If you are looking to create and print your own t-shirt designs, there are actually many ways in which you can achieve this. Knowing how to print on t-shirts is a very helpful skill, but the main thing to bear in mind from the outset is that having the help of a professional is the most important thing.
Beyond that, there are a wide range of methods for t-shirt printing, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular methods, and discuss what is good – and not so good – about each of them. The best method for you will often depend on the complexity of the design, your budget, and how many t-shirts you’d like to print.
Screen printing is often going to provide you with a vibrant finish, and is best for large quantities rather than small.
Inkjet And Laser Iron-On Printing
This is simple, can be done at home, and is affordable if you already have a printer. But the results won’t always stick as well.
Direct to garment printing covers a range of methods, but the main deal with them is that they are extremely expensive. However, by using professional printers, you can get around that part of the problem.
Using computer assisted design to create vinyl prints works effectively, but you need the right software – or to hire someone who has the right software. If you have that, you’ll be able to use vinyl to make whatever t-shirt design you like.
Plastisol inks can be used to create very vibrant designs. It is also easy to do and affordable, and lasts a long time.
With this form of printing, you use heat to transfer dye on to the fabric. As long as enough heat and pressure is applied, it should result in a permanent image.
This is actually a kind of screen printing, whereby discharge inks are used rather than normal inks. With discharge inks, a shirt’s dye is removed – rather than putting a new colour on it.
Cut & Sew
As the name suggests, this is a low-tech way to make a t-shirt design, where you literally cut and sew the image on to the t-shirt. It’s fun and easy, but by no means permanent – or even survivable in the wash!
If you are creative enough, you can make your own stencil and then simply spray paint through it or use another similar medium. This is easy and effective, but not that permanent either. You also need to get it right the first time.
If you have ever tie-dyed anything, you have tried out the resist dyeing method. It provides a beautiful and permanent design for your t-shirt, and it’s affordable too. But it’s not great for more complex designs.