If you have been struck with the best t-shirt design and you want it to come to life, you need to know what printing method will work best for your design. Certain graphics require specific techniques and machines to get the best results. This guide will walk you through the various t-shirt printing methods, so you can choose the best one for your needs.
Also known as silkscreen printing, this method is the most common one used by printing professionals. It’s best for printing high-quality shirt designs, as the process guarantees a near-perfect replication of the image on almost any fabric. Companies use this method for mass production, especially for clients with their own businesses in need of promotional apparel. As all you need for this process is a nylon mesh screen and a design stencil, it’s better equipped for single colour designs rather than complex multi-coloured ones. Thicker inks are used to produce true to life colouring, but only when using high-quality ones, as lower quality inks will fade quickly and have an unpleasant texture.
Direct to Garment
Another popular t-shirt printing choice among professionals, the direct to garment method only requires a textile printer and the appropriate ink. This technique works the same way an office printer would, by uploading an image or custom design to a computer before hitting print. It’s perfect for complex designs, as the ink isn’t thick or coated over several layers. However, the quality of the printed image lies in the quality of your textile printer. Lower end printers will produce low-resolution images that are riddled with dots and other imperfections.
This sophisticated technique works best with lighter coloured, polyester shirts, as cotton can’t keep the dyes in place. Dye sublimation should only be attempted by individuals with expert knowledge of the practice for the best results. A liquid dye-based ink is needed for this process, as it turns into a gas when heated before reversing back into a solid once it hits the shirt material. The graphic designs are digitally printed before heated pressure is applied to transfer the dye onto the t-shirt, solidifying it into the polyester fabric. This is a popular technique for designs that cover the entire shirt.
An image of your choosing is ink-jet printed onto plastisol transfer paper before being heat pressed into the shirt. Like the other methods, applying plastisol transfers can be outsourced to other companies. However, large batches of this type of printing can get expensive. This is a great way to test out various shirt designs and operations, as it can take a lot of trial and error to get the pressure or temperature accurate for the perfect product.
Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing
Similar to the plastisol transfer method, a design is printed onto vinyl material before being heat pressed onto a shirt or other material. Along with printing, the image or letters are carefully cut out before application. This is the best method if you’re looking to heat transfer designs with one to three colours. This method can be easily applied to all kinds of fabrics while providing a good lifespan. However, it does its best work with simple graphics and basic shapes.
Marantz and Sons has been a family-owned business since 1930. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, our t-shirt printing company has expanded into other promotional apparel, including caps, hoodies, outerwear and more. With fast and free shipping across Canada, visit our website https://marantzandson.ca/ to get a free quote for any of our products.