Digital Printing on T-Shirts refers to the method of printing from a digital based image directly onto a T-Shirt or media with the help of a machine. There are primarily 3 high quality methods of Digital Printing on T-Shirts. The digital printing method chosen to print the t-shirt depends on the fabric(natural or polyester), design and quantity.
There are three types of methods used in digital printing:
Direct to Garment(DTG) Printing
the Direct to Garment(DTG) method. This is a relatively new method of t-shirt printing and was introduced only in 2005. It involves printing directly on the t-shirt. It is printed using a DTG Printer. This works exactly the same way printing is done by an inkjet printer on paper.
Vinyl Cut Printing
Vinyl cut printing is the technique where vinyl sheets are cut as per the design using a CAD plotter and cutter. This cut design is then printed onto the t-shirt using a heat press machine. It is widely used add names and numbers onto sports t-shirts. It can be done on both “dry-fit” sports jerseys and “cotton t-shirts”. Vinyl cut Printing allows for different types of prints like reflective prints, neon prints, glitter prints, metallic foil prints as well as prints in an colour. Vinyl cut print works well for slogans, small graphics and words.
Sublimation printing is what is used to get an all over print on a t-shirt. However, this can only be done on polyester t-shirts. It is capable of transforming the whole t-shirt into a piece of art. Sublimation print can only be done on lighter colours. In sublimation printing, the design is first printed onto a heat transfer paper. This paper is then placed on the t-shirt to be printed and high temperature and pressure through a fusing machine then applied. With the application of heat, the t-shirt pores expand and the sublimation dye on the paper turns into liquid and gas and passes into the pores of the t-shirt fabric. On cooling, the pores again contract and the t-shirt is now printed with the design.