Can You Screen Print on Polyester

In the current market, you can customize a lot of products. You might have an idea of the printing process, as you may have customized a shirt or a jersey sometime in the past. But have you heard of screen printing? It is a process for printing on a wide range of fabric types like polyester. Read can you screen print on polyester!

These days, thanks to advances in technology, polyester fabric is affordable, durable, and perfect for creating one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. How can you take advantage of polyester’s versatility? With screen printing! 

Screen printing on polyester fabric allows you to profit from designs that would otherwise be useless on materials like cotton. However, there are some barriers to printing on this material. The key is to find an outlet to teach you how to screenprint on polyester and fine-tune your design techniques for this material.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the process of using an ink-based stencil to apply designs to fabric or paper. You can print with one color or multiple colors, and the pattern you create can be printed with varying thicknesses of ink. So this method of printing is mostly for t-shirts, jackets, bags, and other fashion items. A stencil is created with an image of the graphic on a mesh screen.

This silk screening method creates a textured, raised print on fabric. With multi-colored prints and low prices, this has been a popular method of printing t-shirts. However, polyester screens have replaced silk as the material for the screen, which streamlines printing processes and reduces costs. 

Screen Printing is your best option if you are looking to print small batches of designs. The process is much quicker than other types of printing, but the printing quality depends on the printer’s skill.

Screen Printing is one of the most cost-effective options for DIY projects since it requires little to no design expertise – you can have your design printed by a professional screen printer for a fraction of the cost of digital printing.

Can You Screen Print on Polyester?

In the past, polyester was a poor choice for handmade gifts simply because it was expensive. But now that polyester is cheaper than cotton, and it’s easier to find affordable fabrics for your DIY projects. However, you might be wondering whether or not you can screen print on polyester fabric.

Yes, printing on polyester is possible, but it requires different inks to avoid fading. Furthermore, inks have to be printed in certain temperatures to ensure they stick. For those just starting to screenprint on polyester, the first few jobs may seem complex and time-consuming.

However, with a bit of practice and knowledge of what you’re doing, you will quickly become accustomed to using this fabric as one of your printing options. You’ll be turning out quality work in no time!

Why is Screen Printing on Polyester Appealing?

Polyester Blends are an excellent option for both fashion-forward consumers and people looking for high-performance fabric. Polyester blends combine the comfort of cotton with resistance to wrinkles so that you can feel great in your clothes all day long. They have a whopping number of benefits like the following :


The polyester blend is soft and flexible yet also resistant to rips and tears.  In addition, it’s pre-shrunk, which means that it will maintain its shape through repeated washings.


Moisture-wicking fabric, also known as a moisture-managing fabric, is engineered to move sweat or water away from the body to evaporate it more quickly. The result is a garment that feels fresher for more extended periods. Moisture-wicking fabrics are most popular in activewear and sportswear but may also be used in casual clothing such as T-shirts or business attire.


Polyester blends are the most versatile fabrics, offering options for different print processes. There are water-based inks for polyester blends, and discharge print is possible on some polyester fabrics, making them ideal for custom prints with low minimums and quick turnaround times.


In addition to feeling silky and luxurious, polyester is also less likely to cling to your body as you sweat during a workout than cotton. In contrast, as you work out in a cotton shirt, the fabric will soon become saturated with moisture. Once the fabric’s capacity for absorbing water is exceeded, it will cling to your skin and feel heavy and uncomfortable.


Clothing made of polyester is lightweight and breathable. The fabric is often treated with antimicrobial technology to keep odors at bay, and it requires less energy than cotton to produce.

Heat Resistant

Because of the high fire resistance of polyester, it’s a popular choice for child’s pajamas. With its ability to retain its shape even in the face of extreme temperatures, this fabric is a good choice for any situation where body temperature may be a concern.

Easy to Maintain 

Polyester is the plainest fabric to care for in many ways, especially with other materials. It dries quickly so that you can hang it up to drip-dry in your shower. It can be machine washed and dried, making it easy to keep clean.

Polyester Elasticity

Polyester is an elastic material that stretches to fit your body shape. This allows for freedom of movement, whether you’re at work or on the go. Stretchy fabrics are often blended with another material, such as spandex or elastane, to make them more flexible.

Limitations of Screen Printing on Polyester 

Polyester presents a few issues when it comes to print on demand. First, the fabric itself is prone to dye migration. Dye migration occurs when a significant difference occurs in the thermal properties between polyester and the dye set. When designers set their design using heat plates, they make sure to be mindful of how much energy is put into the containers. 

If too much energy is used, the dye will leach into the fabric, causing the color to run. Polyester comes from a fossil-fuel-based polymer and does not handle high temperatures at all well.

However, all is not lost. You can get ahead and these bleeding issues by taking a few precautions. The first step is to use dark ink or an under-base before printing a lighter design on top of it. Another option is to use a product with screen protection, which helps protect from stains and spills. Of course, choosing the correct temperature makes a difference as well!

Further, screen Printing images on polyester fabric requires the use of four-color process printing. Four-color process printing is used to print digitally designed images on cloth. It involves dividing an image into four primary colors, each of which gets its screen. As a result, four-color process printing is often used when the product itself is simple and does not need a lot of color variation in its design.

Final Word

No other material is as challenging to print on as polyester. The problems might seem unique to this particular material (and they are), but you can still overcome them with the help of our guide. You’ll gain insight into what makes this fabric tick, how it responds to screen printing, and how you can take advantage of it in your designs.

Also Read:

13 Best Cardstock Printers for Printing on Cardstock

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