Customized tees are trendy for different occasions like birthday parties, bridal showers, family events, Christmas, or farewells as it is a gesture of strong friendship or relation and count as memorable. You can find ready-to-wear custom T-shirts online but learning the technique not only saves you cost but also gives you freedom of creativity and lets you enjoy the process. You can also start a business with these T shirt printing methods online.
There are many ways to print designs or patterns onto fabrics including direct-to-garment printing, screen printing, dye sublimation, and more, which might confuse your understanding. But don’t worry because I’ll be discussing the best five T shirt printing methods with their advantages and limitations just to give you a better insight. Let’s begin:
Table of Contents
T Shirt Printing Methods
1. Plastisol / Indirect Screen Printing
Plastisol printing, also referred to as indirect screen printing, is a common technique to design T-shirts. In this method, the nuts and bolts of screen printing are merged with the plastisol inks to create custom fabrics. The artist applies the plastisol hues on the transfer sheet, instead of the substrate i.e., fabric, and using a heat pressing machine, the ink will be then transferred to the final material. So, you see, the maker is not directly applying inks on the T-shirt, which is why this technology is called indirect printing.
You can use any digital art of your choice and get the prepared plastisol sheets from the market—that would cut down the cost of paints and the messy processes. Using the prepared sheets, you can customize T-shirts easily with the heat-pressing machine. All-in-all, I must say the plastisol T-shirt printing method is pretty effortless, quick, and affordable.
- High-quality printing
- Durable designs
- No mess
- Outsourced transferring sheets are available
- Easy to do
- Not effective for bulk orders
In conclusion, plastisol printing is great for small business owners or enthusiasts for its quick, easy, and affordable application. However, it is not suggested to complete a large number of orders of customized stuff.
2. Direct To Garment Printing
The direct to garment printing, also called DTG printing, is another striking method to customize your favorite tees in easy steps. This printing method is based on inkjet technology giving an impressive quality, full of vibrant hues, and photographic textured prints onto different substrates including cotton T-shirts, linen stuff, and more. DTG is considered top-notch for complex designs because it results in the correct differentiation of shades and focuses on minute details. Read More About: Infusible Ink
If you have blank white tees, there is no better option than DTG printing as it allows you to print colorful designs with no restrictions. Also, the other perks of inkjet printing include a quick application as it consumes less than thirty minutes to customize a T-shirt—all thanks to the less setting time of the machine. The best part is you use DTG printing for business as well as personal use because the printing machines are pretty maneuverable.
- Best suited for complex designs
- No time-consuming setup
- Versatility is high
- No color limitations
- Machines are expensive
If you’re planning for a startup, there is no better choice than DTG because it offers limitless printing that is visually impressive. To be honest, inkjet printing machines are expensive, so it would be for those who’re interested in investing dollars into their business.
3. Heat Press Printing
As the name implies, heat press printing is all about the temperature game! All you need to have is transferring paper, a heat printing press, and a printout of your design. The transferring paper or sheet is made of vinyl and strong adhesive material that under high temperature and pressure transfer the design onto the substrate i.e., fabric. For the desirable results, it is suggested to have good quality transferring sheets.
This method is best suited to beginners or enthusiasts as it provides impressive T-shirt printing with limited resources. It is not only budget-effective but also a time-saving technique for customized apparel lovers. Please, make sure to read the instruction manual that comes with the heat press for more details about temperature and pressure readings.
- Easy to handle
- Produce top-quality prints
- Suitable for all designs
- Timesaving technique
- Not for heat-sensitive substrates
Heat press printing is an excellent choice for newcomers as it does not demand many resources, money, or time. This effortless technique works on high temperatures and pressure to transfer the design to the fabrics, so dark shirts and heat-sensitive fabrics are not welcomed.
4. Dye Sublimation
Here comes another finest way to create customized T-shirts! In this technique, you need to buy certain liquid dyes and apply them on the transfer paper. Once the dyes get dried completely, you can use the prepared sheet for sublimating T-shirts. This technique is effective for the bulk of orders and works well with almost all kinds of designs regardless of their complexity. The use of polymer T-shirts is recommended over any other type for dye sublimation.
- Durable printing
- Limitless color and design choice
- Good for all-level artists
- Work best on light fabrics
The dye sublimation is a good choice for fabrics like T-shirt printing, cushion sublimation, and other fabric customization. The use of lighter fabrics will give you better results than thick ones. In a nutshell, dye sublimation is a unique, adaptive, and quick way for customizing T-shirts at your place.
The Bottom Line
The choice of printing technique depends on your client’s demands, the niche of your work, your skills, and your budget. Don’t purchase machines in a hurry! Sit back, keep calm, and do your homework, shortlist your requirements and pocket, then decide the best for you. If budget is not an issue for you, DTG printing is my top recommendation for quality and color accuracy. I have tried my best to compile the finest printing ways to customize T-shirts for your ease in this blog.