T-shirt printing is definitely becoming more popular as technology develops and the process becomes cheaper and more efficient to carry out. There are a variety of methods you can use for this; however three methods stand out to be the most popular. These three are screen printing, heat transfer, and direct to garment and each carries its pros and cons:
Screen Printing – Easily the most popular out of the three, and the method that requires the least tools. In this process a woven mesh is used and a stencil with design is placed over the mesh to resemble a screen. The screen is then placed firmly over the t-shirt, while a roller is used to press down and transfer the ink from the design onto the t-shirt. Not only is this process fast, but it’s also economical and easy to carry out – a perfect solution for medium to large volume orders.
Heat Transfer – While this process is more complex, it also allows for more extensive designs to be used and creates a much crisper design than what you’d receive with screen printing. The design is initially printed with a combination of ink, print and paper. It is then transferred onto the t-shirt via a heat source (usually a heat press) where the ink dries quickly and the print remains. This solution is usually best for low to mid-volume orders as it’s slower and less efficient.
Direct to Garment (DTG) – The newest of the three and the one that is slowly becoming the go-to method by many manufacturers, mainly due to it offering the best overall image and variety of designs. The t-shirt is placed in a large ink-jet style printer where the design is laser-printed onto the shirt to leave a crisp and clear print. Speed and cost will vary for this method as it mostly depends on the printer you use, however for large manufacturers this can be the most efficient once you’re fully setup.
Other techniques can include using vinyl cutters, where a machine cuts out the design on colored sheets of vinyl and heat transfers the vinyl to paper, or dye sublimation which is usually an expensive solution that is suitable for full color designs or white garments. Whatever method you choose, make sure that you choose a t-shirt design and logo that you can incorporate into every shirt you print. By doing this, you can build your brand while also maintaining a large variety of attractive designs that appeal to your consumers. If you are looking for a business with expertise in t-shirt printing, check out Zip Graphix and their amazing t-shirt portfolio!