Different Ways to Print a Garment

Printed t-shirts

There are many different ways to create a custom t-shirt – from different types of heat transfers to printing directly onto the garment. Today’s blog will help pinpoint what process may work best for you, depending on the type of job you will be doing.

Custom Transfers
Screen printing on special release paper using plastisol inks.

  • Best for medium to large orders (quantities: 12+)
  • Up to 10 spot colors or unlimited colors using process colors (CMYK)
  • Cotton, 50/50 blends, polyester, canvas bags, jerseys, and more
  • Can be pressed onto all colors (dark garments require a backing)
  • Up to 13″ x 19″ (This is the size of the gang sheets we print on)
  • Equipment needed:  Professional heat press

Transfer Paper
Paper that allows you to create custom designs using your inkjet or laser printer.

  • Best for small orders (quantities: 1-12)
  • Unlimited colors, except for white
  • Cotton, 50/50 blends
  • Can be pressed onto all colors. Paper options available for light or dark garments.
  • Paper available in 8.5″ x 11″  or  11″ x 17″
  • Equipment needed:  Computer, printer and professional heat press

Transfer Vinyl
Rolls of colored material that can be used with a vinyl cutter or a Silhouette.

  • Best for small to medium orders (quantities: 1-36)
  • Unlimited colors, but the suggested amount of colors that can be layered is 3 colors within 1 design
  • Various garment types depending on the vinyl being used
  • Can be pressed onto both light and dark colored garments
  • Rolls are available in 15″ widths and up. Siser Easyweed now available by the sheet.
  • Equipment needed: Computer, vinyl cutter, professional heat press

Sublimation Transfers
A process in which sublimation ink turns into a gas when heated, and embeds itself into the fibers of polyster material

  • Any size order, cost effective for small or large quantities
  • Unlimited colors
  • Limited to 100% white polyester garments
  • Can be done on 3D products with a sublimation-ready coating; such as mugs, phone cases, photo panels, coasters, puzzles, and much more
  • Various paper sizes available, up to 13″ x 19″
  • Equipment needed:  Sublimation printer, sublimation inks, sublimation paper

Direct to Garment
Direct to garment printing using water based inks and a DTG printer.

  • Best for small orders (quantities: 1-12)
  • Unlimited colors
  • Limited to cotton and cotton blends
  • Can be done on both light and dark garments
  • Various design sizes, depending on the printer
  • Equipment needed:  a DTG printer

Screen Printed
Screen printing directly on the garment using plastisol inks.

  • Best for large orders (quantities: 24+)
  • Up to 10 spot colors or unlimited colors using process colors (CMYK)
  • Various garment types, not as limited as transfers (due to heat)
  • All garment colors (dark garments require a base color)
  • Various design sizes, depending on the printer
  • Equipment needed:  Screen printing equipment

*Please note that we do not offer DTG printing or screen printing equipment.