You might be an excellent graphic designer, but you do not start a business just like that. It may seem that the T-shirt printing business is relatively easy. There are several things you need to know and do before you can start your T-shirt printing business.
Different Printing Techniques
Before you can transfer a design onto a shirt, you should know what method to use. The method you choose will guide you in preparing your business plan and the equipment or materials you need to purchase.
T-shirts with lovely designs are fast sellers. But many customers today want to be unique, so they are looking for customized and personalized designs. If you are more into the business side of things but are starting small, you can search for a freelance t shirt designer to provide designs or create designs according to your clients’ preferences. As the business owner, it is beneficial to your business if you understand the different T-shirt printing processes.
Silkscreen printing is the most common among shirt printing techniques. The screen printing method today is very sophisticated, and machines can now automatically do the work. The process is the preferred method for the mass-production of designs, as it is faster and more economical. It is not suitable for single or unique designs with several colors due to the cost of preparing the screen. Each screen can only take one color, so it is not ideal for complex designs with multiple colors.
Direct To Garment Printing
Direct to garment or DTG is a modern T-shirt printing method. It uses a textile printer that transfers the full design onto the shirt in one pass. It works like printing something on paper. You transfer or create the design on the computer; load the T-shirt on the printer bed, and the printer sprays the inks on the fabric. The method is very useful for intricate designs in various colors. DTG works best with designs in solid colors.
Heat Press Printing
With heat press printing, you print the design, single or multicolored, on transfer paper. The heat press method allows you to print complex designs with transparencies and fine lines. The design is transferred on the shirt using a heat press that provides heat to dissolve the dye and pressure to ensure a smooth design transfer. After the transfer of the design, you remove the glossy paper backing to reveal the design. The process works well with light-colored fabrics.
CAD-cut Vinyl Printing
The method uses a special type of vinyl material that is available in solid and rainbow colors. A plotter traces the design on the vinyl. After the transfer, you weed (remove) the parts of the design that are not needed. The design is then transferred to the T-shirt using a heat press machine.
Vinyl is suitable for large designs, such as letters and numbers for sports shirts. It applies to designs with very thin or fine lines.
Choose the printing process that will suit your space and your budget. You can offer one or two related printing methods that use the same machines to increase sales.