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Custom T-Shirt Printing Techniques: Finding the Perfect Fit

Published: March 8, 2024
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Custom t-shirt printing has become an increasingly popular means of self-expression, marketing, and brand representation.

Whether it's for personal use, promotional events, or business endeavours, the design and printing process play a pivotal role in the final product's quality and appeal. Choosing the right printing technique is therefore paramount, as it can significantly impact the design's longevity, vibrancy, and overall aesthetic.

Screen Printing

Screen printing stands as one of the oldest yet most reliable techniques in the realm of custom t-shirt printing. This method involves transferring ink onto a substrate through a mesh screen, with each colour requiring a separate stencil and application.

The process ensures durability and vibrant colours, making it ideal for bold and intricate designs. However, it may not be the most cost-effective option for smaller print runs due to setup costs.


  • Excellent colour vibrancy and durability.
  • Suitable for intricate designs and large quantities.
  • Works well on cotton and polyester fabrics.


  • Setup costs can be high for smaller orders.
  • Limited colour options compared to digital printing methods.

Notable brands like Nike and Adidas often employ screen printing for their custom t-shirts, showcasing its effectiveness in mass production and design intricacy.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing

DTG printing has gained prominence in recent years, offering a more accessible and versatile alternative to traditional screen printing. This digital printing method involves directly applying ink onto the fabric using specialized printers, allowing for intricate designs with unlimited colour options. DTG excels in producing high-quality, detailed prints, making it suitable for smaller batches and on-demand printing.


  • No setup costs, making it cost-effective for smaller orders.
  • Unlimited colour options and intricate design capabilities.
  • Ideal for photo-realistic prints and complex artwork.


  • Less durable compared to screen printing, particularly on darker fabrics.
  • Limited compatibility with certain fabric types, such as blends with high polyester content.

DTG printing shines in scenarios where customization and detail are paramount, offering unmatched versatility and quality.

Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer is one of the types of shirt printing that involves transferring designs onto garments using heat and pressure, typically through vinyl or sublimation processes.

Vinyl heat transfer involves cutting designs from vinyl sheets and adhering them to the fabric, while sublimation transfers use heat to infuse dyes directly into the fabric's fibres. Both methods offer flexibility in design and colour choices, making them suitable for intricate and colourful designs.


  • Versatile and suitable for various fabric types.
  • Ideal for smaller orders and one-off designs.
  • Allows for intricate details and vibrant colours.


  • Vinyl transfers may peel or crack over time.
  • Sublimation printing is limited to polyester fabrics.

While heat transfer printing offers convenience and versatility, it's essential to consider longevity and fabric compatibility when choosing between vinyl and sublimation methods.

Dye-Sublimation Printing

Dye-sublimation printing involves transferring designs onto specially coated substrates using heat and pressure, resulting in vibrant, permanent prints. This method is particularly well-suited for polyester fabrics, as the dyes bond directly with the fibres, producing vivid and durable designs.

Dye-sublimation offers unmatched colour vibrancy and detail reproduction, making it perfect for sports apparel, fashion, and promotional items.


  • Vibrant, long-lasting prints with excellent colour reproduction.
  • Suitable for polyester fabrics, including performance wear.
  • Allows for full-colour designs with intricate details.


  • Limited compatibility with non-polyester fabrics.
  • Higher production costs compared to traditional printing methods.

Dye-sublimation printing is favoured for its ability to produce eye-catching, durable designs, making it a popular choice for custom sports jerseys, activewear, and vibrant fashion pieces.

Best Practices for Choosing the Right Printing Technique

When selecting a printing method for custom t-shirts, several factors should be considered to print tshirts fast, including design complexity, fabric type, budget, and desired outcome. It's essential to assess the specific requirements of each project and choose a technique that aligns with the intended design aesthetic, durability needs, and budget constraints.

By optimizing the full color tshirt printing process to suit your design and fabric characteristics, businesses and individuals can achieve outstanding results that resonate with their target audience.

High-quality Printing on T-shirts at Freshly Baked Tees

At Freshly Baked Tees, we pride ourselves on delivering high quality t shirt printing services tailored to your unique needs. Our state-of-the-art types of shirt printing technologies and experienced team ensure vibrant, long-lasting prints that capture your vision and leave a lasting impression.

Whether you're looking to promote your brand, commemorate an event, or express your creativity, we've got you covered. Visit our website today to explore our different types of printing on shirts and start creating your custom t-shirts. From screen printing on shirts to wet transfer printing, make a statement with Freshly Baked Tees – where quality meets creativity!

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