*The following definitions are brief explanations of the printing methods we use. Each one can be perfect for you depending on intended use of the garment.
SCREEN PRINTING – It’s the most commonly used method for t-shirt printing.It uses screens pressed up against cloth to place paint onto shirts one color per screen. Each press uses a single color, so that means that for a t-shirt design that has 5 colors, you will need 5 separate screens.
Screen printing is high quality, professional looking, durable, and can be very price effective on volume orders. Some cons might be the fact that it’s messy to work with many screens, and if you want to do one t-shirt or two, that’s definitely not the right choice for printing. Also, screen printing has setup fees, depending on the number of the color screens to be burned. Concerning the colors of the t-shirt, if you want to print on dark t-shirts, there is a white under base that needs printed first.
HEAT TRANSFER VINYL PRINTING – is the perfect option for t-shirt lettering, for small t-shirt orders, for name of bands, clubs, football player and so on. It requires a machine (vinyl cutter) to cut out designs on special color sheets of vinyl. The cut vinyl is applied onto the garment using a heat press.
This technique is perfect if you want a t-shirt with a distinct lettering.
DYE SUBLIMATION PRINTING– is actually the heat transfer onto polyester garments and polyester coated items (such as mugs). Dye sub process is limited to printing on white or light to medium colored garments that have a 100% polyester surface and allows for full color printing as well as spot color printing on garments. Sublimation ink is a special ink that turns to gas when heat is applied. The heat makes polyester pores to open and permanently absorb the sublimation ink. But this is possible with most of non-textile garments, like mugs, puzzles, key chains, mouse pads etc. This technique can also be applied to polyester t-shirts, but there is a restrained demand on this chapter. Dye sublimation printing also requires a special transfer paper which is cheaper than inkjet transfer paper, but the sublimation ink is very expensive.
Digital Heat Transfer –
Using a desktop color laser copier/printer or inkjet printer, full color designs are printed onto specialized transfer papers and heat applied to apparel or fabrics. This method is quick and inexpensive, allowing almost instant customization and requiring limited inventory of goods. Photo-quality images can be quickly printed and applied to garments.While this method offers the advantage of high-quality images, it has some drawbacks. Standard transfer paper will not show white images on any garment. Because most desktop printers do not have white ink, any areas which show white on the transfer paper will show as the garment color after application. This can be avoided by using special paper for dark garments, though this paper is more expensive and has a heavier feel than standard transfer paper. Also, unless properly trimmed, most transfer papers will leave an outline of excess coating around the image when transferred onto garments. Precise (and often time-consuming) trimming must be done before application. Furthermore, transfer paper is not as long-lasting as other decorating options.