Full colour designs can be printed using screen-printing, a very versatile print process. Inks are directly applied to the garments, and this process is suitable for both dark and light coloured fabrics. This process is very economical for larger quantities of fifty or more garments, rather than small runs, due to the high set up costs involved.
Direct to garment printing (DTG)
Direct to garment printing also involves using full colour prints directly on to the garment, and it is also suitable for light and dark coloured garments. The process is similar to screen printing, but DTG printing can allow for just one print of a design. This process is slightly more expensive but one-off prints are more economical as a result of lower set-up costs.
Transfer printing involves applying ink to a transfer before then applying it to the garment. This process accommodates one-off print runs and is available for coloured garments. Transfer printing is highly economical for full colour one-off prints and small batches, the only downside being a ‘patch’ style print.
Transfer printing (white)
Again full colour designs are transferred to transfer sheets that are then applied to the garment. This process is different to standard transfer printing, and is suitable for white, and natural cotton coloured garments. The ‘patch style’ print for lighter garments is much lighter weight than the one required for the coloured ones. The only side-effect of using this process is that the white areas within the design are prone to darkening over time.
Transfer Vinyl printing
In transfer vinyl printing a single colour vinyl is precisely cut to the desired shape or font and then heat-sealed to the garment. Heat-sealing is suitable for most fabrics. Transfer vinyl printing is great for party tops and high-visibility work wear. The advantages of transfer vinyl printing are that it is a durable and hard-wearing form of customising a garment, as well as being very economical. However it isn’t as ‘fashion friendly’ as some of the other printing processes listed above.