All About Shirt Printing Techniques

You’ve bought shirts with prints and designs on them before, right? In this age, shirts with different designs are normal casual wear and are used for many separate occasions. So much so that the business of shirt printing has been flourishing. Services, like same day t-shirt printing in London, are quite common around the world.

Designing clothing has been part of human fashion since the rise of civilisation, even predating the Bible, that mentions a lavishly designed robe that earned the ire of its owner’s brothers. Nowadays though, you can pick up a designed shirt from a store for a very low price. Used for many purposes, such as fashion, uniform-making, and even for campaigning during election time, designed shirts and clothing are something many people take for granted.

The techniques

Shirt designing isn’t easy. There are a lot of ways for people to design shirts, each one with its pros and cons. Designing shirts is art. Knowing which technique to choose for the right purpose is a must, especially when you have a goal for getting shirts and clothing designed. Examples of these techniques are:

  1. Embroidery

One of the oldest ways to design clothing, dating as far back as to the Warring States in China, embroidery is the technique of designing a piece of clothing or fabric by sewing the design on the fabric using a needle, and thread or yarn. This technique can be applied to any fabric, and any design is possible. Compared to other designing techniques, this is the most durable technique since the design does not depend on ink or vinyl printed on the fabric. Embroidery is perfect for school and work uniforms, caps, and personalised handkerchiefs.

  1. Screen printing

Screen printing is a technique that makes use of a mesh and a stencil to print a design onto the clothing. The ink is poured onto the mesh and blocked by the stencil. Before, this was done by hand, but these days, machines are used to allow efficient use of ink as well as colourful designs. This is the easiest and most common technique used.

  1. Dye sublimation

One of the newer methods; it uses heat to transfer the design from a special transfer paper. This allows for larger, more complicated models such as cartoons or anime art, but can only be used on 100% polyester fabric.

  1. Transfer printing

Just like dye sublimation, you first put the designs on another medium before applying them to the material. This doesn’t involve any heat and usually uses vinyl. This also allows for complicated designs and has more freedom than dye sublimation, which only works on polyester fabric.

Apart from other advantages, some printing techniques are cheaper and faster to use, allowing for mass production, especially when most of these are done with the use of machines. The art of shirt design runs deep and knowing how can help you both design-wise and money-wise. So, whenever someone gifts you a printed shirt, don’t just think “it’s just a shirt” but learn to appreciate the art behind it.