When it comes to garment printing there are now four main methods to choose from, depending on what you want from the image, how many you are ordering and what the purpose of the printing is for. Silkscreen printing is very popular, especially for bulk orders for example but is easiest when there are fewer colours. Here is a look at the 4 printing methods.

Screen printing

Silkscreen or screen printing is possibly the oldest method of printing still in use today and it is one of the most popular still. While there have been changes in how the method is used and what the screens are made from, it is still essentially the same process that has been around for almost 2000 years. Using frames, one per colour the design stencil is attached and the ink is passed through to transfer on to the t-shirt or garment being printed on. It is easy to do bulk orders with this method which is why printers offer discounts to people to encourage them to spend a bit more and get a larger order.

Digital cut out

This is a newer method in the world of garment printing. Special laser printers create patches of high quality made from vinyl. They are cut out and then the printer uses heat to transfer the patches onto the clothing. A lot of sports jerseys with their embossed numbers use the digital cut-out printing method.

Heat transfer prints

While not as old as silkscreen printing, heat transfer printing is several decades old and as it suggests uses heat to transfer designs to blank garments. At home, people use their irons, in a printing shop they will use much hotter presses. The designs are printed onto the patches using computers. The prints are high quality and detailed and can have lots of colours. However, the downside is they are more expensive than say screen printing and they take a good 15 minutes per shirt. In that time a skilled printer can have multiple shirts done with screen printing.

DTG prints

DTG stands for Direct to Garment and is the latest in printing methods developed as technology evolved. There is no other method that gives as good quality as this option, it is more expensive again but it is very accurate. Unlike with other options, you can reproduce even complex pictures and photos without blurring or losing colours.


The method that is best for you just depends on other factors such as how many you need, how many colours you want included, how detailed the image is, what the time frame is, what you are printing onto and so on. Talk to your printer about the different printing options they offer, which of them have minimal orders required, whether these are one time wear shirts or you want them to last longer and any oher details you have. They can help you find the best method for you.

Author's Bio: 

This Article Penned by Lora Davis.