T-shirt printing is a process done when you want to add some flair to a plain, ordinary shirt. With it, you can fully customize the design you want on your shirt. Do you want to add some cute graphics? A strong statement? Your name or company name, perhaps? There are a lot of things you can do in personalizing your shirt, and with t-shirt printing, the customization of your shirt wouldn’t be as difficult as you thought it may be.
There are different t-shirt printing methods, and they vary in the quality and texture of the outcome. Here are some of the most common t-shirt printing methods there are now:
- Screen printing – With the use of stencils (or screen, as most printers would call it) and mesh screens, ink would be transferred to the surface being printed on. If a lot of colors would be involved in the design, a lot of screens would be used as well since each color would be pressed down using a different stencil. Screen printing is the best option when printing dark shirts or designs with a lot of bright, vibrant colors.
- Digital printing – Digital printing is also known as direct-to-garment printing. It is a much easier process than screen printing. With digital printing, your artwork (or whatever it is you want printed on your t-shirt) will be rendered on a computer and will be printed directly onto the t-shirt. The benefit of this is that if you want a photograph printed onto your shirt, digital printing would be able to show more detail of the photo, as opposed to using screen printing. The ink used in digital printing is much thinner to achieve detailed printing.
- Hand painting – Probably the most affordable type of customization there is, hand painting calls for one of a kind, unique designs. These are perfect for hobbyists and artists alike, since not one shirt is going to come out like the other. By hand painting, one adds a personal touch and artistic value to the shirt.
- Air brushing or spray painting – Quite similar to hand painting, except different tools are to be used. Stencils may also be involved in this process, to achieve a more defined design.
- Heat transfer printing – Another name for this is heat pressing. As per its name, heat is used to transfer the design on a t-shirt. First, your design, rendered on a computer, will be printed on a specialty paper called the transfer paper. The transfer papers should either have a clear or opaque film on one side. The clear film is best used to white and light colored shirts, while the opaque film is for transferring to darker colored fabrics.
With the use of a heat press machine, applying medium to high pressure heat will transfer the design from the film onto the t-shirt. Cool down the shirt for a while then peel off the transfer paper.
Don’t forget, they all may do the same job, but choosing the right method is essential if you want to achieve a specific outcome. So, have you decided which among these t-shirt printing methods is best suitable for your needs?