There are a number of different methods that can be used to print t-shirts and should be considered when you assess and come up with a strategy for your business. It is extremely important to select the correct printing method for your business since each method has its own set of benefits and each is preferred for different uses.
One of the methods used is the heat transfer method which is common among online t shirt printing in which heat is used to print an existing picture or design onto the t-shirt fabric. It is a popular option for small businesses that may be requiring small quantities of t-shirts. It is much faster when compared to other methods such as screen printing and the result is a fabric that has a smooth feel to it. The machinery needed for this type of printing is small making it suitable for small-scale printing. The problem with this method is that though the printed design feels smooth, it is more often prone to cracking and is most suitable for printing on white garments and not the colored ones. Some of the limitations that online t shirt printing encounter when they attempt to press some colors onto dark-colored fabrics for instance trying to print yellow onto a blue garment will result in a tone with some green in it.
There are other options which are good for printing on colored fabrics and Vinyl transfer is one of those alternative methods which support color layering and focuses on embellishing the fabric. It allows the use of many colors and produces final prints of high quality. It involves the use of a vinyl cutter to cut out the design from a sheet and then pressing that design through the common heat transfer method. Vinyl transfer is most suitable for single prints which can also be offered by t shirt printing online. It is not suited to mass printing and neither is it the cheapest method. Its output quality is however high and great for lettering and one-off printing using contrasting colors.
Sublimation printing is normally used on synthetic fabrics that are light-colored. The process involves heating special type of ink till it changes to gas resulting in an output that is better than the heat transfer method. It is however not the best method for your business because it is not widely available and it requires synthetic fabrics. The outcome is also not as smooth as that of transfer printed clothing since the toners are applied below the substrate surface.
Screen printing involves using a woven mesh stretched over a wooden or metal frame that allows a design to be burned on it. An image is produced on the screen by exposing it to light until the exposed substrate hardens and the unexposed substrate is washed away. The screen is then pressed to the fabric using a squeegee to create a design on it. This method produces a design that lasts longer and is of better quality compared to other methods. It is also quite cheap. However, one screen is used for each color and so there may be a need for multiple screens when using a number of colors.