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What Garment Printing Methods Are Best For Your Business (Pros & Cons)

by Boris Hodakel  • December 10, 2018 • 3 min read

Table of contents

Preparing For Garment Printing For Your Fashion Label

As a designer, there are many processes to contemplate to take your idea from conception to final product. If you will be printing a design onto your garments, there will be several printing options for you to consider before you make your decision. Whether you are looking for incredible detail, bulk volume capability or a soft-touch print finish, there is the perfect option available and you can find your ideal partner, right here on Sewport.

Before making any decisions, it’s sensible to review the different types of garment printing methodologies available to make sure you select the best technique for your brand.

Here, we take a look through some of the options available with our partners on Sewport.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is one of the most popular and common techniques for usage within garment manufacturing. The method involves applying ink directly onto the fabric through a silk mesh screen, using a different screen for each colour on the design. Screen printing is best used for very large volumes and, as the perfect Pantone colour match can be achieved, it is ideal for promotional merchandise or prints involving branding.

Pros

  • Excellent for large volumes
  • Perfect Pantone colour match
  • Versatile, works on almost all fabrics
  • Very professional finish

Cons

  • Expensive for smaller order quantities
  • Expensive for very simple designs

Sublimation

Sublimation is a transfer printing technique, hugely used in the fashion industry and most commonly for t-shirt printing. The process involves adding the design to transfer paper and heat pressing onto the fabric. This is a fantastically quick way to create a full photographic image onto a garment.

Pros

  • Perfect for full cover printing
  • Can be produced very quickly and for small quantities
  • Great for creativity; photographic quality designs

Cons

  • Only works on 100% white polyester fabric
  • True blacks cannot be achieved

Direct To Garment (DTG)

As the name suggests, this technique involves printing directly onto the garment with a printing machine. This is relatively new technology and results in the best quality printing above the other methods. However, this is not a cost-effective method for larger, bulk quantities.

Pros

  • Excellent quality results
  • Perfect for small size batches
  • Huge range of colour options and maximum detail available

Cons

  • Not cost effective for large volumes
  • Limited placement for your design

CAD Vinyl Printing

This method is applied by cutting your design from Vinyl and heat pressing them onto the garment, a technique that can only be used for designs with just one or two colours incorporated. This is a great option for printing the exact design onto multiple garment types.

Pros

  • Excellent quality finish for simple designs and lettering
  • No set up costs and short, speedy runs possible
  • Can be used on almost all garments and fabrics

Cons

  • Restrictive to designs with one or two colours
  • Not the best option for mass volume

What To Prepare Before You Contact A Garment Printing Company

Files

Ensure you have the print design in the correct format you will need for your chosen technique. For example, do they need .ai, .eps, or png? Also, ensure you have the relevant information on Max. printing area and minimum DPI (digital pixels per inch).

Result

Be clear on the final result you are looking for and when you have chosen your printing method and supplier, discuss this with them to help manage yours and their expectations. Be sure to check out this helpful article on how to talk to clothing manufacturers as it will definitely help you seal the deal better.

There are many options available for garment printing (even more than we’ve been able to list here) so, the most important tip is to do your research before beginning. Ensure you are clear about your expectations and bear in mind your need for smaller or larger quantities and how this adds up with the production company’s MOQ . Take a look through the printing professionals on Sewport , who can help you with all your garment printing requirements.

About the author:

Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services. He is passionate about e-commerce, marketing and production digitisation. Connect with Boris on LinkedIn.

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