Of late, customized clothes have been having an edge over ready made clothes. An increasing number of people are choosing made-to-measure clothes over off-the-rack ones. Whether you are thinking about starting a new business of manufacturing customized clothes or you are just curious about the process behind the production of these awesome formal, informal or corporate gift materials, you have stumbled upon the right piece of information.
Here, we have brought you top 6 garment printing techniques –
1. HEAT TRANSFER PRINTING
In this technique, a source of constant pressure is used to transfer the design from a paper to a customized t-shirt. The idea is to first create the required design using a computer software or application which is subsequently printed on a transfer paper. The dyes used for this purpose must be selected carefully. From this transfer paper, the design is then literally transferred to the target area (custom t-shirts in this case) with the application of constant heat and pressure. A heat press machine is generally used in this technique. The pressure keeps the target in place while the heat transfers the design from the source to the target. The method is simple to implement, economically feasible and consumes less time.
2. SCREEN PRINTING
This technique uses a woven mesh stencil to push ink onto the target fabric. The openings in the stencil are created in such a way that the design gets replicated at the target site. The process is best suited for large-scale orders and works well with a large number of fabrics. This method lets the ink absorb easily and is quite durable. Once the process starts, hundreds of t-shirts can be processed quickly. However, a negative aspect of the process is that it gets quite messy and time-consuming when tried at a small scale. The process is suitable for orders of large volume only.
3. DIRECT TO GARMENT PRINTING
As the name suggests, DTG (Direct To Garment) Printing is a technique used for performing the printing process using the specialized inkjet technology. The ideal technique for printing the desired designs on customized t-shirts, the process is affordable and has an instant turnaround time. As the printer can print almost any design, the number of options available is vast here making it the most suitable process for designing customized t-shirts eg theme based printing like physics t shirts or cartoon t shirts for kids.
4. CAD-CUT VINYL PRINTING
Quite similar to transfer printing in its approach, CAD Cut Vinyl Printing is yet another popular garment printing technique. The method is most commonly used for printing numbers and logos on sports apparel. It involves the use of a machine for cutting out designs on pieces of colored vinyl. This is followed by the use of a heat press to transfer each vinyl to the target custom t-shirts. As the technique involves no set-up costs and can be used on almost any type of product, it is one of the most preferred techniques. However, a shortcoming of the method is that it gives good results for text-based designs with basic shapes only.
5. DYE SUBLIMATION PRINTING
The technique makes a dye sublimation printer use heat to transfer dye onto the fabric. A popular variant of heat transfer printing, it works with dye-based ink that turns into a gas when heated. Capable of producing unique all-over designs in different styles, the output is soft and breathable. Besides, the dye sublimation prints are known for being durable. They do not fade, crack or deteriorate easily. However, the method is a bit expensive and does not work quite well with fabrics having a lot of folds and creases, leaving the underlying areas undyed.
6. PLASTISOL TRANSFER PRINTING
Quite similar to screen printing, Plastisol Transfer Printing is a printing technique in which the design is first ink-jet printed on a plastisol transfer paper which can later be used by the end user to heat press the design on the target fabric. The technique is most suitable for designs which are completely colored. The method is quite cost effective and doesn’t require much labor. However, in case the transfer is not done properly, the design will crack and get washed away easily.