When it comes to printing clothes, there are a lot of options to choose from. However, not all methods are created equal, and some methods are better suited to certain types of clothing than others. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of five popular clothing printing methods that we use for Dallas t shirt printing: DTG (direct-to-garment), screen printing, sublimation, heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and embroidery
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)
Inkjet printers have changed the way we print our clothes forever. Although they are not as fast as offset printing, they can still produce high quality prints on clothes with few problems. What’s even better is that they’re cheap! If you’re looking for a method that allows you to print your own designs at home, this is definitely worth considering.
DTG is for:
If you decide to start designing your own clothes and want to do it for a longer period of time, then a DTG printer is a very good investment.
It can be used for different models and the results will be very good. It’s also not too difficult to use if you’re new to it.
- Simple to use (although requires some skill)
- Good for complex designs
- Soft finish
- Easy to change design
- Higher initial investment
- It takes more time to produce in large quantities
- Less durable models
- You must purchase ink cartridges separately
Screen printing is another popular choice among designers because it is easy to get started and relatively inexpensive compared to other methods such as DTG or heat transfer vinyl (HTV). The only disadvantage is the execution time is longer.
Screen printing is for:
Although this method provides high quality results, it is not suitable for all types of printing. This is great if you want to produce a large amount of the same shirts as the template can be used over and over again. This is the standard procedure used by major corporations for printing thousands of t-shirts at once.
The method is best used for one color on the screen. It can also print in multi-color, but if you’re looking for more complex designs, this might not be the best option.
- It guarantees high quality
- Very durable
- Excellent for large quantities
- Fast results if only one design is used
- It also works well on lightweight fabrics and, unlike other methods, does not require ink transfer sheets or additional equipment
- Too complicated for small quantities
- Not the best for complex designs
- Not good for manual use
- It can be more expensive
- Screen printing is more time-consuming than other methods, as each color requires its own screen, as well as an additional drying process after applying the ink to your garment or accessory. You may also need an extra person (or two!) to help you apply all these layers to your product(s).
Sublimation is a method of printing clothes where dye molecules are actually embedded into the fibers of your garment. This means that when you wash your shirt, you won’t be able to remove the image – it’s permanently attached!
Sublimation is for:
Again, if you want to print an entire t-shirt, this is one of the best types of printing. Remember that you need a very light fabric for this process. This is also good if you have a very unique multicolored design. The design is very durable.
- Good for large models
- Suitable for unlimited colors and patterns
- Sublimation is one of the most durable garment printing methods available.
- Images are sharp with little chance of fading over time.
- Sublimation can be more expensive than other methods because it requires special equipment as well as additional steps in the printing process.
- It also takes longer than other methods because each must run separately and not simultaneously as other methods do.
- Best sublimation fabrics: , polyester/spandex blends or polyester blends.
- Material with Maximum 20% Cotton
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
HTV is a great option if you have less than 2/3 colors. It allows you to print on fabrics such as cotton, polyester or nylon. HTV is also easy to apply and durable at high temperatures (up to 150°C). Not recommended for use on silk or wool as these fabrics may contract when exposed to high temperatures. You should also avoid using these methods on leather or suede, as it can damage these types of materials when heated.
HTV is for:
This could be the best alternative to screen printing to produce in mass quantities. The process requires nothing in the way of time or energy.
Printing requires specialized equipment, much like the other techniques discussed here. In this case, the professional CAD cutter is used to make all the models.
- High quality results at an affordable price
- Easy application process
- Works well with small and large amounts
- Not great for intricate designs or small areas
- Requires special CAD cutter
- It reduces the flexibility of the shirt
Embroidery is a qualitative and long-lasting personalization method. It’s a great option for emphasizing details and textures, as well as adding elements like pre-made appliques.
Embroidery is for:
If you want extra quality and a design that will last you a lifetime, this is the right choice.
- Great for adding intricate details or appliqués to garments
- It allows more creative freedom than other methods of garment printing
- It can be more expensive than other methods of printing clothes.
- laborious and costly (in terms of tools).
When choosing to enrich your clothing, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is the material you will be working on. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to make sure you choose the right one for your project.