Yesterday while doing my weekly grocery shopping I spotted some interesting T- shirt slogans and designs. There was a mix of phrases from witty, entertaining ones to those used by companies and brands as promotional material for advertising purposes. I have always been a fan of printed T-shirts next to the boring plain coloured ones.
People select printed T Shirts for a variety of reasons, for some individuals the phrases, slogans, images reflect their personality or thoughts and they use it as a medium to convey them while some simply wear them for fashion. Certain companies use prints on T-shirts to advertise or promote their product, brand or services. This is proven to be quiet an effective medium which acts as subliminal messaging and not the conventional in your face advertising.
There are several T-shirt printing methods used commonly. They are as listed below.
One of the earliest methods of T-Shirt printing, it was patented In England during the 19th century. Screen printing involves a stencil method of print making, where a design is imposed on a silk mesh and the blank areas are covered with waterproof substance then the ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing surface/ T-shirt.
Heat Transfer Printing
Just as technology has changed our lives and the way we do things tremendously, it has made a great impact on T-shirt printing by reducing the printing time and making it more sophisticated. A special heat transfer media is fed into the output machine (generally a laser printer or copier) then high heat pressure is applied onto the media to force transfer the image onto the T-shirt from the media.
Digital cutout printing
Once an image is applied on a T-shirt through digital cutout, it appears as embossed. The relevant graphics need to be transmitted to the screen printer and T-shirts at home.
A die-cut of these images generally made from foil or vinyl is then used. Additions such as glitter are added and high temperature heat press bonds the die-cut to the T-shirt fibers.
The above are the standard methods used around the world mainly by specialized persons. You can use your creativity to create designs and the use of material if you’re working on just a few T-shirts.
DTG Direct to garment
DTG Direct to garment printing is a new and improving technology which enables the printing of a multi-colour design onto 1 or short runs of t-shirts etc. The cost of creating screens can be uneconomical for a single t-shirt with a multi colour design but this is where DTG – Direct to garment printing comes into it’s own. As it’s based on inkjet technology it is unable to reproduce precise Pantone or spot colours within a design but the overall image is what you would expect from a high end inkjet.