are known for its speed and bulk works. This is the reason people get so confused about printers. In order to choose a printer, you want to know the purpose of purchasing the printers.

Features and specifications to look

Well, the modern printers come with a hundreds of specifications. You do not need them all. You can stick to a set of features and specifications that you must need and the rest is bonus.

Paper support: The first thing you want to check before buying a printer is the type of papers the printer support. Each printer is designed for specific purposes so each of them supports a set a papers. For example, not all printers are capable of printing on transparent papers.

Colors: You must need to check the color quality of a printer. The color quality of a printer is expressed by dots per inch (DPI). For example, a printer having 2000 dots per inch (DPI) creates 2000 dots per inch both horizontally and vertically. The more is the dots per inch (DPI), the better is the quality. A dot per inch (DPI) value of 1400 is good for almost anything.

The second thing you want to check is the number of ink tanks in the printer. An inkjet printer with six ink tanks is perfect to create images of thousands of color combinations.

Page sizes: If you need to print large papers like A3 papers and you brought a printer which does not support to print such large pages. Then, all your money is lost even if you choose the printer which prefer all your other requirements. You will need to take an eye on this.

Connectivity and compatibility: You want your printer to be user friendly and luckily modern printers are getting more and more user friendly by days. Small and large printers are available which can be connected by various means. You can connect your smart device and computer to your printer by USB, Ethernet and WiFi. You can even choose printer with memory slots and touch screen which will be very user friendly cause it is very easy to instruct.

Operational issues: You should check what the printer is capable of doing in terms operations. The main two things you want to check is cost of operation and duty cycle. Well, the cost of operation depends completely on you and many quality printer manufacturers are providing free inks with some specific printers. If you are on budget, you can choose one of them.

The another thing is before choosing a printer, you must have idea of the amount of pages you will be printing. The technical term is called duty cycle. It is the number of pages a printer a print without any damage of its parts. A duty cycle of 8000 pages is excellent.

Important Rules of Screen Printing

Screening is the earliest method of printing on fabric. In fact, this is by far the cheapest method to print T-Shirts. But the disadvantage of this method is that you cannot print multiple colors on the fabric at a time. So, you will have to deal with multiple frames. The following are the important rules of screen printing:

1. It is always better to make a large frame. The quality of the mesh has to be good for excellent images.

2. You will have to print the images by your printer on a transparency paper. So, you need to make sure whether your printer supports transparency paper. There are different types of transparency papers in the market. You have to choose one based on the fabric.

3. A quality photo emulsion and screen printing squeegee is mandatory for creating awesome images on fabric. So, you need to make sure the quality of emulsion and squeegee you use.

screen printing fabric

T-Shirt & Fabric Printing Techniques

There are many t-shirt and fabric printing techniques. Among them, the following is most popular and widely used:

  • Screen printing.
  • Heat transfer.
  • Direct to garment (DTG).
  • Vinyl printing.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is the oldest method of printing on fabric. This is the most popular method which is very easy to learn but sometimes get very tricky. Screen printing method of printing on fabric started about thousands years ago.

For screen printing, the screen or template is the key part. These are mesh made of nylon. These screens and ink are used to produce images on the fabric and t-shirts. The ink is applied and spread on the screen. Then, the ink the removed and the t shirt is dried.

In the process, the first thing you are required is the design. You can design a t-shirt by using various softwares like illustrators, photoshop, GIMP etc. You can use thousands of color combinations and the interesting thing is these softwares are not very hard to learn and becoming pro. Once you get the design right, you will need good quality transparent paper and a perfect printer having compatibility of printing on transparency papers. If you do not make sure of this, you will not get your design right and dealing with paper jams and ink wastages.

After the design is ready, you will need to prepare the screen. This the most import factor for the quality printing. The number of screen you will need to prepare is the number of color you want to be printed. And these must be ordered carefully and with basics of colors and artworks. Screen can be of different types depending. These are usually number like 100, 160, 200 etc. The higher is the number, the more is the number of threads per inch in the fabric. So, the fabric and the screen are to be compatible to each other. The order of the color is to been carefully.

The images created by this method can be very high quality and vibrant if handled carefully. But these take time. The huge advantage in this method is that you do not have to worry about the fabric colors and types. Any fabric is good for this method. If you are on budget and need huge production, this is the method you want to choose.

Heat transfer process

Heat transfer process is the easiest way to create images on fabrics. Heat transfer process uses heat and pressures to print on fabrics. This method is also known as sublimation method. In fact, any process that uses temperature and pressure is known as sublimation.

heat transfer t shirts

The process is really simple. You just need heat transfer paper, a good printer and a heat press machine. You will need to choose transfer papers carefully. And of course, not all printers are suitable for printing on transfer papers. But if you choose a printer for printing on transparent paper that printer will must be suited for heat transfer papers. If you are just into heat transfer process, you can go for an inkjet printer with much less prince of about $300. 

In the process steps, you will at first need to create designs. It will be great if you could a take graphic designing course. If you do not want to do that, you can easily hire someone for a very low price at various online platforms like Upwork, Fiver etc. You will just need to instruct him/her, he/she will do the rest.

After the design, you will need to print it and use the heat press machine. Heat press machine creates heat and pressure to stick the desired image on the fabric.

Usually, the temperature of the heat press machine is 170-230 degree Celsius depending on the type of printing. The most commonly used temperature for a heat press machine to generate heat is the 200 degree Celsius. And the duration of heating is 20-30 seconds.

But the process have some disadvantages, no process is perfect. You should not choose very dark color fabric for this technique. Besides, the images might fade with time. On the other hand, not all fabrics are well suited for this method. Heat sensitive fabrics is a big no No.

Direct To Garment

This is the newest method to print on fabric. In this method, the printer directly prints on the fabrics. The printer uses inkjet technology and water based ink to create images on the fabric. Although there is no process at all, the method has disadvantages and advantages. You will have independency in choosing colors but the color might not last long. On the other hand, the printer might even cost you a fortune.

Vinyl printing

Vinyl printing method is a type of sublimation method which is based on heat and pressure. This method is almost similar to heat transfer process. You will a vinyl paper instead of heat transfer paper and a vinyl cutter to cut the vinyl paper in shape of the design. Then the heat press machine is used. You can even use a house iron as a heat transfer machine.

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