Below you'll discover the various methods of T-Shirt printing available which you can use. For all these methods we shall tell you their respective advantages and drawbacks. After reading this post, you will have a fair idea of which method of t-shirt printing to use.
Screen printing is still the most proffessional way of printing on t-shirts. Another name for this technique is silk screen printing. If you have a t-shirt or polo shirt with a soft print with consistent colours, this is most probably the type of printing. These prints remain vibrant, bright and last for long. You can count on screen print for most of your t-shirt printing needs including polo shirts, hoodies and other apparel. However, it may not be the best option for all occasions.
Screen printing requires you to create a stencil or template of the design. This is held in place with the help of a screen which is, usually, made of nylon mesh. The screen is the placed in position on top of the t-shirt to be printed. Ink is then flooded onto the screen and spread to ensure it fully spread on the screen. The ink passes through the wire mesh and the stencil of the design to print onto the t-shirt. Excess ink on the screen is wiped away. The screen is then removed and the t-shirt cured, cured and ready!
Screen Printing has the following advantages:
Screen Printing however has it's disadvantages:
Next on the line is the Direct to Garment(DTG) method. This is a relatively new method of t-shirt printing and was introduced only in 2005. It involves printing directly on the t-shirt. It is printed using a DTG Printer. This works exactly the same way printing is done by an inkjet printer on paper.
Being able to print directly on the t-shirt with a machine has the following advantages:
Considering DTG printing is an emerging technology, it has some inherent disadvantages:
Vinyl cut printing is the technique where vinyl sheets are cut as per the design using a CAD plotter and cutter. This cut design is then printed onto the t-shirt using a heat press machine. It is widely used add names and numbers onto sports t-shirts. It can be done on both dry-fit sports jerseys and cotton t-shirts. Vinyl cut Printing allows for different types of prints like reflective prints, neon prints, glitter prints, metallic foil prints as well as prints in an colour. Vinyl cut print works well for slogans, small graphics and words.
The advantages of Vinyl Cut Printing are:
There are a few disadvantages of CAD Vinyl Cut Printing:
Sublimation printing is what is used to get an all over print on a t-shirt. However, this can only be done on polyester t-shirts. It is capable of transforming the whole t-shirt into a piece of art. Sublimation print can only be done on lighter colours. In sublimation printing, the design is first printed onto a heat transfer paper. This paper is then placed on the t-shirt to be printed and high temperature and pressure through a fusing machine then applied. With the application of heat, the t-shirt pores expand and the sublimation dye on the paper turns into liquid and gas and passes onto the pores of the t-shirt fabric. On cooling, the pores again contract and the t-shirt is now printed with the design.
The advantages of Sublimation Printing are:
The disadvantages of Sublimation Printing are:
Heat Press Transfer Printing is basically transferring the design from one surface to the other using heat and pressure. In this case, you transfer the design from a heat press paper onto the T-Shirt using a heat press fusing machine. It is also used for several other products like mugs, ceramics, stickers etc.
The advantages of Heat Press Printing are:
The disadvantages of Heat Press Printing are:
This is not printing in the conventional sense but a standard way of decorating a T-Shirt. This is the ideal and most widely used technique for corporate t-shirts and corporate shirts. Embroidery is the oldest form of t-shirt printing who's history can be traced back to 30,000 BC. In embroidery, the design is directly sown onto the t-shirt with a sewing machine.
The advantages of Embroidery on T-Shirts:
The disadvantages of Embroidery are:
There are many methods to print on T-Shirts. Each method has it's unique advantages and disadvantages. Each method is best suitable for their own different occasion. At iLogo we provide T-Shirt Printing Services right at your doorstep at all locations across the world.
Discharge Screen Printing is a Screen printing process where the same methods and equipment is used, but, where the inks used are a special discharge dyes. Discharge inks removes the shirts dyes and is replaced with the discharge ink instead of the ink being put as a layer on top of the t-shirt. It is similar to bleaching the fabric, however, here the fibres is not damaged. This results in a very soft finished print unlike other forms of screen printing. There is no feel of the print and the weave of the t-shirt can be seen through the print. Getting the colours as per the design is not an exacting process as the colour generated depends on multiple factors like the fabric, dyeing of the fabric, climate etc. It is however a very good method to get t-shirt designs with vibrant prints on dark colour t-shirts. If you have a t-shirt or polo shirt with a soft print with consistent colours, this is most probably the type of printing. These prints remain vibrant, bright and last for long. However, it may not be the best option for all occasions. You can learn about the various techniques of t-shirt printing before deciding your technique of choice.
You can find out more about Screen Printing here. You can also learn about the Pros and cons of Screen Printing vs Digital Printing. iLogo specializes in all kinds Printing on T-Shirts with free design support. Know all about designing and placing an order on iLogo.