Which Custom T Shirt Printing Method is Right for You

custom t shirt

There are various methods that you can use to print a custom t shirt. Choosing the right printing method to custom print your intended design is based on a few factors. These include the number of colours your design have, the type of design and the texture of the print. As such, different custom printing methods can help you achieve the results that you want. A well printed custom t shirt can make a difference in building your brand and help in merchandise marketing.

These methods include screen printing, direct to garment printing, dye sublimation and heat transfer printing. You can choose any of them depending on your budget and expected outcome. Let us go through all these techniques so that you can learn how are t shirts printed and choose the right method for yourself.

Screen Printing

Also known as silkscreen printing. The method of printing uses mainly a nylon mesh and a stencil. The stencil is being set up based on the design while the nylon mesh holds it in place. Ink is then manually flushed through the screen onto the t shirt. This technique is suitable for printing 1 to 4 coloured designs. However, it is not able to print designs with different color gradients due to the method of printing. Silkscreen printing is able to print pantone colors accurately which is a ideal if your brand logo or design already has a fixed colour. It is not advised to use silkscreen printing for intricate designs as the ink may turn out smudged.

Silkscreen printing is a cost efficient way of printing and is often used to print custom t shirts or non woven bags for roadshows or campaigns as giveaways. This printing method is sufficient to print simple designs and brand logos. If your design requires full colour printing, photography images this method is not for you.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG Printing)

DTG printing is yet another popular method for t shirt printing in Singapore. However, between the two, there is a very big difference between screen printing and DTG printing. This printing method can not only able to print graphic designs, it is also able to print photography images. Just like a regular printer, this technique uses a textile printer to print on t shirts. Hence, you will not be able to feel the print as ink is being imbedded in the t shirt fabric. The colours of the design can be adjusted in a computer file before it is being uploaded to print. As there may be slight variances between the design file and the actual print coloru, it is necessary to check with your printer about the color variance. This can help you gauge how much is to be adjusted. For the best results, it is  advisable to print on white, half bleached or natural cream colour t shirts. The downside of the method of printing is that the colours may fade over time after multiple washing.

Dye Sublimation

This technique works well on light coloured polyester t shirts for best results. This method of printing supports edge to edge and full surface printing. It uses a heat press process to transfer the printed design onto the t shirt fabric material. The end product is a smooth textured surface print. However, little precise details and texts do not have very good resolution and appear to be less sharp. Similar to DTG printing, there is also a larger color difference variance.

Heat Transfer

When it comes to printing sharp and vibrant photography images, none of the above print methods does it better than heat transfer printing. Furthermore, heat transfer printing can be done with no restriction on colour or t shirt fabric materials. You have to first print the design onto a special paper called the transfer paper. Afterwhich, the vinyl transfer is being heat pressed onto the shirt to produce the print. The intended printing image is able to retain optimal resemblance to its digital mockup. This means that the color variance is very minimal and precise details are captured and imprinted onto the customised t shirt a lot more accurately. You will be able to print in full color, different color gradients and overlapping colors.

Like with the other printing methods, heat transfer printing has flaws of its own too. There is a possibility that you may experience cracking or peeling of the heat transferred image layer after a long period of time. This print method generally requires a border as an outline to be printed along with the intended design. This border, however, will be adjusted to closely match the fabric color. In situations where the edges of the design are of a same solid color, the borders can be excused.

The Takeaway

Knowing what each of these printing methods can offer will help you find the most ideal method for printing your custom t shirt. Many at times, customised t shirts are not being fully utilised due to poor decision making on print methods. A well printed custom t shirt is able to speak for itself the quality and value your brand represents. Therefore, with this knowledge on print methods, you will never have to compensate with cheaper alternatives again. TREA provides t shirt printing services in Singapore and have continued to produce high quality custom t shirts for clients islandwide.