T-shirt printing methods

Mar 27, 2018

T-shirts are a staple item in the wardrobe of virtually every global citizen. In many countries, the popularity of customizing them is astronomical. The following is a rundown of t-shirt printing methods and a cost-benefit analysis of each:

Screen Printing

Screen printing is an extremely popular method of customizing tees. It is also one of the most favourable methods because the colours stay alive for a long while with washing. First, a stencil or template is created and then it is held in place by a screen, usually of nylon mesh.

Then, a person needs to put ink on the screen. They use a squeegee to ensure that the ink spreads all over the screen. Then, the screen and template are removed. The t-shirt simply needs to dry after curing and then the process is finished.

While the quality of this process is great, it is also time-consuming. A fresh screen needs to be created each time. It can also be a messy process that is expensive. And, if just one T-shirt is being created, this is not a great process of creating the template takes time and energy.

Direct to Garment

In this technique, the t-shirt is fed through the printer and the image is printed directly onto the t-shirt. Initially, the purchase of a specialized printer is expensive. However, if a large quantity of t-shirts is required, then this is the way to go.

This process works great on white t-shirts, and is good quality, although not quite as good as screen printing.

Vinyl Printing

This type of printing starts with a specially printed cloth that is cut with a CAD cutter. Then the cloth is printed onto the t-shirt using a heat press. This is a great method even if you just need a single t-shirt. Also, you can layer the prints and make a very vibrant finished product. It does, however, make the t-shirt a bit hardened, so it is not good for large surface areas.

Heat Press

This is a great method for small quantities because it will be the cheapest. You start with a heat transfer vinyl. This will have the design on it. Then you place it on the t-shirt. Finally, heat and pressure are applied to the shirt until the dye transfers onto it. A glossy paper transfer is used to sop up the extra dye.

The result is a durable shirt. You can do complicated patterns with this method. However, black colours are not great for this type of printing. This is because the dye is see through and will not show up well on the shirt.

Clearly, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to printing on t-shirts. T-shirt printing is a complicated endeavour that requires the skill, equipment, and knowledge to perform. This is why professionals will recommend a certain service based on the consumer’s needs. There is a lot that goes into making a shirt, and you want to ensure that you get it right. Contact us today to get your T-shirt printing done!

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