Custom Printed T-Shirts – Which Printing Method Should You Choose?

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Getting custom printed t-shirts can be a perplexing task if you’ve never done it before. There are so many competing t-shirt printing companies, all offering different prices, quality of products, and levels of service. It can be really difficult to know where to start. In this article we take a look at the various methods of t-shirt printing, to help you decide what would work best for your requirements. In the end of the article I reveal my top money-saving tip for ordering printed shirts.

Methods of T-Shirt Printing…

1. Screen Printing

You may well have heard of screen printing, as it’s one of the most popular methods of print. It involves the use of stencils and ink, and is a cost effective method if you’re looking to get a large quantity of t-shirts printed. This is because of the initial setup costs being relatively high, as the stencils need to be created. One disadvantage of screen printed t-shirts is that the ink can fade/wash off over time, whereas other methods don’t have that flaw.

2. Embroidery

Embroidery can look great on staff uniforms, and if done right can give a classy look to any custom printed garment. Again the setup costs can be quite high as there is a lot of initial work involved, but once the preparation is done it’s cost effective for producing larger runs of garments. On the other hand, embroidered logos and text can begin to wear out after a few washes, and it’s also an expensive way of getting your design onto a shirt.

3. Heat Sublimation (Vinyl) T-Shirt Printing

This is a more modern method of printing designs or text onto a t-shirt. A vinyl print is applied to the garment by heat press (like a large iron). It’s best suited to smaller runs (for example 100 garments or less) as the setup costs are low (some t-shirt printers don’t even charge a setup fee at all for vinyl printing). The print will never come off, crack or fade in the wash because it’s a type of plastic. A disadvantage is that you are restricted to using block colours, but this is easily worked around and fantastic looking results can be achieved.

How To Save Money On T-Shirt Printing

It’s important to have a clear idea on exactly what you want printed on your garments, and what quantity of shirts you need, before approaching a t-shirt printing company for a price quote. My best tip for saving money on printed shirts is to avoid the “design your own t-shirt online” website option, and instead email or call a t-shirt printer instead. This way you avoid paying extra for the “privilege” of designing your shirt yourself, plus you get the advantage of having an experienced t-shirt designer do the work for you based on your specifications, usually at no extra cost!


write by Helga

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