The Most Popular And Effective T-Shirt Printing Techniques

The world of t-shirt printing has come a long way since the early days when only one option was available. Now, with various printing methods available you have wider choices for your own t-shirt printing business.

Here is a brief rundown of the most popular and effective t-shirt printing techniques for your consideration.

1. Screen Printing

One of the most popular methods of printing t-shirts is screen printing. This method of printing t-shirts transfers graphic designs to any t-shirt using a screen printer. To do screen printing you will need to make a stencil or template of the graphics you want to transfer to your t-shirts. The stencil is held by a nylon mesh screen. Once the screen is prepared, you will need to pour ink on the screen and spread it using a squeegee. Wipe away the extra ink and allow your screen to settle, then remove the screen. Once your screen print is cured and dried on the shirt, you are done. If you are preparing a large order of printed t-shirts, then screen printing is a great technique to use. It is, however, not a suitable option for small, single-use print jobs.

2. Silk Screen Printing

This technique of t-shirt printing has been around for a long time. It is done with screens of negative film which are designed to apply color one at a time on your tees. For t-shirt designs that require more than one color, you will need to create multiple screens. This is because each screen uses one color only. The results from silk screen printing are often high-quality, professional, and durable. This is also a cost-effective option if you are producing your t-shirt designs in bulk quantities. Another thing too is that this technique is most effective on white or light colored t-shirts. To silkscreen print on dark t-shirts, you will need to make a white base first.

3. Direct To Garment (DTG) Technique

Another t shirt printing technique is the Direct to Garment method (or DTG), which is actually a new technique. This printing technique involves transferring graphics to the t-shirt or garment directly. For this, you will need a special printer that is large and can feed t-shirts. Using the direct to garment printing method is OK for large printing jobs and not for small, one-off t-shirt printing. Expect superior quality output from the direct to garment printing method. Although this quality is not the same as the screen printing result, you will achieve a soft print that can be produced in various colors. You can also produce a direct to garment print on dark t-shirts. For those who are concerned about the cost of using this t-shirt printing technique, the cost is actually quite huge.

4. Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is yet another t-shirt printing method to use. However, for Sublimation Printing to work, you need t-shirts or garments that are 100% polyester. That is because these tees are the most suitable for Sublimation Printing. Any t-shirt or garment you see with the entire surface covered in artwork was most likely done with Sublimation Printing. Using the Sublimation Printing technique, you can produce some pretty impressive works of art on t-shirts such as a repeat pattern or a galaxy print.

5. CAD Cut Vinyl Printing

The vinyl printing method uses soft textile material that is cut professionally with CAD cutter and special software. This material is then printed onto t-shirts with the heat press method. The CAD vinyl printing method makes it possible to produce unique designs on t-shirts and other garments. You can also layer the vinyl to create designs in various colors and add vibrancy to your t-shirts. CAD vinyl is ideal for small graphics, texts, and slogans. You can see examples on team jerseys and flags. This method is not used for large print jobs as the t-shirt will become a little stiff and inflexible.

6. Transfer Paper Method

Finally, there is the transfer paper method. This is simply the permanent transfer of an image from one surface to another. First, you transfer the design on to a special transfer paper. You then use the heat press machine to transfer the design from the transfer paper to your t-shirt or garment. The transfer paper method was first used to apply decorative details to ceramics. The main difference between this t-shirt printing method and other methods is the use of both heat and pressure to apply the image to the t-shirt or garment. The transfer paper technique is ideal for small orders and to work with complicated designs. The results are usually of high quality. The main downside to this printing method is that the image may become cracked during regular laundry.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via Welcome to

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