The Internet has made offering services very convenient, and t-shirt printing is no exception. There are many t shirt printing companies doing business on the World Wide Web, but not all t shirt printing companies are created equal.
T shirts are a great way to advertise your business, event or make a statement. T-shirts sayings can provide something comical, serious, thought provoking or just plain mean nothing at all. To be sure your t shirt is seen in the best possible light, be sure the printing and graphic work is of the absolute highest quality.
T shirt printing is accomplished by one of several methods. The most common method is screen printing or silkscreen printing. The t shirt is stretched through a rigid frame with a stencil positioned where the design is to be placed. Ink is applied with a squeegee, and each color is applied separately.
Another method of t shirt printing is dye sublimation. The desired image is printed from a computer printer onto opaque paper. The image is positioned on the shirt in the desired location and heat is applied. The ink evaporates from the paper and is transferred to the t shirt. Using this method, any image, including photographs can be transferred to a t shirt.
A modern, high tech method is printing the image directly onto the t shirt with an ink jet printer designed specifically for printing on a variety of cloth or plastic material.
A method sometimes utilized for t shirt printing is embroidering the image onto the shirt. Usually, the image is small such as a breast pocket image or name. The embroidery machine is computerized, and the desired design is programmed into the machine. The early machines required the operator to guide the shirt through the process, but the more modern machines work automatically.
There are drawbacks to each method such as the silk screening process is low cost, but not appropriate for printing photographs. Dye sublimation is capable of printing photographs with a high degree of quality, but does not work on some material such as natural fibers.
Ink jet printing is very good for small volumes of t-shirts and printing photographs with multiple hues. The process works well on all kinds of material, including natural fibers. However, the equipment is very costly to purchase and would be cost prohibitive for limited printing. A high volume printing outfit will utilize this method more often than the other methods.
Embroidering has limited use. The image cannot be large in size to be cost effective, and the threads can be pulled out of place if snagged on something.
Before choosing a t shirt printer, check out the methods of printing they offer and the cost associated with each. Another consideration is the minimum number of t shirts that have to be ordered. Also, inquire about set up costs, print fees, cost of t-shirts, end run costs, shipping if the printer is not local and the return policy. Weigh the cost estimate against your budget and choose the printer that best fits your criteria.