T-Shirt Printing Techniques
Putting a logo on a t-shirt for promotional reasons is a great idea to begin generating awareness and brand identity (as discussed in our Guide to Mastering your Brand Merchandise); but the same research and thought needs to be put into which method of print to use on your garment, as the lasting effect and quality may affect the look of the t-shirt in due course.
We have carefully trialled and tested hundreds of garments over the years to identify which products and prints we trust in regards to quality of lasting finish and appeal. Our website is designed to only show you which methods we feel are suitable for each garment – we may advise differently on occasion.
1. Screen Print. This printing technique is ideal for large quantities and for logos and images that contain between 3-5 different colours. The process involves the use of stencils and a layering approach to transfer the ink on to specific areas of the garment. We prefer a minimum order of 25 garments using this method; it covers the screen charges for the customer and is more efficient for the supplier.
2. Sublimation Print. This is a dye process and the colour (dye) only adheres to the polyester fibres. The result is a print which will not fade, crack or wash out as it is permanently embedded into the fibre of the fabric. It also means the performance of the fabric is maintained. The textile of the fabric must be of a high % of polyester in order for this process to work perfectly.
3. Vinyl Print. This is an intricate method for branding and personalising. Your design will be printed on to a transferable vinyl polyurethane sheet, which is then weeded to reveal your design and then applied using heat. This is a very time consuming and complex process.
4. Embroidery. This is the most common and advised method for branding or personalising clothing. The thread is superimposed to the garment by machine; making the after wear effect of embroidery very durable when washing and wearing. It will also be very clean cut and professional looking.
5. Heat Applied Graphics. This 3 step print and apply method is the way forward if your garment has to include multiple sponsor logos or images – these are full colour digital transfers, that can all be grouped together and printed in one go. There is no limit to logo or garment colour choices.