What type of t-shirt printing is best?

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What type of t-shirt printing is best?

T-shirts with unique pictures are both an interesting gift and a way to advertise different brands and products. Among the methods for obtaining T-shirts with advertising and gift prints, it is worth highlighting the main ones.  

When choosing a printing method, the manufacturer focuses on two indicators: the resistance of the printed image to repeated washing, as well as the cost of producing T-shirts. Before choosing a printing method, you can also check out Dallas shirt printing photos. As we use various printing methods for t shirt printing

Among the large number of methods, it is worth paying attention to:

Printing on a printer (DTG technology)

The work is based on the principle of jet paint distribution. Usually a high-temperature press or drying unit is used. The technology is effective for cotton T-shirts. When applying a photo to T-shirts of other colors, a white backing (white ink) is required.

DTG (direct-to-garment) technology – printing with special, environmentally friendly inks. This is the most advanced on-demand clothing printing technology available today. Clothing printed using this technology fits perfectly and can withstand many washes. Does not cause allergies. Since the picture is painted directly into the cloth, it will not fade over time. No rubber sticker effect.

Digital printing

Printing T-shirts on a printer advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of the textile device:

  • The speed of preparation before printing;
  • In a short amount of time, various inscriptions may be sewn into a number of T-shirts;
  • High resolution photos.
  • Printing on cotton

The negative aspects of this method:

  • The high price of one print: this includes the cost of ink, labor intensity when working with the printer, depreciation of equipment;
  • Slow application. Depending on the size of the image, printing time can take up to 20 minutes;
  • An expensive method of production is required for such a t-shirt.

This method of printing on a T-shirt can be considered the best for photographic images in small volumes.

Thermal transfer

Simple technology. The image is printed onto film and then placed in the desired position on the T-shirt. After it is applied to products using a heat press and pressure.

Thermal transfer printing

Thermal appliqué for T-shirts: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of thermal application:

• Allows you to select any texture. The image can be metallic or velvety;

• Good print quality when using vector images

Disadvantages of thermal transfer:

• Small circulation and high labor intensity;

• Drawing only simple drawings.

sublimation printing

The deep penetration of dye into the fabric, smooth color transitions and photographic quality of the resulting image are just some of the reasons why sublimation on T-shirts has become very popular. For this application, products made of polymer (synthetic) materials are used. Natural fibers are not dyed properly, so you cannot get a bright enough picture.

The technological process is based on the thermal sublimation of solid dyes. The high temperature for sublimation on a T-shirt created by a heat press turns the paint into a gas that penetrates deep into the surface being painted and condenses there. The dye particles seem to be soldered to the fibers of the material. The result is an image that is very resistant to mechanical stress and washing.

Under the influence of temperature, synthetics become loose, pores seem to open on its surface, and ink easily gets into them. But this does not happen in natural tissues. For the print to hold up well, the woven base must contain at least 60% polyester. But sometimes natural t-shirts for sublimation are also used. To do this, the application surface is treated with a special polyester primer, called a primer.

sublimation printing

Sublimation on fabric advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of sublimation:

  • The resistance of the resulting image to washing and fading
  • Photographic print quality, obtaining images with complex graphics;
  • High printing speed;
  • Low cost per print;
  • Ability to run large and small runs

Disadvantages of sublimation printing:

• Use of exclusively light-coloured T-shirts when a contrasting pattern is required.

• Restrictions on the choice of material for products intended for application, the fabric must contain at least 50% synthetics.

Silk-screen printing on fabric

This method is called screen printing. The method is industrial widely used. The method is based on several processes:

Silk screen printing on fabric advantages and disadvantages

• Making a layout on photographic film.

• Image transfer by exposing special photographic emulsions.

• Gluing the mesh stencil onto the aluminum frame.

• Fastening the stencil on a special machine.

• Applying a picture with special paint through unexposed areas of the stencil.

Each color has its own template and stencil. The colors on T-shirts are applied in a certain sequence. The thickness of the paint layer can be adjusted, and any paint can be used. This method of printing on T-shirts is considered the best for production in large quantities.

Advantages of silk-screen printing:

  • Resistance of printed T-shirts to repeated washing;
  • Working with large volumes;
  • High printing speed;
  • Low cost per print;
  • Working with a large number of colors;
  • Low labor intensity of the process.

Disadvantages of screen printing:

• Long pre-press production time. You need to make a template and stencil for each color.

• When changing the pattern, you will have to create a new mesh;

• There are restrictions when printing a raster.

If we compare which is better, silk-screen printing or sublimation, then these methods are suitable for different circulations. Sublimation is needed for small runs with variable patterns, and silk-screen printing is an industrial method.

What determines the cost of making one T-shirt?

If you need a small print run, then you should take a closer look at the printing method or thermal transfer. Such images can last quite a long time, but with proper care the service life of the print can be extended. To do this, the T-shirt must be washed at a temperature of 30 degrees, preferably by hand and without using abrasive substances.

If T-shirts are needed for promotions or you need a large circulation for sale. In this case, a T-shirt with an image obtained using silk-screen printing will be the best option. This type of printing is best for T-shirts with a circulation of 50 pieces or more.

The more T-shirts you need to make, the lower the cost of one product will be, because the stencils last a long time and its cost is distributed over the entire circulation.

Size matters because different amounts of material are consumed when transferring paint.

The cost of making a print is also affected by the speed of production. In the case of silkscreen printing, you need to get a new mesh. If you already have a stencil, then the printing process takes a little time.

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