6 Best Methods of Custom T-shirt & Rubber Wristbands Printing

If you are in the business of custom t-shirt printing or want to design and print your shirt, finding the correct method will give you the best results. Whether you are into custom t-shirt printing or are planning on venturing into this business, or simply want to print your own design, here are the different printing methods you should know.

1. Airbrushing or Spray Painting

Spray painting is probably one of the oldest techniques in t-shirt printing. Many artists and hobbyists usually prefer this method because of its versatility when it comes to design. In addition to that, it’s way cheaper than most methods because all you need is fabric paint or spray paint.

The downside is that the print may fade after a few washes, even if you used high-quality paint. It is also not suitable for mass production. However, the design options are endless and you can show your creativity.

2. Screen Printing

Professionals commonly use screen printing or silkscreen printing because of the excellent printing quality it provides. When using this method, you’ll need a template, mesh, squeegee, and of course, ink. The stencil is for the design you want to print on the shirt. The mesh is the screen that will hold your template, and it is typically made of nylon or other synthetic materials. A squeegee is used for spreading the ink, so make sure the stencil is covered completely.

Screen printing is best used for large t-shirt printing production because you can use the template several times. It is also ideal for a single color per screen, although it is also used for multicolor printing. However, it may not be suitable for complex designs.

3. Direct to Garment Technique

DTG, or direct to garment technique, is ideal for complex designs and is one of the newer methods. DTG is also perfect to use at home and for those who are artistic and have basic knowledge about designing and printing.

This printer works almost similar to how you print on paper. Unlike screen printing, where you need several materials, this method only needs a printer and ink. However, the printer may be a bit expensive, especially the high-quality ones.

4. Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is ideal if you want your shirt or rubber wristbands covered with a printed design. So, if you are into multicolored prints, then this may be the perfect option for you. This printing technique uses a special kind of liquid dye. The dye is applied to a transfer paper, and once it’s completely dried, heat and pressured are used for sublimation.

This method produces vivid colors and can last long. However, it may not work on all types of fabrics, especially on cotton shirts. But you can get great results when used on polyester or other light fabrics.

5. Vinyl Cutting

This printing method requires precise cutting, so you will need a special CAD cutter. This is ideal for printing small designs like company logos or brands. Vinyl cutting works using a CAD cutter for the design and is then applied directly to the shirt using a heat press.

It is suitable for small and large quantities. However, not recommended for bigger designs because it affects the flexibility of the t-shirt after the pattern or design is applied.

6. Heat Press Printing

Almost similar to dye sublimation, heat press printing also uses transfer paper. Once the design is printed on the transfer paper, heat and pressure are applied to transfer the design to the shirt. Heat press printing is useful for home use and small quantities.

Since it is somehow the same with dye sublimation, it may not work for all types of fabrics. When using this method, avoid using dark fabrics and that are sensitive to high heat.

If you want to try your hand at custom made tshirt printing, consider the cost, compatibility with fabrics, and speed in terms of production when choosing which printing method to use.