What are the different methods of custom printing?
Screen Printing and T-Shirt Printing as a whole is a very intricate process. We'll outline below a few different methods of printing, all of which are available here at Constantly Create Shop.
Screen Printing (Also known as Silk Screen Printing)
Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-colored images or designs.
Screen Printing is typically best for high quantity, lower color count artwork. We also specialize in Half tones, 3D Puff Screen Printing, and QR Code Printing.
Direct To Garment Printing (DTG Printing)
Direct-to-garment printing (DTG) is a process of printing on textiles using specialized aqueous ink jet technology. DTG printers typically have a platen designed to hold the garment in a fixed position, and the printer inks are jetted or sprayed onto the textile by the print head. DTG typically requires that the garment be pre-treated with a PTM or Pre-treatment machine allowing for the following:
- Stronger bond between garment fibers and the pigmented inks
- Lays down loose fibers to provide for a smoother substrate
- Chemically reacts with the inks to promote drying and curing
Since this is a digital process the print is sharper and has a higher resolution, or DPI, than traditional printing methods such as screen printing. However, unlike screen printing, there is no long setup or clean-up process, and DTG has the ability to print just one single shirt for minimal cost.
Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn. Embroidery has been around for a very long time and has become a true craft and trade in the custom clothing industry. In modern days, embroidery is usually seen on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, dresses, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color.
Newer methods and services that have elevated Embroidery even further would be the addition to 3D Puff Embroidery, Multi-Colored Tie Dye Stitching, as well as different patterns in the stitch out which allows you to play with the digitized artwork to make it look one of a kind, and makes it so you can combine different thread colors to make your artwork stand out in a way that Screen Printing and DTG just cannot match.
Heat Transfer Printing (Vinyl)
Vinyl printing, often know as heat transfer, is a process that involves a machine that cuts out designs and letters which allows you to use a heat press to press the media on to different types of garments. There are also newer technologies that allow you to print vinyl using White Toner Transfer Technology so you can use this process with more full-color artwork.
With cut out vinyl, these designs and letters are done on pieces of colored vinyl. This process is similar to screen printing, just with a different touch and feel Then, a heat press is utilized to transfer each piece of vinyl onto the material. This method of printing is typically least-favorite, as it could and does have the lowest scores on washability in general. It's best for very basic artwork and promotional items.