Long before Guttenberg invented his printing press, people were creating unique garment designs. The earliest known custom printing method originated in China nearly two thousand years ago. Without any fancy training or equipment, artisans transferred unique designs onto clothes using a process we now know as silk screen printing. |
Custom T-Shirts Today
Anyone who has ever worn a sports jersey or uniform has owned a custom-printed garment. Of course, not all of these articles are created using the silk-screen method. New ways of producing unique clothing have been developed since the screen made its debut. The two most popular are direct-to-garment printing (DTG) and heat transfer. Let us take a moment to discuss them individually.
Direct To Garment
DTG is the most modern way to create custom clothing. It utilizes laser printers to apply designs to almost any article of clothing. When it comes to quality and accuracy, no other method can hold a candle to DTG. The downside is that it can be expensive. In fact, equipment and material costs are far too pricey for most small print shops. Heat Transfers
When it comes to cost and quality, heat transfers are somewhere in between DTG and screening. Without getting too technical, a heat transfer is essentially a patch, often made of vinyl, that is printed out and then ironed onto a blank garment. Most of the custom t-shirts for kids with the Superman or Batman emblem emblazoned on them are created using this process.
Which method do we recommend? It depends on what you need. Because it is the cheapest, fastest way to produce unique t-shirts, screening is easily the most popular option. That said, it does not allow for incredibly intricate designs with numerous colors. But because most shirts are rather simple, screening reigns supreme.
When designs are intricate and polychromatic, customers should consider DTG or heat transfers. Because the costs can be considerable, DTG is often reserved for smaller orders. Heat transfers, on the other hand, produce relatively inexpensive, high-quality designs, but the patches feel like patches, which some people do not like. They can also crack and peel over time.
Because the costs can be prohibitive, not every service provider offers all three printing options. As a general rule, the smaller the print shop, the less likely it is to offer DTG. This method requires a special laser printer that has been modified to apply highly intricate designs to garments. Since the printer itself is quite pricey, providers must charge high fees to make their investment worthwhile.
For large orders, screening is easily the most popular option. Businesses that need hundreds of custom t-shirts for a special event can order boxes at a time. A talented team of printers can complete huge orders within a week or two when they use screen printing. Heat transfer orders can also be completed fairly quickly, but they will cost more.
Custom t-shirts can be created using any of the printing methods we discussed today.
To learn more about their options for custom t-shirts, Comstock Park, MI residents should visit http://www.iqink.com/screen-printing.
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