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What are the printing techniques on t-shirts? Custom Shirts Printing

Surely at certain at times you have felt the concern of having an original shirt that expresses your essence, your ideas or simply the beauties of your designs. If this is really what you want, then we will explain the various techniques with which you can print your creations or designs on the textiles of your choice.

Some of the techniques being mostly used and which we are also using for the printing of custom shirts in Dallas are:

  • screen printing
  • The sublimation technique
  • airbrushing
  • heat transfer vinyl
  • The DGT (Direct to Garment) technique
  • the embroidery

screen printing

This technique is the most popular, and consists of reproducing an image on various materials, both cloth, paper, etc. without losing quality in repetitions.

The procedure to carry out the stamping is done with ink, a mesh of threads stretched to a frame and a material that makes a mask to cover the areas where it should not be stamped. In this method, the paint is pressed with a racket to pass it from one end to the other, in order to achieve a uniform print on the shirt throughout all parts of the garment. After printing, the ink is allowed to dry in the air, or in an oven. 

With this process, very good results are achieved, and a good price for large productions, but the main problem is having to make a mesh for each color that you want to print, which makes it very expensive to make full-color designs for small productions.

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The sublimation technique

The sublimation technique is one of the most requested methods currently due to its high quality prints. In addition, it is used both for t-shirts, clothes, and garments, as well as for other different objects, such as cups, bottles, bags, etc. Once you have

the design created, you must print it on a special paper for sublication, with special inks for this technique. 

The sublimation process consists of passing from the paper printed with special inks, to the places that you want to stamp using the heat iron. Then we proceed to let the material cool, and after the ironing process, the print is presented with bright colors and with an almost imperceptible touch.

This sublimation technique allows you to print all the shirts you want, and the greater the number of shirts to be printed, the lower the costs.

It is also important to point out that for the printing by means of this technique to be effective, it is recommended that the t-shirts have at least 70% polyester and 30% cotton, preferably in pastel colors and white, so that in this way the print is of quality, vividness and offers good durability, which also limits the type of objects or garments to be printed.


The Airbrushing technique is an almost handmade technique, which was widely used in the 80s and 90s by urban Graffiti artists. It consists of the use of an airbrush to stamp designs manually on the shirts.

The biggest disadvantage of this technique is that the ink does not offer durability on the shirts to be printed, and also quality prints will be subordinated to the quality of the designer or artist.

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Textile vinyl heat transfer

This technique of transferring textile vinyl using heat is made with special vinyl for textiles. This textile vinyl has a part that is printed or displayed as a spot color, and another that is glued through high heat temperatures, fixing itself safely and exactly on the fabric of the t-shirt. For this process you need a cutting plotter, or print and cut plotter, in addition to a heat transfer plate.

The advantage offered by this technique is that it is low cost when printing in small quantities, and it also offers the possibility of printing from a single copy, to large productions, and at a very economical price.

In addition, it gives good durability to washing, although a disadvantage that this type of prints presents with the vinyl technique is the possible cracking that after a while occurs in the material that makes up the print.

The DTG (Direct to Garment) technique

This technique means “Direct to the garment” in Spanish, and consists of the use of a special DTG printer, which will be in charge of printing the ink directly on the fabric of the T-shirt. The latter should preferably be a minimum of 50% cotton, although it is advisable that it be at least 80% or 100%. The advantage

of this technique is that small print runs can be made, even from a single copy, and in full color , at a competitive price. In addition, it offers great print quality and resolution, although that depends on the inks and the DTG machine used.

It is a very appropriate technique to make small runs that help artists, local clothing brands, and companies, to easily print without making a large investment. In addition, it has a durability similar to traditional screen printing, and with a similar texture and feel. 

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The disadvantage of this technique is that for large runs, its cost in a single color can be higher than that of traditional screen printing, which offers very competitive prices for large productions, although if the same run is done in full color, the price a similar price.


This is one of the least popular methods for printing designs on t-shirts, due to its high cost. However, it is ideal for printing the details of the pattern, and it is also very durable.

One of the disadvantages of this technique is the discomfort it causes when in direct contact with the skin due to the embroidery seams.

For the rest, we recommend the embroidery method to make your company uniforms, your brand logos, among other utilities.


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