Your Simple Print Reference: The Difference Between All Printing Methods

The spread of modern technologies allows you to create high-quality images on textiles that are resistant to abrasion, water, and sun. Despite the advent of new printing methods on textiles such as offset, digital, printing, embossing, and other processes, screen printing, and thermal transfer not only do not give up their positions but also remain the most popular.

Different T-Shirt Printing Methods Explained

  • Direct digital printing. Direct printing refers to the transfer of images onto the printed surface without an intermediate medium. In this case, toner particles or ink droplets acquire an electrical charge and are attracted to the printing areas on the pre-exposed drum of the device and then fall onto the printed material. The ink is placed with a unique fabric printer in line with inkjet printing technology. When you finish drawing, the image is set with a dry press on a special device.
    • Unique characteristic: It can be used on both cotton and synthetic, provided that special dyes are used for certain textiles.
  • Screen printing. In screen printing, a picture is drawn with a special printing form – a nylon net attached to a metal frame. The color is pressed with a rubber knife through the unfilled areas of the grid and switches on the printing material.
    • Unique characteristic: every single shade is organized in the form of a template on a particular frame, This is rinsed off right after printing a set of T-shirts. Adding some “things” won’t work.
  • Thermotransfer Technologie. In this case, when heated, the image is transferred from a special thermal transfer film or paper. Drawing with a laser or inkjet printer is applied to the paper, then it is placed on top of the product and placed in a hot press. The color is performed under the influence of temperature up to 1900 ° C. If you are looking for the best heat press machine, you can read a fantastic article on best heat press.
    • The peculiarity of this method is that, with all its simplicity, you can create very clear and bright images on both semi-finished and finished products: hats, T-shirts, and book covers.
  • Printing with engraved waves. This technology is used in industrial textile production and is similar to gravure printing. The copper cylinders are drawn by engraving. When printing, the ink gets onto the cylinder, the excess is scraped off with a steel squeegee. The fabric from the roll is fed between the gravure and pressure waves, and the pressurized ink goes to it.
    • Unique characteristic: This is the most sophisticated and technological method that offers the highest quality and durability.
  • Sublimation. This method allows drawing on synthetic light fabrics by transferring dye sublimation paper under the influence of a high heat press temperature (up to 190 degrees). Special inks are used which, when exposed to heat, change from a solid to a gaseous state and penetrate the printed surface.
    • Unique characteristic: the quality of the prints is quite good, the light pattern retains its original appearance for a long time: it does not crack or fade.
  • Decals. Images are collected and glued onto the textiles with a heat press.
    • Unique characteristic: the ability to create structured fragments. Most often this method is provided with a logo on T-shirts.

Your Print, Your Choice

Choosing a print style is important to understand the pros and cons. For drawing pictures with more than a thousand products, it is better to choose screen printing methods. In addition, you can use this method to create colorful multi-colored images on textiles. With Silkscreen you can carry out individual jobs. However, this increases the cost of a single product significantly. In the event that an image or lettering needs to be printed in an unconventional or hard-to-reach location, it is better to refer to the thermal transfer method, as drawing a direct pattern in such cases is impossible or very difficult. Direct printing in a hard-to-reach place is only possible when sewing and printed products are combined in a single process.

When urgent printing is required, the pressure transmission method can be used. The main disadvantage of this method is the low endurance, which is only possible to wear 2 – 3 times. Textile printing is currently carried out by companies specializing in this type of activity. To print on a t-shirt, the customer just has to choose the design and color of the material.