The advent of digital printing has opened up the world of apparel printing to more types of garments and applications. Unlike screen printing, where the ink has to sit in the garment, digital prints can add images to mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, and more. Using digital printing for apparel is easy and inexpensive, and you can reproduce the results at home if you want to. A number of “t-shirt printing kits” can be purchased at your local office supply store.
One type of heat-transfer garment decoration is heat transfer printing. With this process, a transfer paper with a print design is placed on the garment. A heat press is used to transfer the design onto the garment. Then, the heat-transfer paper is taken to the event. Once there, the transfer is applied to pre-selected plain garments. Then, attendees can select a garment from the inventory to wear to the tournament.
Digital printing can be done on T-shirts as well. Screen printing involves applying ink to the T-shirt, while direct to garment printing uses a heat press to apply ink directly onto the garment. Direct to garment printing is becoming more popular in recent years because of its accuracy and high level of detail. In addition to being more affordable, digital printing has better quality and faster turnaround times than traditional screen printing. There are different kinds of digital printing, and the best type of printing for your particular needs depends on the type of printing.
DTG technology allows for wider ranges of fabrics than inkjet technology, although cotton is still the most common choice. However, the newer systems boast that they can print on most fabrics. While the number one choice for digital printing is 100% cotton, this technology is not as widespread as it is for screen printing. Other common types of fabrics that DTG cannot print on include 50/50 blends, polyester, and moisture-wicking fabrics. Digital printing is susceptible to dye migration, which can discolor the print.
During the screen printing process, the print head is used to apply the ink to the garment. A special table holds the garment while the printing process takes place. During this step, a squeegee pulls the ink along the screen and presses it through the openings in the stencil. The ink then dries on the product underneath. When it is complete, multiple items are laid on the printing board, and the process is repeated for the new garment.
Discharge inks add depth to printed images. This type of ink is especially effective for distressed prints on dark garments. Discharge inks are also excellent for underbasing dark garments and add a soft feel to the design. They are also known as “day glow” and “day-glow” inks, which raise the print off the fabric to create a three-dimensional effect. These techniques are both expensive, but they are worth it if you are looking for a unique garment with great print quality. For more details visit local print shops in your area.