Flex Printing vs Flock Printing

Simply put, Flock and Flex are similar printing methods, cut from sheets of vinyl and heat pressed into your garment, but let’s dig a little deeper to see why you might want to try this type printing for your future merchandise, and why your customers may prefer it to Screenprinting or Print on Demand.

Quality is #1 when it comes to your custom merchandise. Even if you’re giving this stuff away for free, it’s representative of your company and brand. By perfecting your custom printing methods, you can ensure that your merchandise withstands substantial use and stays in customer’s minds much longer. You want to be someone’s favorite shirt, not their future throw away rag.

You also increase the chances of impressing enough people to gain repeat customers. Especially when they see you produce high quality gear that’s going to last.

The question becomes, how can you ensure quality like this on every piece of merch apparel?

For the most part, It all comes down to your printing method. Let’s say that you’re offering a free merch t-shirt with every sale. This is fantastic for both gaining new customers and spreading the word to build your brand or label.

Until, of course, your printing methods let you down, and your designs fade. You don’t want cheap screenprinting to make your brand look bad or leave your fans with a bad piece of merchandise to remember.

Cracked Screenprint
Ouch! Nobody likes cracked screenprinted shirts!

In most cases, companies turn to cheap options like screen printing or heat transfers. These are the types of print which are liable to fade. If you want to ensure the best from your merch, then, you may want to consider flock or flex printing.

The question is, what are these alternative printing methods, and why are they better than what you’re using?

What is Flex Printing?

Flex printing is an advanced form which involves thermally pasting vinyl sheet designs onto apparel. This is in direct contrast with more typical screen printing as it doesn’t rely on an ink-printed design which are never going to last.

Flock printing also involves fibers, but this time applying them to adhesive surfaces. Unlike Flex printing which is pretty unique to clothing, flock printing can see you using your designs on anything from plastic to glass.

Flock Printing close up

The why
Options like these provide you with quality which your screen printing competitors can’t stand to see. That’s good news in a market where standing apart is always desirable. As mentioned above, flock and flex printing are also much more durable than many merch methods more commonly used. That means your merchandise prints will still be shouting loud when your competitor’s offerings have long faded.

Are there any downsides to using Flex and Flock?

Sadly, there are some downsides to these printing options which you should also consider.

For one, it can be challenging to achieve intricate designs with methods like flex printing. That’s because you’re limited with the spaces you can have between each line you use.

Flex Printing Example

You will also find that you’re limited in color options, as printing like this only allows you to use one color at a time. Given that money also matters a great deal in business, it’s also worth noting that the specialized skill and equipment needed for processes like these can cost more than a standard screen print.

Altogether, though, flock and flex printing could be a fantastic way to print some of your merch from now on. You can even buy small machines like the Cricut and Silhouette Cameo for at-home use.

By pairing these with the printing methods you already use, you can achieve a wide array of merch and designs which are sure to build your brand and please your fans.

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