All You Need to
Know About TShirt Printing
by Zip Graphix
Whether you’re planning to launch your own brand of t-shirts
or need apparel for your rock band or soccer team, you will
need to have recourse to t-shirt printing. That’s the
process that will ensure that your logo or illustration gets
transferred to the textile and that it stays there permanently.
In this presentation, we will show
you what techniques are
available and what you should
pay attention to when printing so
as to guarantee the best results.
When it comes to t-shirt printing, you have basically 3 choices.
You can either use screenprinting, heat press or DTG.
•Screenprints: screens representing each color are created and serve to
place the paint/ink onto the t-shirt with the help of a squeegee
•Heat Transfers: with the use of a heat press, vinyl designs (which were
cut by a vinyl cutter) will be transferred to the textile
•Direct-to-Garment: here, the illustration will appear on the t-shirt by
using an ink printer much like the machines used to print paper
Even though each technique has its pros and cons, we will focus
on screen printing as it represents the process which gives the
best and most durable finish.
Number of Colors
One very important criterion
when deciding to screen print
is the number of colors that
you will be using. You see, due
to the fact that screenprinting
needs a separate screen to be
created for every color that
your illustration is made of, the
manufacturing cost will be
highly dependent on that
Quantity & Price
The only case where the number of colors will not matter
that much is if you intend on purchasing a large number of
pieces. With screenprinting, the price you pay per t-shirt will
decrease depending on the volume ordered.
Even if the rates will vary from provider to provider, as a rule
of thumb, compared to cheaper alternatives like vinyl
transfers, screenprinting becomes a viable and affordable
option starting from a hundred printed pieces. Below
that, it's hard to justify using this method as the cost of
building the screens is generally too much to stand a
Size of the Illustration
When searching for a company to outsource the work or a press to
make them on your own, another factor that will come into play is
the size of the logo or illustration that needs to be printed.
Not only does the size have an impact on
the price but regular printing presses use
screens that do not exceed an A4 or A3
size, which forbids all-over prints. So, if
you need to cover the whole front or back,
or even have the illustration come over
the arms, you will need to find a screen
printer that has the technology and the
know-how to achieve the work. In this
case, dye sublimation might be another
option to look into...
Type of T-Shirt
Last but not least, if you need t-shirts printed, you also have
to take into account the type of "blanks" you will use as all
t-shirts were not created equal.
If you're just looking for promotional items that you will
give out as free gifts, you can get away with using lower
quality apparel that may shrink and fade after about 2
However, if it's a durable brand you're trying to build, you
had better choose quality materials. The type of cut aside,
you need to pay attention to what cotton you will be getting.
Type of T-Shirt
Generally, you can't rely on criteria such as the weight of the
fabrics because different people will like different feelings; so, it
makes those factors rather subjective. What you can rely on,
though, is the quality of the textile. Carded open end cotton should
be avoided at all cost if you want to develop a brand.
Instead, you should opt for 100% combed
ring-spun that will bring both comfort and
durability to your tee's while also making
your prints last a lifetime. If you want a
more stylish look, you may consider
spandex and polyester blends, but
always consult with your printing expert
first to check if the prints will hold.
If you need t-shirts printed, whatever the reason, you will first
have to determine the number of pieces you will require, the
size of the illustration and how many colors it will be made of.
Only then will you be better armed to select a printing
technique and a company that suit your needs to a T.
By following the advice we shared in this presentation, you
should find yourself that much closer to that goal.
For more information about t-shirt printing
and all the options that are available to