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 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.
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.
With 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!