The Three Best Methods for Printing T-Shirts

Written by Custom Apparel, Trade Shows

Printing custom t-shirts is a great way to promote your band, business, or idea, or just a great way to make a souvenir or gift for your outing or party or event. There are a number of different ways to make t-shirts, however we are going to explore the best three methods, screen printing, embroidery, and direct to garment printing. Depending on what type of shirt you are trying to make, the amount of shirts you want, and the design you have in mind certain methods are going to be more effective than others. Any one of these options is going to make you a great looking t-shirt. But, each has their strengths and weaknesses so depending on what you need you will have to choose the proper methodology for printing.

Screen Printing

To make these types of t-shirts a screen is created with an image or text or both on it. This screen is covered in paint and then pressed onto the shirt to make the image appear. This is a very popular method of making t-shirts because it looks professional, the printed images are durable, and the cost of creating t-shirts this way is very minimal. However, the screen can only print one color, and for each successive color you need to use a separate screen. This option is most feasible if you are printing a lot of t-shirts with the same design or logo and one or two different colors. If you have a small order of shirts you won’t experience the cost savings that screen printing offers and you will probably want to choose a different methodology of printing unless you really like the aesthetic look of screen printed shirts.



Interestingly enough, this method doesn’t involve any actual printing. Instead a machine stitches a design or text onto the chosen shirts. This method looks very professional. It is the most popular option when it comes to golf shirts and corporate work wear. The text or images last for a very long time since they are stitched onto the fabric, and it has a timeless classic look. However, your logo may have to be altered or might look weird since it is more difficult to achieve in-depth shading with thread. Also, with the embroidery method it is very difficult to get small text onto a shirt. If your logo is very detailed and requires a lot of shading or if you have small texts you probably do not want to use this option, but if you are making shirts for a golf-outing or corporate retreat or something of that nature this is probably the very best option for you.

Direct to Garment (DTG)

In this method the image or text is printed directly into the fabric. You cannot feel the ink on the shirt. Imagine printing a document with a printer and this is basically what direct to garment t-shirt printing is except with t-shirts. This technique is relatively new compared to the other two technique options explored in this article, and was only made commercially available in 2005. This method allows you to print highly customizable and detailed logos and designs on shirts. There are a lot fewer steps involved with this printing method. Direct to garment printing works really well especially if you have a design that incorporates a lot of color and details. This method looks and feels just like a retail quality t-shirt. However, this option is not as cost-effective as screen printing when it comes to ordering big batches of t-shirts. If you are looking to order a small amount of high-quality extremely customizable t-shirts this is the best method for you to choose.

Visit to learn more about t-shirt printing and pricing.

Last modified: January 31, 2020

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