Understand Different T-shirt Printing Techniques

Understand Different T-shirt Printing Techniques

T-shirt is an essential item in every people’s closet and each year, over 2 billion T-shirts are sold worldwide as it’s easy to wear, time-saving, comfortable, and to a lot of t-shirt buyers, the color and print on their t-shirts are a word speaking for their identity. We can see many people put their thought into the designs and the effort really amazed us!

Printing on t-shirts started almost 60 years ago and today there is not only one method we can use to finish. This article will introduce you to several ways of how to print on t-shirt, also their advantages and disadvantages

a guy using the screen to print

Method 1- Screen Printing

This method was first used on t-shirts in 1959. The concept is simple – every design has a set number of basic colors used in them. These colors would be separated, each color is on one screen and different proportions of these colors would be allowed onto the fabric with the use of mesh-like screen.

Advantages of Screen Printing

  • Cost-efficient for bulk orders
  • The print quality is impressive, brilliant and durable
  • Versatile – not only doable on a t-shirt but also on any canvas-based surfaces

Disadvantages of Screen Printing

  • Unsuitable for complex, multi-color deigns as it requires different screen for each color
  • Color accuracy issues – because the color being separated, mixing is also limited
  • Some positions are impossible to be set up on the machine

Method 2- Direct to Garment Printing

As stated in the name, this method is similar to an inkjet printer, you can just print the design out with one click, and you will bring on fabrics instead of paper.

Advantages of Direct to Garment

  • Ability to handle a high-detail with complicated multi-color designs
  • Soft and smooth print

Disadvantages of Direct to Garment

  • Not compatible with various type of shirts
  • Uneconomical with bulk orders
  • Design placement limitations

Method 3- Transfer Printing

With heat-printing, your design will be printed on a special kind of paper then using heat to transfer a design from one surface to another permanently.

Advantages of Heat Transfer

  • Easy to execute
  • Economical
  • Suitable for complex design

Disadvantages of Heat Transfer

  • Slow process – this is a manual printing method
  • Fabric limitation- you can’t print on all kind of fabric with this method

Method 4- CAD Cut Vinyl

Designs are created on colored vinyl using the CAD- Cut System, and these designs are transferred onto the t-shirt using a heat press

Advantages of CAD Cut Vinyl

  • Minimal Setup Cost
  • Efficient for small runs

Disadvantages of CAD Cut Vinyl

  • Size restrictions- with large designs, this type of printing can add weight to the apparel
  • Time-consuming when doing bulk orders

Each method has its own benefits and drawback, so considering the right method to use for your next project is not easy. Fortunately, Calgary Silkscreen Inc. offers you 3 services in one place! Come in and talk with our sales representative and let us help you turn your ideas into reality!

Recent Posts