If you’re planning to promote your business or advertise an event with customised t-shirts, it’s important that you have all of the information available about the different printing methods, so that you can make an informed choice.
From screen printing and DTG (direct-to-garment), to heat transfer methods, such as vinyl printing and a DTF Printing Service (direct-to-film), this brief guide will outline the most popular t-shirt printing methods:
Direct-to-garment printing is ideal for designs that are complicated, or photographic images, as it uses an inkjet printer to print full-colour prints of a high quality directly onto the t-shirt.
This technique is stencil-based, and involves ink being applied to a garment through a screen made of mesh. Popular and having been around for a long time, screen printing gives a vibrant finish and prints that are long-lasting.
Heat transfer printing
This printing method needs no special dyes or inks; simply using a heat press machine and some transfer paper. Versatile, this form of printing means that almost any design or picture can be printed onto a t-shirt.
Dye sublimation or AOP
Sometimes referred to as all-over-printing, this printing technique is among the most popular, and involves the graphics being printed digitally onto special heat transfer paper that is then applied using heat onto the garments.
Direct-to-film is a printing method that many favour nowadays, and involves designs being printed onto a polyethylene terephthalate film (PET film), before being transferred onto the garment with the use of heat and powder. Unlike DTG printing, garments need not be pre-treated.
This particular method can be used on a wide range of fabrics, and gives stunning results on both polyester and cotton t-shirts.
CAD heat transfer vinyl printing
Abbreviated to CAD, computer-aided design heat transfer vinyl printing is typically used for garments in which the material must be cut precisely, such as for printing the names and numbers of players on sports shirts. The CAD designs are cut out by a machine onto coloured heat transfer vinyl pieces, and the pressed using heat onto the t-shirt or other garment. This method does, however, give a result that is somewhat stiff due to the use of vinyl.
You may also want to consider using older, more traditional methods of printing emblems and images onto garments using one of the following methods:
The perfect way to add some intricacy to a garment, while embroidery will last longer than many other methods of printing, you are limited to the colour variations since the designs are sewn onto garments, instead of printed.
Requiring no transfer paper as is the case with other printing methods, airbrushing is carried out completely by hand. With the outcome entirely dependent upon the brushers level of skill and accuracy, this method is favoured by hobbyists who can afford to be a little more experimental.
Direct-to-film printing remains one of the most popular methods for t-shirt printing in the UK today, and if you would like to know more about it, you can simply pop into DTF printing in Wolverhampton, or browse your options online.