What is T-Shirt Printing all about?
So how do you know what you need and what you are getting? At DIGIMALL, we encourage you to ask questions and be happy with the answers before you proceed – after all, that’s what we’re here for.
The main factors to consider from the start will also govern the best method to use, and therefore what type of company, and the cost. These are:
* How many items do you want printed?
* How many colours make up your design?
* What will the finished garments be used for?
So, then you probably look for [ t-shirt printing ] using a search engine such as Google, and pages and pages of companies come up. At first glance, it’s tricky to know who they all are and whether they can deliver what you need – after all they are all offering some form of printing onto clothing. Relatively few are offering you the level of T-shirt printing expertise and advice that DIGIMALL offers.
Vinyl Cut Printing
Vinyl Cut Printing for Individual Names and Numbers
Method: Vinyl printing, or Cad Cut, involves a computer-controlled blade which digitally cuts the design out of vinyl. Generally we would recommend screen printing but there are times when vinyl is more suitable for certain products.
Summary: Vinyl is great for personalising names and numbers on sports team kit, on school and university leavers’ hoodies, tours for stag, hen, holidays. Vinyl is also better for customising high-visibility workwear and other nylon fabrics.
When we would recommend Vinyl
Individual names and numbers.
One-off samples such as for client meetings or press events.
Multi-coloured logos that need to look bright and bold on dark backgrounds or on fabrics that have dyes that could otherwise bleed into the print.
Nylon and technical fabrics such as hi-vis workwear, waterproofs, Gore-Tex® and similar, umbrellas and bags.
Fabrics that stretch such as Lycra® or Spandex® sports and leisurewear.
How we print Vinyl
Vinyl printing is generally limited to simple text and designs. A single-colour print is the norm but we can overlay different colours of vinyl to produce some clever effects. The artwork is required in a vector format which is produced in a software package such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw; this artwork format produces the design in lines as opposed to pixels as in a jpeg image.
Once the artwork has been cut, we then take away the unwanted vinyl, this process is called weeding and can be very time consuming and delicate if the design has fine detail. This is why Vinyl is only really good for lettering and simple one-colour designs.
Once the weeding has been done we are left with the design on its backing paper. We then transfer that onto the garment, this is done using an industrial heat press. This allows us to apply pressure and a temperature of 160c. Once this has been applied the backing paper is removed.
Vinyl comes in many different formats, such as metallic, fluorescent, flock and reflective colours. It can be as durable as screen printing – it can be washed up to 60c without any colour loss, so can be a good option for work clothing that needs hot washes. Some Vinyl is designed to stretch so is a great option for sports clothing including leggings. Vinyl gives a smooth even finish with crisp edges, but can look like it has been stuck on compared to screen printing which absorbs into the fabric.
Our standard fonts are shown here. You can also provide you own font for us to use. If you want us to use your own font then please supply vectored artwork with outlines created as an Illustrator file. It is very important that you have created outlines if you are using Illustrator. If you have a copy of the true type font then this can be emailed to us and we can produce the vectored file. You must have permission to send us the font. Not all fonts are suitable for vinyl cut names, so if you font has a lot of fine detailing then it will not be possible to cut these out. Please ask us if your font is suitable.
Digital Printing Services – What is digital (DTG) printing?
We’re a trusted digital printing (Direct to garment DTG) company. And we do digital printing on fabric. It’s one of our specialities, and it works brilliantly. If you don’t know what digital print is and how it works, here’s an explanation.
The history of digital printing (DTG) on fabric
Digital ‘inkjet’ technology was invented in the late 1960s but didn’t become widely available until the 1990s, when it revolutionised the print industry. Beforehand, small print runs on huge litho machines were so expensive they weren’t worth doing. Afterwards a print run of just one was possible, at a very reasonable price.
These days there are specialised print machines to handle everything from paper, canvas and vinyl to a range of fabrics, and inks used by a digital clothing printer are specially formulated specifically for each type of material.
During the digital textile printing process, we feed the item we’re printing on through the printer on rollers. The machine applies the ink as thousands of tiny droplets. Then we finish the job with heat, to cure the ink so it doesn’t run in the wash. Garments printed using a digital T shirt printer wash and wear in exactly the same way as any other fabric.
Why use us for custom digital print (DTG) shirts
High resolution results – What really sets our state-of-the-art digital shirt press apart from other printing processes is the wonderful quality high resolution results you get, perfect for detailed and complex designs. Because there’s no time-consuming set-up to do, like there was with old-school litho print tech, it’s perfect for low quantity orders, with a minimum order of 1.
Lots of experience plus high the machinery – We’ve been printing digitally on fabrics for five years and have perfected the technique. We’ve recently upgraded our machinery so it’s the latest version, the best available technology. And that’s why our results are so good: clear, bright, accurate, sharp, long-lasting and beautiful.
Quality garments – The quality of the t-shirt has a direct effect on the quality of the print. While every garment prints in a unique way, our 100% cotton Ts are a must. But we fully expect the technology
to move on, and move fast, making printing onto 100% polyester a possibility in the near future. Right now, the garments with the tightest weave deliver the best results, so we recommend choosing from the top price range on our site rather than the lower cost options. The Continental Clothing NO3 prints superbly (link to the product page)
Jumbo sized prints on every colour background – Cheaper digital machines are limited to printing on white t-shirts. They can’t print as large as we can, either. It makes such a difference. We print on every colour, creating images as large as 610 x 450cm, and that’s impressive.
Soft print on dark shirts – Digital printing t shirts comes with another handy advantage. Printing on dark shirts gives you a lovely soft feel, not that horrible shiny plastic feel you get from cheap printed Ts. It can make a massive difference to the feel of the shirt when your design involves large blocks of colour.
Hints and tips about artwork, after-care and more
* For the best results, produce your artwork to 300dpi. If you need help because your artwork isn’t a high enough resolution, we can do that for you. We’ve also had good levels of success with lower resolutions thanks to our brilliant machinery
* We accept most design file formats including jpg, png, psd, ai and pdf. * Jpg files will have a background colour, normally white. We’ll ask you before removing it
* Bear in mind digital printing works best with artwork involving tones, gradients and shading
* If you want an exact match between all garments you’re better off with screen printing
* Our ink manufactures recommend a 30c wash, although we’re very happy with our test-wash results at 40c
The pros and cons of digital printing
* Pros – High resolution, detailed prints, soft to touch prints, a minimum order of one, lasts well
* Cons – Can be expensive, can only print onto 100% cotton garments, and you might get some variation between prints
See for yourself
Roll over the skull t-shirt above to zoom in on the brilliant detail we can get from digital printing onto 100% cotton t-shirts and sweat shirts. Wow!
Expert help with digital printing projects
If you have any questions whatsoever about the digital printing process, give us a call on freephone 1300 003 013 and we’ll give you the help and advice you need.