The Best T-shirt Printing Methods

Posted by needtshirtsnow 12/31/2022 0 Comment(s) T-shirt Printing News,

The Best T-shirt Printing Methods (Explained)


There are a lot of different T-shirt Printing methods to choose from. Some you may prefer over others. Today we will get into the Pros and Cons and figure out which method you should be using for your custom apparel and merchandise. 


Screen Printing


Screen Printing


Screen printing is one of the most popular and durable ways to print t-shirts and other garments. It is used to print everything from t-shirts, caps, shoes, jackets pants and so much more. It is also one of the oldest ways to print t-shirts. This method is tried and tested. 


Reasons why you should be using screen printing for your t-shirts

  • It is durable
  • More cost-efficient for larger quantities
  • It is easier for 1 Color designs
  • The Colors Really Pop compared to other methods
  • The Print Will a lot of times outlast the shirt
  • Rarely Fades
  • The compatibility you can use this method on almost any t-shirt


Cons why you should not use Screen printing

  • The Cost. If you dont need that many shirts the price can be more steep
  • The Setup Cost and Time it takes 
  • Harder to Print Photos
  • Limited to the amount of colors that can be used


Direct to Garment Printing ( DTG )


Image of a DTG Printer owned by Need T-shirts Now


DTG printing is still fairly new when compared to Screen printing but over the years there has been major improvement in the method, speed, and quality. It is one of the easiest ways to get a couple of shirts with photos printed on them. The machine is basically an inkjet printer that is used for printing apparel. The inks are specifically made for printing on garments. Different than what you will find in your normal home office inkjet printer which uses a dye.


Pros for using DTG Printing

  • Can print photos on t-shirts easily
  • 1 shirt or 1000 shirts no problem
  • Can print millions of colors
  • Full-color Printing
  • No Minimum Order
  • Water-based inks = environmentally friendly
  • Fast Production Time
  • Soft Feel on the Shirt
  • Great printing method for Cotton T-shirts
  • Basically no set-up time. Just load the shirt and Hit print.

Cons for Using DTG Printing

  • Colors don't pop like Screen printing
  • Fading can happen over time
  • Pretreatment Square box on your shirt
  • It can leave a pretreatment stain on certain shirts
  • Hard to print on 100% poly shirts and blends
  • Not as fast as Screen printing on larger orders
  • Can have lines in the artwork called banding if the printer is having print head issues


Sublimation Printing


Example of Sublimation Printing


Have you ever seen a t-shirt that has an all-over print? From seam to seam. The design starts from the top to the bottom. Well, it was most likely done with the Sublimation Printing Method.


Pros of using the Sublimation Printing Method

  • It's durable
  • Great for small orders and Larger orders
  • Soft feel on the shirt
  • Eco Friendly
  • Great for Light Colored Polyester Shirts
  • Fast Setup time
  • Can print complex artwork
  • Can print photos on t-shirts


Cons for using Sublimation for T-shirt printing


  • Can only print on polyester


Vinyl Printing

Example of Vinyl Printing

Vinyl printing is an awesome way to get one-color prints onto a sports jersey but it's also great for t-shirt printing.


Pros for using Vinyl Printing

  • Can print 1 shirt or 1000 shirts 
  • it has bright colors
  • Can print on cotton and poly
  • Fast setup time
  • Easy to print different names and numbers on Jerseys
  • Can print on Cotton and Polyester

Cons for using Vinyl Printing

  • The Print can come off more easier
  • Cant print complex artwork easily
  • Can't Print photos on t-shirts


The Best T-shirt Printing Method to use

If you want a couple of shirts with photos on them then I would recommend that you use the DTG Printing method. If you want a shirt with printing all over the t-shirt from seam to seam then I would encourage you to use sublimation printing. The main difference between the two will be the price. Sublimation printing will cost more and the polyester shirt that you will be using will also cost more than DTG printing and cotton t-shirts.

If you need names and numbers on sports apparel such as Jerseys then I will recommend that you use the Vinyl printing method. Although all these different methods will work for printing names and numbers on the back of Jerseys. It will Come down to Price and ease. 

If you want to sell merchandise and want to get great quality prints at an affordable price then screen printing may be the best method for you. You can get the cheapest price by Screen printing a large order of shirts. Especially if your design is simple and one color.


Now that we gave you the Pros and cons of the different T-shirt printing methods Let us know in the comment section below which method you prefer and Why.


Here at Need T-shirts Now we specialize in DTG printers but can provide all the options also.


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