The Different Types of Tee Printing Methods

There are only 3 main printing methods when it comes to clothing, the rest are sub categories or combination of 2 main methods. The 3 are,


Heat Transfer

Heat Transfer is when heat is used to apply the design to a garment. You normally print the design on transfer paper and use a heat press to apply it to the garment. You can achieve some wavy designs using this method but out of the 3 this is lowest quality and lasts the shortest amount of time.



  • High level of detail can be achieved


  • Wears out the fastest
  • Feels heavy if design is large
  • Tumble dryer can fuck it up real quick





Screen Printing

Screen printing is the oldest method out the 3. it is a printing technique that uses ink-blocking stencil (the screen). The screen forms open areas of which you use a squeegee to push the ink through onto the tee. You can only do one colour at a time, so the process is repeated for every part of your design that has a different colour.


  • Good Finish
  • Thick ink


  • Limited on how complex the design can be
  • Every colour requires an additional screen
  • It’s not environmentally friendly





Direct To Garment (DTG)

Direct to garment, this method is when you use an exceptionally massive printer to print directly onto the garment as you are using a printer you are not limited to the amount of colours or the complexity of your design.



  • Very High Quality
  • Very Complex designs can be achieved
  • Does not require artwork to be layer/colour separated
  • Best for accurately reproducing full-colour designs


  • An additional pre-treatment is needed when pronating onto dark garments, this means you have to print a layer of white ink under any designs on dark garments this layer is sometimes visible on the finished product.There are a number of ways to combat this one is to use add a border to your design using the stroke function in photoshop.


As you may have noticed there was no mention to cost above assessment, cost can vary depending on the amount of tees you are printing. This assessment is based purely from a design and quality perspective. Get in touch with your local print house armed with this info on quality  for prices.

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