Why is it important to choose the right type of print for a T-shirt?
DTG, DTF, Flex, sublimation printing, or printing with a special effect… The options for printing clothes or (gift) items are wide and one can easily get lost in them. At the same time, the choice of a specific type of printing significantly affects the quality and appearance of the final product and, especially in the case of bulk orders, also the production costs. In order for you to find your way around the individual types of printing without any problems and to more easily consider which method is the most suitable for you, we bring you an overview of them, including advantages and disadvantages.
What to think about when choosing printing technology?
What print quality do you require?
Different printing methods provide different final quality. For example, with screen printing, you will get a very high quality print, while with thermal transfer printing, the results will be sufficient, but not high quality. Therefore, you should always consider for what occasion (and how often) you will use the printed product.
What do the costs of print production depend on?
Production costs depend not only on the type of printing, but also on the size of the order – with some technologies, you may have higher costs per piece, but in the production of larger volumes, they will end up being cheaper than other printing. At Dallas TShirt Printing, we offer quantity (group) discounts on custom t shirts printing after registration already when ordering 1 piece , and then very interesting discounts of up to 40% when buying 150 or more pieces. For any mass order, do not hesitate to contact us , and we will prepare a tailor-made offer for you.
What does the production and delivery time of the print depend on?
The speed of the printing process is an important factor to consider. Some technologies, such as digital printing, are much faster than, say, screen printing. This can be a crucial factor in case you need to print several t-shirts in a very short time. If you need a larger number of printed pieces and you have enough time to think it over, write to us – we will be happy to advise you on your project and choose a suitable print.
What is DTG clothing printing?
With Direct-to-garment (DTG) technology, it is becoming more and more popular to print T-shirts. There are several reasons – we can print multi-colored patterns directly on the fabric, the printing is high-quality, and the method itself is also quick and cheap, as long as we are talking about a lower number of pieces (ideal, for example, when printing clothes from 1 piece). For DTG printing, we use a special machine equipped with one or more inkjet print heads. Clothes without printing are inserted into the machine, which are then printed on using a procedure similar to that of a classic inkjet printer.
DTG printing is most often used when printing t-shirts, but it is also used for other textiles, such as sweatshirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, bags or even advertising items. It is important to mention that DTG printing has a smooth surface.
How is the preparation for DTG printing of T-shirts?
The shirt is first stretched on the board. It is then raised to the level of the print heads. Then we fill the press with a digital template – the pattern with which the t-shirt is to be printed. For example, when you design your pattern in the online Creator at Dallas Shirt Printing, we automatically “stretch” it from there, and the machine then uses the mentioned heads to inject ink into the T-shirt fabric according to the design and starts to “paint” your pattern on the T-shirt.
What is the process of the actual production of DTG printing?
DTG printing applies special ink to textiles in thin layers. For the desired coverage with this water-based ink, the t-shirt print head creates gradients and shades to match the pattern exactly to your color preference. DTG is therefore a suitable choice especially for printing from 1 piece and colorful patterns – unlike screen printing, a separate screen does not have to be created for each design (pattern).
Features, advantages and disadvantages of DTG printing
- allows printing of all colors, including white
- allows any images, shapes, shades and color transitions
- possibility to print on all textiles, even dark ones
- high resistance
- possibility of printing only on textiles (it is not possible to print on polyester materials or functional T-shirts)
Flex printing process in 3 steps? – The first cutting on the plotter
In the first step of the process of this type of printing, the individual colors of the motif are cut from thin, smooth foils using a cutting plotter. It is programmed to follow the lines of the design and cut the desired shape from the foil.
Second step – Removal of excess foil
In the second step, the excess foil is manually removed with tweezers. When the pattern is thus prepared, the printing substrate is spread on a flat surface. There, the pattern is placed on the substrate and both layers are pressed together using pressure and heat.
The third step of Flex printing production – transferring the foil to the product
In the third step, the design is applied to the t-shirt and transferred to the t-shirt using heat and pressure, and when the backing layer’s adhesive cools, the backing film is removed, leaving only the design in the desired colors on the fabric. The printed T-shirts are removed from the press and are ready for packaging and subsequent shipping.
- without the ability to suppress color transitions
- without the possibility of printing photos and images
- print suitable for patterns from a maximum of 3 colors
Features, advantages and disadvantages of Flex printing
- high intensity of motif printing – the pattern is almost not transparent
- bright colors and sharp outlines
- the possibility of working with effects – metallic, neon, phosphorescent patterns
- extremely high resistance
Summary of Flex printing
With Flex printing, the design is cut out of polyurethane film and transferred to a T-shirt or other clothing or bags using heat and pressure. We recommend this versatile and durable type of printing when printing patterns that consist of one to three colors.
How does DTF printing work and what objects and textiles is it suitable for?
This relatively new type of printing is gaining popularity, thanks to the fact that it allows high-quality, multi-color printing on a variety of materials, including fabric, ceramics and metal objects. A transparent film is inserted into the DTF printing machine, which is then printed using a process similar to that of a conventional inkjet printer. With this type of printing, it is possible to print directly on the surface of the selected material while preserving the details of the motif and printing in several colors.
At Dallas Shirt Printing, we use this print primarily for higher quality cotton textiles and in cases where your motif also contains various color details such as transitions or shading.
What type of products is DTF printing suitable for?
We definitely recommend DTF printing for printing T-shirts and other clothes made of high-quality materials. Ideal when you need to print clothes with a high-quality, multi-colored motif with a wide range of colors and different color effects. You will definitely appreciate the durability and durability of DTF printing. Even after dozens of washes, your design on clothes looks like the first day. This type of print can be washed without problems even at 60 °C, and it still does not lose any of its color.
Features, advantages and disadvantages of Direct-to-Foil – DTF printing
- printing of any colors and color effects, such as color transitions
- printing of any images
- more durable than DTG printing
- short production times
- no pretreatment is required
- durability (you can also wash at 60 °C without damaging the quality of the print)
- Material quality – this print is only suitable for higher quality materials and not for disposable t-shirts of the “use and throw away” type
- It is not suitable for printing thin lines
- The maximum design size in one unit is limited to A3 format
Summary of DTF Prints
DTF printing is an efficient type of printing that produces high-quality, full-color and long-lasting printing.
Sublimation printing technologyWhat is sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a type of printing that uses heat and pressure to transfer color to the material. Here at Dallas Shirt Printing, we use it primarily for printing cups, glasses and gift items, but also clothing and textiles. Your prepared design is printed on special transfer paper using a sublimation printer that uses sublimation inks. It is then placed on the product and with the help of a heat press we transfer pressure and heat to the transfer paper, thanks to which the ink turns into a gas and sublimes – it goes from a solid to a gaseous state (without having an “intermediate stop” in the liquid state). The moment the ink turns into a gas, it binds to the fibers of your product’s material. After that, all that remains is to remove the transfer paper after the material has cooled, and your design is now permanently printed on a gift or clothing.
Sublimation printing – What are its features?
In sublimation printing, the dye becomes a part of the material on which it is printed, and is therefore not on it, as is the case in other cases of printing, and therefore you do not even feel it to the touch. Thus, the print does not fade over time, does not break, and the material retains its original appearance and structure. We recommend sublimation printing at Dallas Shirt Printing for printing gifts such as pillows or ceramic mugs, and then also other objects – for example, mouse pads. Sublimation printing is durable and guarantees high quality. At the same time, however, it is a cost-effective option for larger printing volumes, for example for bulk orders. We recommend it to companies and organizations that need to print large volumes of products at a reasonable price with a high-quality type of printing.
- unsuitable for higher quality cotton or silk materials
- only white material can be printed
- it is not possible to print white color (the base of the material remains white)
Properties, advantages and disadvantages of sublimation printing
- clear image of the design and printing of any images including color gradients
- it cannot be felt to the touch (it becomes part of the clothing or object during the printing process)
Summary of sublimation printing
Sublimation printing is a versatile and reliable printing process, ideal for gift items and polyester t-shirts. This is a popular type of printing for those who want to create their own products with a professional look.
Specific types of printing and printing of special effects (from 100 pcs.)At Dallas Shirt Printing, we bring you something new – the possibility to choose extra types of printing with special effects for printing on t-shirts, clothes and gift items. Find out more here.
Printing technology – Screen Print
Imagine a mesh that has gaps in certain places – it is these gaps that create the pattern of the resulting print. In screen printing, each color is applied with a special screen, therefore the costs of such printing are higher, and from an economical point of view, it is therefore ideal for low-color motifs. On the other hand, in the case of a bulk order (80 or more pcs), we can guarantee the best price for this printing method.
Matte T-shirt print
The matte type of printing is great for minimalist types of printing such as inscriptions or simple logos. Its name already implies that this print does not shine, does not shine, does not sparkle or otherwise does not stand out and simply makes the text or logo stand out. It is suitable for almost all types of textiles – cotton, polyester or a combination of cotton and polyester. When creating your design in the online Creator, try a matte print in the same color as the t-shirt you want to print; in the case of matte printing, you will achieve an interesting effect.
Reflective clothing print
You can get the effect of light reflection on your clothes thanks to the reflective print on a T-shirt or sweatshirt. Thanks to special materials that reflect light back to the source when illuminated (hence the “reflective” print), this type of print can increase not only the attractiveness of your own design, but also the safety features of the clothing. In addition to sports and cycling t-shirts and jerseys, the reflective print is also perfect for a party t-shirt or a bachelorette party t-shirt.
High-density clothing printing (3D T-shirt printing)
Imagine a clothing print that you can “soak”. In the case of sublimation printing, your design becomes part of the t-shirt and is indistinguishable from its surface, and high-density printing achieves exactly the opposite effect. Thanks to special additives, a raised surface is created on the T-shirt, which can have a different shape and which enables the 3D effect of clothing printing. Of course, it is best to use 3D printing of t-shirts in the case of simple inscriptions or shapes – complicated patterns would not look good and could break over time.
Chameleon effect print – a print that changes color
If you need to achieve a distinctive effect of printing on clothes, we recommend the chameleon print of all ten. First, your design is printed with a base color, and then a special color is applied to it, which can change depending on the angle at which you look at it. It’s actually a colorful metallic print, and like 3D printing, you’ll get the most out of using chameleon effect printing on simple patterns and clothing designs.
Metallic clothing print
If you want a shiny, shimmery look to your print, choose a metallic clothing print. The metallic effect is achieved by applying a layer of metallic pigment to the base color. The resulting effect will show best on a dark background, so it is ideal to choose dark clothes for the metallic type of print. The most frequently used colors for the metallic print effect are gold, silver and bronze. In this case too, we recommend simpler patterns, logos or inscriptions.
Puff Emboss clothing print
It’s basically a 3D print, but with the difference that it looks like it’s foamed or fluffy. Its thickness can be different, but this type of print will stand out best on small surfaces. As for the material, we definitely recommend 100% cotton, on which the puff print will show up in full glory. It should be borne in mind that after foaming, the original colors will lighten a little – they will lose their saturation, so it is better to prepare a slightly darker design. This is one of the most unconventional looks of printed clothing that you can get a lot out of.
Embroidery – “printing” of clothing by embroidery
Embroidery is one of the most traditional ways of decorating clothes. Today it is often incorrectly referred to as “embroidery printing”. In fact, this is classic embroidery that uses a simple needle and thread (of course, the embroidery is controlled by a computer and special machines will create your embroidered design on a t-shirt). A T-shirt or other piece of clothing or an embroidered gift decorated in this way will look even more special in the end than a T-shirt with a print. In addition to the fact that embroidery is highly aesthetic and beautifies your t-shirt or sweatshirt in an original way, it is also durable and long-lasting, and is therefore a great choice for a personalized piece of clothing.