Choosing Your T-Shirt Printing Method for Your Shirts
Aside from creating an excellent t-shirt design, the most important thing to consider is choosing your printing technique. There are several techniques around and depending on their use, every one of them is effective in using for your t-shirts. There are some benefits and cons to each of the printing techniques.
Silk Screen Printing
This method is one of the oldest and the most popularly used in t-shirt printing. It uses screens with negative film, to put ink onto cloth one color at a time. Each screen is used for one color only, which means, if your design has five colors, you’ll have to make five separate screens.
Screen printing yields high-quality prints. It looks professional, durable and is cost effective, especially if you’re making bulk t-shirt designs. Vector images look great in silk screen, but gradients and highly detailed artworks may not.
If you’re just printing one to three shirts, this technique is not recommendable because making the screen may take time especially if your design is multi colored. When it comes to printing dark colored shirts, the process is doubled because you still have to print a white base before printing the actual image onto a shirt.
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)
This printing technique is relatively new. It may be quite pricey, but the quality of this method’s output is superb. With the use of a t-shirt printing machine, the artwork is directly printed on the shirt. Like how printers print quality images on paper, this printer can print an unlimited number of colors and shades onto the shirt, a feat that is impossible and costly in screen printing.
This method is perfect for highly detailed designs and crisp images you want to print on a shirt. While it is the best option for single or few t-shirts, this technique costs much more when you print in bulk.
Heat Transfer Printing
This printing method is usually chosen when printing very small orders or “one-off” t-shirts.
You simply just print the image on a special vinyl paper and transfer the image onto the shirt using heat pressing equipment that laminates the picture onto the shirt. The result is a high-quality, full image design applied into your shirt. This is also perfect for complicated designs with various colors.
Unlike silk screen printing, there’s no need to use the colors separately. Just heat press the image, and it’s printed onto the shirt in a few minutes. It helps small business finish customized shirts in bulk faster than silk screen printing. The only drawback is with regular laundry; the vinyl may pop out of the shirt or get cracked.
For plain letterings, simple logos and shapes vinyl printing are the best options. It just requires a vinyl cutter to cut the individual colored vinyl sheets in making any flat design. The vinyl is then printed on the cloth using a heat press.
It’s beneficial for small productions such as a team’s jerseys or their flags. With more than 50 colors to print with, it can create an impact on your design. Some vinyl colors are also fluorescent and can glow in the dark.
This technique is perfect for you if you want a t-shirt with a distinct lettering. But if used, for mass production, it can be quite a labor-intensive as you have to cut the vinyl into a shape singlehandedly. Combining many colors with the vinyl is also very taxing, not to mention you cannot make a detailed design with this technique.
We hope this article helped you to pick the best t-shirt printing method for your shirts.
If you have any questions at all or would like to inquire about having us print your t-shirts, call us anytime at (808) 725-2955, we’ll be honored to serve you. Or, you may fill out the INSTANT QUOTE FORM, and someone will be contacting you very soon.