Getting the creativity of your mind on a piece of fabric is an art all in itself. However, finding out the right printing method is crucial for the best results.

A number of techniques exist for fabric printing, however, the most common method for T-shirts is Screen printing. This method is quick and cost-friendly when done in bulk. It gets the print directly on the fabric with the sharp dyes and image details intact. A range of colours and textures can be used as well.


Several paths can be taken to get to the perfect print. Read on to know all about them!

Methods for Printing

The best printing method that is right for your clothing business depends on what you are selling. For basic T-shirts with custom designing, several methods can be used to get the job done and are mentioned below:

1.     Screen Printing: This method involves direct ink transfer to the fabric with the use of fine mesh nets. When printing t-shirts in bulk, this method is the one to opt. Not only does it allow a vibrant range of colours to be printed on the shirt without flaw, but it also lets you play around with different styles including glow-in-the-dark prints. This is a hands-on process and is worth working with a screen-printing specialist because, amongst other reasons, you have control and input every step of the way.

2.     Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing: Also known as digital printing, this technique uses the same method as a normal printer; an electric printer to do the work and a piece of fabric on which the design is printed. The best thing about this method is it can be quickly set up in your house and high-quality printed fabric can be obtained in a short amount of time.

Do consider investing in a top-quality printer for the best results. 

3.     Dye Sublimation: Unlike the other printing techniques, this method gets the print directly on the fabric. This means the design or print will not feel different from the fabric itself when touched. For repetitive designs on a single fabric, Dye sublimation is the go-to technique. However, it does not show impressive results for heavier fabrics such as cotton. 

4.     CAD Cut Vinyl Printing: This Computer-Aided Design printing method is most suitable, as in the name, for cutting designs. Placement of this design on the fabric is a secondary step here. A few points to be noted with this technique are:

·        It is colour bound i.e. it cannot be used for more than two colours.

·        It works better with numbers, so is more useful for e.g. sporting clothes.

·        It should be used for small designs so minimal fabric is covered. This is because once the printing is done, the fabric is no longer stretchy. 

·        Special equipment is required as a one-time purchase.

5.     Heat Press Printing: For a small number of shirts in question, this method is the best on the list. It is a simple way of printing the desired design on a transfer paper and using a heavy heated object such as iron, to transfer the design onto the fabric. Once the heating is removed, excess paper is stripped away and the fabric is allowed to dry. Some things to keep in mind are:

·        This technique requires manual effort, so cannot be done quickly. Multiple shirts designed using this method may take a lot of time to get done. 

·        Fabrics with a low tolerance for heat cannot be used with this technique, the material will burn. 

6.     Belt Printing: This technique is a go-to move for getting a light, faded print all over the shirt, be it the front, the back, the sleeves, or even the hem. The printed art is soft and blends in with the fabric since the technique uses light watery ink. The final product, however, is neat and perfect-looking.  Something to keep in mind is:

·        The technique is relatively expensive as special equipment is needed for the all-over printing. 

7.     Embroidery Printing: As the name suggests, this technique allows the finished product to have threads instead of a typical print on it. This technique is best for giving the fabric a professional, neat, and well-maintained look that will last longer than any other type of printing. Owing to the special machinery required, this technique tends to be more expensive than others.

Printing techniques and Their Feasibilities


Thanks to the latest development in technologies, and the ways in which they have changed the game of clothing businesses, several techniques exist to get a job done. When deciding the right printing method for your clothing business, give some interval for trial and error, the best technique will be clear to you in no time!