5 Printing Methods Used to Design Custom T-Shirts

Whether you have an upcoming company retreat, a charity event, or a similar event coming up, creating custom t-shirts can enable you to increase your brand awareness and boost your presence. If you want to have a unique t-shirt, print it yourself. This gives you the opportunity to dictate what you want on your t-shirt—whether that’s your logo, your company name, or anything else. Custom t-shirt printing is a great idea for companies that want to create custom merchandise for their staff, for sale, or for promotional purposes.

There are different types of custom t-shirt printing methods that you might want to consider. Let us look at a few of them.

1. Screen Printing

Screen printing is one of the most widely used printing methods. It is largely the most preferred, but not necessarily the most effective and/or efficient depending on what you want to print on the t-shirt. Screen printing involves creating a template that is held in place by a screen, usually made up of a nylon mesh. Ink is flooded onto the screen and then pressed down by the use of a squeegee, which ensures the ink spreads all over the screen. The screen is then taken off and the design you are printing is then cured and dried.

After that, it’s ready to go. It’s an effective method if you’re printing a large number of t-shirts as the screen can be re-used on each t-shirt, but it is quite expensive if you have different designs and a small number of t-shirts to print.

2. Direct-to-Garment Technique

The direct-to-garment (DTG) technique involves directly printing a design on a t-shirt. One would need a DTG printer, which is quite expensive, in order to print t-shirts. It involves placing the t-shirt on the printer and then proceeding to print directly on the t-shirt. It works best on white t-shirts but you can also use darker t-shirts. The quality obtained is good and soft but not as good as screen printing.

3. Dye Sublimation

This works best on light t-shirts that are 100% polyester. With this method, you can have a print that covers the entire t-shirt. For best results, it’s best to leave this to the experts as you need to have a vast knowledge of dye sublimation.

The process involves a special liquid dye, which is applied to the fabric and left dry on the fabric in order to commence the sublimation process. Heat and pressure are then applied, which make the fabric molecules expand, allowing the dried dye molecules to seep through the gaps created as a result. Once cooled, the molecules contract and the process is completed.

4. Heat Press Printing

This method is convenient when printing small quantities of t-shirts. It’s a more economical method of printing. It involves printing the design on a special type of paper known as a transfer paper. The shirt is pressed onto a heat transfer vinyl that applies heat and pressure on it.

This is done until the heat softens the dye on the paper to the point where it’s transferred underneath the t-shirt. After that, the glossy transfer paper is peeled away, leaving you with a beautifully designed t-shirt.

5. Cut and Sew Method

This is an expensive method of printing. However, it results in a professional and uniquely printed t-shirt. The cut and sew method involves designing the t-shirt from the fabric instead of using an already-manufactured t-shirt. You can apply this design to a sleeve or pocket. It can also be applied to the entire shirt at an extra cost.

Nothing brings a t-shirt to live more than a custom print. The different methods of t-shirt printing in the market put custom t-shirt printing within the reach of most budgets.

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