The Evolution And The Market Of T-Shirt Printing


Screen-printing is one of the most common types of t-shirt printing along with the other printing techniques that are being used. The ones that use these methods are individuals and small businesses in order to produce shirts in custom or small batches.

Doing screen-printing at home costs very little and you do not need a lot of special equipment. The other two methods are sublimation and heat transfer. The more difficult of the two is custom sublimation shirts.
This method should only be used on synthetic materials like acrylic. Of the three types of t-shirt printing processes, heat transfer is the easiest. Although heat transfer is quicker than screen printing the final product may not last as long.


This form of custom all over print shirts is done with mesh screens and inks that are specially treated with a chemical that will allow an image to be burned into the shirt. The screen is coated with a substrate that will harden when exposed to light.

The image is printed on a transparency that can be placed on the screen and then it is exposed to light. This causes the exposed substrate to harden and what is hidden by the transparency will stay soft.

You can wash the soft substrate away and produce an image on the screen. Now you place the screen on top of the t-shirt. Ink will then be pressed through the opening in the substrate that is hard by using a squeegee.

The investment is minimal in equipment. You can reuse the screens by washing them and then re-coating them with more substrate to burn another image.

Heat transfer

To avoid any problems of conflicting colors this type of t-shirt printing is done on white custom sublimation shirts. You can put transfers on any color t-shirt if you want but white t-shirts are the best. It is a quick method of printing as you use a pre-made transfer design.

You just heat the transfer and apply it to the shirt. You can do this at home using am ironing board and iron but if you are making a large batch of shirts there is special equipment you can purchase.

Although this is an easy quick option, it is not long-lasting. The transfers over time tend to crack, which often leads to degradation of the image or fading.


Of all the t-shirt printing options, custom sublimation apparel is the longest-lasting and quickest method. Unfortunately, it can be costly and is a limited process. This printing is usually on done on acrylic and synthetic material like nylon.

The ink used in printing is heated in such a way that it turns to gas. It is then transferred to the fabric. When you use this process it will require heating element, substrates, and special inks that an increase in the cost of the garment.

Understanding the elements in dye-sublimation

It is something very different when it comes to the dye-sublimation printing technique. There is certain difference herein as the dyes that are used are similar to the inks that are used. It also includes a four-color process which is usually the CMYO prints.

The process of dye sublimation

The image is usually printed on the transfer paper in reverse style. The paper is then matched up with that of a piece of fabric that is used. Being a versatile fiver that can make everything look similar to that of the oil canvas as that to a sheer fabric to that of a double-sided material that is knit forming a double-sided flag or a banner in its usual.

The prints can also be done if a special polymer coating is used on items such as plastic or aluminum. You can print clothing such as that of the t-shirts, table covers, sportswear as well as other personalized items apart from that of the banners, posters and the flags and other items with the use of dye-sublimation prints.

The links here are not peeled off in a normal manner as when the fading starts with the other clothing’s, so, dye sublimation prints are the best with the image part of the fabric here. This makes the fabric more durable for the rest of the part.

With the other printing techniques, the inks start to fall off from the apparel making it quite difficult to choose the one that you want here. Custom all-over print shirts are the best that you can go ahead with.

If you are looking for something that is convenient and that provides the best comfort, then dye sublimation would make up the best option here.

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