Custom T Shirts
Custom Printed T-Shirts
To achieve a personalized T-shirt design, a process called silk screening is generally employed. While no silk is actually used, the name refers to when silk was provided as a woven mesh before polyester was invented. Open areas of this mesh form a stencil. A printable cloth is pressed into this stencil and then a squeegee-like device is moved across this stencil, thus leaving an ink impression on the material below.
Screen printers come in a number of forms including a flat bed, a cylinder and the most common type of screenprinting option, the rotary method. The rotary printer is considered one of the fastest, most efficient and can accommodate a wide variety of needs.
Different types of ink are used depending on the customer's requirements and these inks will generally dry quickly. For shirts that require multiple colours, a "wet on wet" ink process is used; thus providing the ability to print pictures or logos that contain a multitude of colours simultaneously.
So, the printing process can be summarized in a few steps:
- A design is chosen.
- A stencil and silk screen are placed on top of the fabric.
- A squeegee is used to press the ink through from above.
- Should multiple colours be decided, this process can be repeated while the ink is wet.
- The stencil and mesh are removed and the shirt is allowed to dry.
Things to Consider When Designing Custom T-shirts
While the process itself can be easily accomplished by any screenprinting service, one of the most critical steps is to decide on the shirt design itself. What type of shirt material should be used? Polyester shirts are the cheapest, however cotton tee shirts provide the most durability and longevity. These fabrics can make a notable difference in price when printing shirts in bulk.
The next step is to obviously create a personalized design. It should be remembered that the efficiency of the process will be directly related to how complicated the design is. Although most inks are extremely durable and flexible, intricate patterns may suffer more wear and tear as time goes on.
When wishing to create a shirt design for business purposes, the custom graphics should remain simple and easy to read. Very few people will spend the time to peruse lengthy text or complicated pictures. Instead, strive to bring across the main idea of the enterprise. A catchy brand logo, the name of the company and contact information are by far the simplest methods to accomplish this.
Also, there are additional materials that can be used to achieve a desired effect. "puff" ink will remain raised from the surface once it dries and create 3D effect. Metallic flakes can be added to the ink to provide a shimmering effect. Even "cracking" ink can be used should one wish to obtain an antique effect.
Above all, not all screen printers are the same. Larger organizations may be more expensive due to shipping costs, but their work will be guaranteed free from defects in printing. Most reputable services will provide on-site examples of the work that they have done and may even provide client testimonials to back up their claims. The quality of the work will directly depend on the experience of the printer.
To briefly summarize, to create a brilliant custom T-shirt you should:
- Decide on the type of fabric that the shirt will be made of.
- Avoid overly intricate patterns when possible.
- For business purposes, simplicity and innovation are key.
- Consider using additional techniques such as "puff" inks or shimmering effects.
- Choose a printer with a proven and reliable history.