New! Digital printing decals for bone china tableware

digital printing decals

Table of Contents

Digital printing decals is not a new technology, but the usage on bone china tableware, it is still new application with much potential.


Years ago I have a client asking me what was the printing technical way was using. It was actually a very professional question, as for many of our clients, they didn’t know which printing method used nor did they care, all they want is the right effect for their patterns or designs they are using.

He was reluctant when he heard the answer of silk printing.  It took me great effort to persuade him that we could achieve great effect with this technique and this the technique we that have been used for decades. At last, he gave it a try and the result was not quite satisfying and we didn’t close the deal.

It was until last year that the digital printing applying on the decal started to emerge in the tableware decal printing market here. It is also till then that I found that digital printing decal method was the technique he was looking for. The exact effects of the designs no matter how difficult the designs are.

digital printing decals
digital printing decals

What’s digital printing decals

While the most commonly used method for decal printing is silk screen printing, also known as the traditional decal printing method, it requires the steps of separating the colors, set up layouts, print each color each time see bone china decal paper production process.

Digital printing decals is a method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.

Digital printing decals have a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods, but this price is usually offset by avoiding the cost of all the technical steps required to make printing plates. It also allows for on-demand printing, short turnaround time, and even a modification of the image (variable data) used for each impression.

The savings in labor and the ever-increasing capability of digital presses means that digital printing is reaching the point where it can match or supersede offset printing technology’s ability to produce larger print runs of several thousand sheets at a low price.

Features for digital printing decals


As in the article MOQ of Custom Bone China Mugs, when using the silk screen printing method, the MOQ for each layout is 200 sheets, while 1 layout can lay around 6 cup and saucers, which means the MOQ for one design cup and saucer is 6*200=1200 sets, this doesn’t suit the case when people want to run a small quantity to test the market.

bone china mug with silk screen printing design
bone china mug with silk screen printing design

Order minimum 1 sheet, so digital printing decals are well suited for small run personalized project, like photo as it captured photographic images well. it is best suited for photographic images project.

Better color performance

Silk screen printing decals are significantly more limited when it comes to colors. Because of the traditional process, applying color has to be done one-at-a-time, using a separate stencil and screen in order to avoid color mixing.

When it comes to color detail and variation, digital printing decals are clearly the winner over screen printers. It works well for very colorful images with color gradients.

customized design with gradient effect
customized digital printing decals with gradient effect

Digital printing decals have endless color possibilities and combinations, allowing you to print nearly any logo or design. The only limitation you have with a digital printer is you cannot print white ink, although this is slowly changing with the newest, state-of-the-art digital printers. The high-resolution photographic rendering is unmatched by other printing processes.


Cost is always considered with the quantity, we can not judge the cost of certain decal printing method without considering the order volume. There are so many variations between each customer order that it’s difficult to qualify which printer is the cheapest.

The cost for the silkscreen process will depend on the number of sheets, the number of colors, and the color palette used. We have leaded and unleaded colors for glass, ceramic, and porcelain with metallic colors available. 

good performance of color with digital printing
good performance of color with digital printing

There’s a reason the screen printing method has been around for centuries. Its cost-effective approach is perfect for large-scale orders and is tough to beat. The lower cost truly depends on each individual order you make. For example, extremely high-volume runs – 25,000 decals or 10,000 posters – screen printing is clearly the more cost-effective option.

On the other hand, if you’re printing 250 decals of a complicated piece of artwork you’re better off going with high-quality digital printing decals that will create the decals in just a day or two.

Each layout and each color requires the creation of a unique screen, therefore there is a one-time setup fee per layout. If one were to reprint this same layout even in a different color, there would be no setup fee.

Sample cost and leading time

There is a one-time setup fee for silk screen print decals per design/layout. The cost is variable depending on the difficulty of the design, usually, we charge $100-150, this amount can be deducted when bulk order placed. The sample leading time is around 15 days, as printing a sample is of the same process of printing the bulk order.

personlized wedding gift-bone china plate
personlized wedding gift-bone china plate

For digital printing decals, there is no setup charge, there is also very little discount for bulk orders, so the sample cost is the same unit price we offer for bulk orders, the leading time is a little short too.

Use occasion

Digital printing decals have benefited from advancements in technology that allow these machines to be more creative, print on a variety of different surfaces, and do it all very quickly.

If you’re looking to print a quick run of decals that display a complicated piece of artwork, digital printing decals would be your best option.

Also, if your design is complicated and you are looking for the best display effect of the design, you should go with digital printing.

While cost is your main concern and the quantity is big, and the design is relatively easy to achieve, we should choose silk screen printing to lower the cost.

It’s a good discussion to have, but ultimately the best printer depends on your product, the quantity you’re looking for, the difficulty of your designs.

Screen printing still has its place in printing and manufacturing – and likely always will – but digital provides more quality options now and in the future.

We’re happy we can offer both the digital printing decals and screen printing options because it provides our customers with more options that best serve their needs. If you’ve wondered about our technique or the prices we quoted, hopefully, this in-depth comparison helps you understand why we chose a certain printing method for you.

The Best decal Printing method for You

If your still confused, don’t fret! We are here to help, let us make the decision for you. Contact us for any assistance, share us your design, your idea, the quantity you need, your requirements, your budget, we will work out a proposal and then you can decide whether it’s worth a go! Don’t just ask about the price and MOQ, share us more information, it could help you understand your project better too!

Don’t hesitate, leave us a message via the form below, you will get our reply within 2 working days!

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