June 15, 2021
Wondering what print method you should use? Or wondering the difference between printing techniques? Here is the place to be! I will be showing you the ins and outs of each technique and linking you to some great videos to check out. There are a variety of different techniques to use depending on your logo or design including screen print, dtg, print & cut, 2D & 3D embroidery, various vinyl print, chenille and patches.
Let's start with screen printing, before computers and machines screen print one of the oldest methods for clothing dating back to the 1900s. This method is great for 1/2 colour simple logos but can also be used for a variety of colours. The reason why screen print is preferred for 1/2 colour logos is because of the way screen printing is done, each colour is placed on the garment individually. So when using multiple colours this method becomes more time consuming, which increases the cost per unit. Back to how screen printing works, unlike most other techniques there is a set up process. Which is why you should always place bulk orders in high volume to save yourself money on overall costs. Set ups fees typically cost around £25 but can vary depending on the size of images, the set up fee covers the cost of the custom mesh screen with your logo. When ready to print the ink is placed on the top of the mesh screen and dragged from top to bottom with rubber squeegee, this is called flooding. This is how the logo is transferred onto the garment. When ordering in high volumes screen printing is the most economical option.
Moving on to digital printing, this has a few different names like D2G or DTG meaning Direct To Garment. Invented in the early 1990s making printing easier and more efficient, this method is similar to a printer you have at home, with digital files and ink you can directly print onto garments like you would on paper. The process for digital printing is much easier as the only set up for this is to get the file onto the computer connected to the machine which in the 21st century is as easy as breathing. Once you have the logo loaded there are a few manual things that need to be done, any dark coloured garment needs to be sprayed with a liquid called pre-treat in the areas that are going to be printed on. This is a white liquid which looks like pvc glue, this helps with the white ink to sit in the garments material so it lasts after many wears and washes, after pretreat this needs to be dried using a heat press. Then the garment is framed onto the machine to be printed, when printing is complete the freshly printed garment is then placed back on the heat press to dry the ink into the garment. Digital printing is perfect for multiple colour prints and designs as it recreates the exact image colours and shading from the original files.
Vinyl printing is great for 1 colour logos and offers many different textures and colours, vinyl is also a great way to finish a digital print design as it can sit on top of the ink. With reflective, suede and glow in the dark available, vinyl is a great way to separate your brand or business from the competition. Vinyl is a heat transfer print so works like a long lasting sticker if you follow the washing instructions. To start the process, logos are cut out using a plotter cutter. The needle in this machine slightly traces the logo on the roll of vinyl. Which is then peeled off leaving a transparent sheet and the remaining logo, this is then placed on to the garment and heat pressed so it sits on the garment. This method of printing is quick and great for different styles if you want to use suede or reflective. Raised vinyl is also great to help your logo stand out, remember to always wash vinyl on a cold wash and preferably inside out this keeps the vinyl intact, never tumble dry or apply direct heat to the vinyl.
Like vinyl, print and cut is also a heat transfer print; it is kind of like a hybrid of vinyl & digital print. The print & cut machine prints the design onto a roll of vinyl then traces around the logo to cut it from the blank vinyl. To then get this on the garment the vinyl cut out needs to be transferred onto a sheet so the sticky side of the vinyl is facing up. This is then placed on to the position of the garment, to protect the vinyl from the heat like regular vinyl its best to cover with some heat transfer paper. This is a great alternative to digital print, and should also be washed with delicate care on a cold wash and without excess heat.
One of the best and long lasting prints is embroidery, embroidery can work on all kinds of garments from caps, hoodies to shorts. It also works on simple and complex logos, 3D embroidery is great for simple logos to make them stand out. Most badge logos use 3D to separate the inside badge from the outer lines. Like screen print, embroidery has a set up charge. This is to digitize the digital logo into a stitch format so the machine knows how the logo looks and where the stitches should sit. The cost of digitizing varies depending on the company but usually costs around £20/£25 per logo. The cost of logo embroidery also varies depending on the size of a logo usually varies from small, medium or large. For larger logos like badges it may be better to use heat patches; it doesn't typically last as long as standard embroidery but has been used and proven to work for many brands.
Chenille print is a relatively new print method brought to the scene by trapstar, the chenille print is a carpet/rug effect. This can be done with heat patches or regular patches sewn into garments, usually made abroad as custom pieces; it has recently been introduced to the uk manufacturing scene.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
November 03, 2023