If you’re thinking of offering branded garments to your clients, or you are a potential client looking for branded garments it is important that you know the differences between printing techniques. Why? Because not all techniques offer the same result. Depending on your lead-time, design, budget and desired outcome it is important that the correct technique is applied to avoid any disappointments or set-backs.
Here at Logo, we will be able to suggest the right printing technique to suit your design and application, but we would like to make you familiar with some of the techniques so that you have a general understanding. This should help you find out a little more about each process, its benefits and what type of artwork it is most suited to. Have a read of our top 4 printing techniques – these are things everyone in the branding and promotional industry should know.
Screen printing is one of the most popular and oldest techniques for printing on t-shirts because it provides long lasting prints. Screen printing is especially popular when you are printing up to 3 colours. Another thing to consider with screen printing is that it is most cost effective with bulk printing, due to costly initial setup. Screen printing is generally pretty versatile, as it works just as well on other apparel, such as hats, bags and jackets, as with t-shirts.
DTG: Direct to Garment Printing.
Many say that Direct to Garment printing is the better process for reproducing photos because the digital reproduction is usually more like the original photo than the labour-intensive involved with screen printing. Direct to garment explains itself – DTG techniques prints ink directly to t-shirts, and this process allows production of full colour images with complex designs with precision. Here are some other advantages:
- Small orders and one-offs print at a reasonable price.
- Print images on direct to garment printers are highly accurate and detailed.
- Printer inks attach directly to fibres, with a great hand that almost feels like part of the fabric!
Heat transfer is a process in which art work is printed with specialty ink on specialty paper and then transferred to a garment by applying heat with a heat press. Because of this process, full colour images can be applied to your desired garments. Next to screen printing, heat transfer is one of the oldest printing techniques and has developed different forms over time. The design is transferred to transfers instead of directly to the t-shirt itself. It is then heat pressed on to the t-shirt and the back of the paper is peeled away afterwards. The great thing about this system is that you can print out a number of small designs on one sheet of paper and have them available as and when you need them – a great idea for any regular repeat orders!
The newest and most popular technique is sublimation printing. Sublimation is one of the very few methods that allow you to print full coloured images on to hard surfaces. With sublimation, the artwork is printed onto specialist paper, upon which the garment is placed. These are run through the printer together, and heat is used to turn the ink on the paper into gas, which stains the artwork into the very fabric of the garment.
Now that you’ve been introduced to different types of printing techniques we hope that it has given you some understanding and will help you in your future decisions. We work very closely with some great printing companies and we will always ensure we can deliver on anything you need. So contact us today to see which technique would work best for your promotional ideas!
March 6, 2017
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