Perhaps you are starting your own custom printing company. Or maybe you are venturing into the field of custom T-shirts. Whatever it is, knowing the best T-shirt printing methods will take you a long way.
You need to be aware of the different types of printing on shirts. How else will you be able to ensure that your customers get the best results? Of course, it is imperative to use high-quality T-shirt printing material. But there is a lot more to it.
Some T-shirt printing methods are most suited for particular fabrics. Your job’s volume and the number of colors on the design also influence the type of printing on T-shirts you should go for. When so many factors have to be taken into account, things are bound to get confusing. How do you decide which would be the best screen printing machine for T-shirts?
You have to realize, customers have become savvy. They have all the information. Gone are the days when only the final design mattered. These days, customers know about the types of printing on shirts and prefer a particular method.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon for customers to complain about the printing of their T-shirts. You have to understand that digital technology has drastically changed the concept of T-shirt printing. Many new methods have emerged, and you need to remain up to date. Which direct to garment printing services to avail? Who wins the battle in sublimation vs. screen printing? These are some of the struggles you are likely to encounter.
But fear not! We have your back. You have landed at just the right place as we will tell you all that you need to know about T-shirt printing methods. After all, this is about customer satisfaction!
The T-shirt printing methods you should know
Without further ado, let’s get right into it and talk about the types of printing on shirts most commonly used in the current times.
This can easily be counted among the most well-known printing methods of T-shirts. Screen printing has been used for various purposes for a long. Now, the screen printing process can be done by both machines and hands.
Why is it so popular? The secret lies in the screen printing inks. These inks are thicker compared to the inks used in other methods. Thus, they last longer and give vibrancy to the design. Naturally, you have to ensure that you use only high-quality ink for screen printing shirts. Low-quality ink wouldn’t be able to stand the tests of time and disappear quickly.
The screen printing process is ideal if you have high-volume orders. You will get the best results, irrespective of how big the design is. This is among the most cost-efficient printing methods. You can indeed save a ton by going for screen printing for T-shirts. Furthermore, the process is compatible with most fabric types.
But keep in mind that screen printing can get messy since you are working with ink. You need ample space to set it all up. Furthermore, learning the screen printing process requires time. You can’t expect to perfect it within a day or two.
2. DTG printing
Most people these days prefer to avail themselves direct to garment printing services. Why is DTG printing so popular? This one is an inkjet technology that offers high-quality prints wherein the full colors and images are printed directly onto the T-shirt.
DTG printing is ideal for intricate designs. Other methods would fail to grasp the full effect of such patterns that can be done by DTG T-shirt printing. The DTG printing machines are provided with impressive color mixing potential. Even the tiniest details aren’t missed. If you have a limited number of T-shirts to print, Direct garment printing services are a good option. The setup time is low, and your T-shirt will be ready in less than 30 minutes.
DTG printing machines aren’t massive, so you don’t need a big area for the setup. Additionally, the method doesn’t create too much of a mess.
But here’s what you need to remember. The best results for DTG printing are obtained on cotton shirts. Although the machines aren’t going to come cheap and you might also have to put in a lot of money for their maintenance. This might be one of the expensive T-shirt printing methods but undoubtedly an effective one.
3. Heat Transfer Printing
Heat transfer printing on fabric is the process wherein sheets of transfer material are laid on top of the garments. They are then heat pressed so that custom graphics can be applied to the garments permanently.
Heat transfer printing uses a solvent ink to get the job done in the first step. The link ensures that the paper’s design is transferred onto the paper, which is then pressed via a heat press machine.
The best thing about custom heat transfers is that they work on various materials and fabrics. No mess is created, and it isn’t much you will have to do for maintenance. There are multiple types of heat transfer printing. Let us break it down for you.
- Dye-Sublimation Printing:
Sublimation printing is among the most commonly used methods of heat transfer printing. In this method, the graphics are printed digitally and then heated to transfer the dye onto the T-shirts.
This form of sublimation printing is slightly different from other heat transfer printing techniques. This is because dye-based ink is used in the process that turns into gas after being heated. The inks undergo a change from solid to gas only to get back to solid-state again due to heat, pressure, and time. The gas becomes a part of the material. This is the ideal method for all-overprinting. The graphics last for a long time, and the process ensures that the printing feels soft on the hand. You don’t have to worry about the fading of the print or cracking when sublimation printing has been used.
Of course, like with all other printing methods, this one too has some problems. For one thing, the folds and creases remain un-dyed. The technique is only meant for poly-blend T-shirts. And most importantly, the setup can be quite expensive.
- Printing Plastisol Transfers:
The plastisol transfer process is quite similar to screen printing. There is just one difference. In this case, the artwork is inkjet printed onto the Plastisol transfer paper first. The paper is then used to heat press the design on the T-shirt.
Plastisol heat transfers make it easier for you to get custom T-shirts. All you have to do is send the designs to companies, and they will print them on high-quality Plastisol transfers. Your work is then done, and you have to apply the designs on the shirts via a heat press machine.
Several designs can fit on a single transfer paper. No mess is created. You can use this technique to gauge the initial reaction of customers to a particular design.
But you have to be careful. If the transfers aren’t done right, they will crack. And if you have to print a large number of shirts, it could be quite expensive and time-consuming.
- CAD-Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing
Heat transfer vinyl printing is mainly used to print logos and numbers. The images are printed onto the CAD-cut-vinyl material, which is then heat pressed onto the T-shirts and jerseys.
A machine is used to cut out designs and letters on pieces of colored vinyl in this case. The heat transfer vinyl process is meant for garment printing in smaller quantities. Applying vinyl on the T-shirt isn’t going to be difficult, and it works on all kinds of fabrics. But cutting the vinyl and weeding it is going to take long.
Get your T-shirt business started
Now you know the T-shirt printing methods that you can use to take your business forward. But that isn’t going to be enough if you want your business to be a success. Marketing is going to play a vital role.
Your T-shirt designs have to be accepted by the customers for them to work. The audience’s response is crucial and can be the deciding factor for the fate of your business. You can gauge the audience’s reaction and make adjustments accordingly.
The ideal approach will be to create some mock-ups initially. Don’t get entangled in the types of printing for shirts. Instead, select a template that suits your brand. Upload your T-shirt design to it and introduce it to the world. Judge the kind of response you get. This will let you know whether you should go ahead with it or make some alterations.
Feature the models on your website. The best thing about marketing these days is that you don’t have to invest in photo-shoots and hiring models. The digital world has made things easier for you. You can arrange T-shirt mock-ups online and be done with it. Just imagine, you can manage it all within the four walls of your home! What more could you want? Select a template that your target audience is likely to prefer. Pick a color and upload the T-shirt design. Your work is done! Yes! It is that easy!
You can use social media to promote your business. Facebook can be of immense help for this purpose. There is quite a high chance that you will land your next client on the platform. Be aggressive and reach out to your potential customers on social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram provide you with a vast market waiting for your product.
You can entice your audience to shop on your website via T-shirt ad mock-ups. Add text to the images to lure potential customers your way. The text should be customized to let your audience know what is unique about shopping with you.
Of course, video marketing isn’t such a bad idea either. It doesn’t even have to be that expensive. You can create videos of people wearing your T-shirts within the comforts of your home. Add your artwork to a template and let video editing take it over. Upload the video on your website and other social media platforms, and your work is done!
Select the best T-shirt printing methods for your business
At the end of the day, nothing speaks like quality. Indeed, new T-shirt printing methods continue to be developed. But if you don’t use high-quality t-shirt printing material, your product will suffer. No one likes to be spotted wearing a cheap-quality outfit wherein the paint peels off or appears cracked. So irrespective of the method that you choose, ensure that it produces high-quality results.
If you are serious about creating your clothing brand, you need to know a lot about the type of printing methods for T-shirts and the scenarios wherein a particular way works best. Make sure that you remain up to date with all the latest innovations being introduced in the market. The customers’ demands and preferences continue to evolve, and if you don’t adapt to this change, your business will suffer.
Every aspect deserves attention. You have to design the shirts, select the best printing method, and reach out to your targeted audience. Try to opt for plans that provide long-lasting results. This will do wonders for your reputation. Whether you go for discharge printing or some other form, quality is what will build your brand.
Furthermore, always select the printing method that caters to your requirement. For instance, it wouldn’t make much sense to create a whole large setup for screen printing if you are not going to continue with it. Similarly, you don’t have to invest in a heat transfer machine if you aren’t comfortable with the method. You have to be careful about this.
Before deciding on the best method to print your T-shirt, you need to understand your customers better. Taking a survey or using mock designs can help you out in this. The number of orders will also make it clear what technique is being preferred by your customers. You can then select the printing methods accordingly and hence, the best T-shirt printing machine.