We love Screen Printing
As you all know we love t-shirts here at organic apparel. We love all kinds because it’s the uniqueness of each that makes it just a little different and just a little cooler. And why do we love to customize these t-shirts so much, well it’s because of screen printing of course. Yes, screen printing remains our favorite method of decoration because it’s an art form and renders the best results if done correctly with the right experience and touch. We are aware of the other methods like dye sublimation, laser transfers, inkjet transfers, print and cut, and of course direct to garment or dtg. And where do we go for this? Why check out Harvard’s screen printing Sacramento location.
Let’s briefly explore each of these decoration methods or alternatives to screen printing. First up is dye sublimation. Dye sublimation has been around longer than you may think, over 20 years old. The process is quite simple. You print your design on a transfer paper and heat press it to transform the ink into a gas that dyes the fabric of the shirt. The shirts involved works best when those are of the polyester type. One hundred percent specifically. This works best on light-colored shirts only as the gas chemical is not opaque enough to completely dye and over ride the existing dark dye on the fabric. The pro’s are that dye sublimation is great on polyester and can be printed on a wide format printer and can easily cover the shirt in an all-over format. The cons are that it’s only great on polyester and doesn’t work so well on dark or even medium shades of garments.
Next is the laser transfer. The laser transfer process has only matured around the past five years or so. The challenge here was to find a way get the laser toner to peel off the paper completely. Another challenge faced was decorating on dark garments. The evolution of “white” toner finally emerged and thus completed the laser printer decoration of t-shirts. The application of laser is just like dye sublimation. Print the design onto a transfer paper and heat apply to the t-shirt. For dark garments, a layer of white toner is printed onto a separate sheet of paper and applied to the back of the color sheet, then heat applied.
Inkjet transfer is similar to dye sublimation and laser, except the ink is printed from you guessed it, an inkjet printer. This is usually done on small scale for the home market.
Print/Cut is similar to dye sublimation too, except the design is printed onto a paper media with a sticky backing or transfer carrier. After the design is printed, the printing machine also cuts the outline of the design. After the cutting process, the design has to be manually weeded by hand. Once weeded, the design is applied to the garment via a heat press as well.
DTG is a bigger topic so we’ll follow up on this with another blog…stay tuned.