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Apparel Printing: How to Effectively Market Your Business Using Branded Apparel

Methods of Apparel Printing

When it comes to printing designs on apparel like shirts, hoodies, bags or other materials, there are many printing methods available. Each method has its unique advantages and disadvantages, such as cost, vibrancy of color and speed of the order.

Screen Printing ApparelScreen Printing

Screen printing is the most commonly used method for printing on clothes. The process begins by burning a negative of the design onto a screen and pressing the screen against the shirt. Once the screen is in place, ink is drawn across the screen with a squeegee. The areas where the design was printed on the screen are the only areas the ink passes through. Each screen uses a single color. This means that if a shirt design requires 5 colors, 5 separate screens are applied separately to the shirt.

There are many advantages to screen printing, starting with the high quality of the resulting prints. The prints are durable and the method is cost-effective for large volume orders. On the other hand, this method is not a good choice for small orders or orders with many different colors. In order to print on dark colored fabrics while maintaining a vibrant color, a white base needs to be printed first. It is also possible to screen print CMYK processes, but the resolution isn’t as clear since it uses a halftone approach.

Direct to Garment Printing (DTG)

This method is fairly new to the printing world. With these printers, the design is printed directly onto the fabric, instead of each color being applied separately. With this process, you have the ability to print unlimited colors and shades, which is much more difficult with other forms of apparel printing.

There are many advantages associated with this machine. This method is perfect for printing detailed designs or photos. It is the best option for smaller orders, and it can print onto both light and dark colored fabrics. As far as disadvantages, the printer is unable to Pantone color match, and is a less economical option for large orders because the price doesn’t change based on quantity like other printing methods do. Since the print is less durable, it is best printed on 100% cotton fabric.

Heat Press Vinyl

The Heat Press Vinyl method, also known as the Heat Transfer Printing method, is a method of applying your custom designs to the printed material through heat and pressure. It all starts with your design; a machine cuts out your designs and letters on pieces of vinyl. Depending on the color you want in your design, the machine will cut the design on different pieces of the colored vinyl selected. Once each of the pieces are cut out and placed onto the fabric, a heat press is used to transfer the design’s vinyl onto the fabric. Heat Press Vinyl is good for small orders.

Getting Started

The first step in creating a print order is choosing the product. Choices include button-up shirts, crew-neck, V-neck, tank tops, baseball tees, long sleeves, and other shirts. You can also choose hoodies, hats, bags, and more. AlphaGraphics carries many products, including these listed, all of which can be found in our catalogs.

AlphaGraphics Boxes of ApparelWith AlphaGraphics, it is not ideal to order a one-piece project. Our equipment is made for bulk orders, making it cost-efficient to purchase small orders of 15-20 or larger orders of several hundred..

Please feel free to come in and get a quote on your project today!


Adam Bostrom

Posted by Adam Bostrom

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  2. First off I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind
    before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like
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    1. Thank you. Sometimes clearing your mind and getting ready to start writing can be the hardest part. On thing that we do is make sure our distractions are at a minimum. Things you can do are: Pause notifications (email, chat windows, text messages, etc.) It is so easy to get distracted when you hear that chime on your phone or your computer pops up with a notification. Pause those, close your door and start brain storming. I usually start with a web of main topics and then start to add sub-topics to that web before long I have a content strategy of what I will be talking about and which sub-topics I will be discussing. I can then schedule time out of my day to drafting, editing and finalizing my content. The biggest thing is to allow your mind to be creative and think by removing those distractions. This can be time consuming so if you can’t find the time yourself I would suggest assigning it to a person on your staff that has good grammar and is able to develop a story. If you don’t have someone who would be able to do that on your staff I would suggest hiring it out. Hope this helps let me know if there is anything else I can help with.


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