Which Printing is Best for T-Shirts?

May 23, 2022 3 min read

Before you can choose a printing method, you must know how to design t-shirts. The most popular methods of printing t-shirts are screen printing, dye sublimation, and vinyl transfers. Read on to understand how each technique works, and which one is right for your needs. Also, make sure to understand what your printer requires in terms of file types and colors before you start your project.

Screen Printing

If you're looking to produce your own custom T-shirts, screen printing is the way to go. Screen printing is best for t-shirts that have only a few colors, like a company logo or a team name. Because the process uses a thick ink, the colors will pop out. It is also cheaper than digital printing if you're printing in bulk. Unlike digital printing, screen printing can be expensive, so if you plan to create several shirts, you'll want to limit your design.

Sublimation printing is another option for t-shirts. It's a good choice for one-off orders because the results can be as high-quality as screen printing. However, it's not as fast as screen printing. For this reason, it's best used on a white polyester t-shirt. Sublimation printing works best on man-made fabric, such as cotton or polyester blends. It also works on pre-treated fabrics, though.


A T-shirt with a sublimation print is more durable than a T-shirt with heat-transfer ink. The sublimation process bonds the ink to the surface of the T-shirt. In order to get the desired color, the shirt must be white or light-colored. However, this does not work on dark shirts. Moreover, sublimation printing on a dark shirt will create ghosting.

Among the many advantages of a sublimation printer is the large printing capacity. It can produce 350 6"x8" prints or 700 4"x6" prints. Moreover, it can produce prints faster than most sublimation printers in its class. In fact, the DNP DS-RX1HS can produce 290 4"x6" prints per hour, which is equivalent to one print every 12.4 seconds. Moreover, it can print images without sacrificing quality.

Dye Sublimation

When dye sublimating your T-shirt, you need to wash it separately from other clothes. Otherwise, colors from other garments may migrate onto the shirt. Avoid washing the shirt in a dryer with zippers, buttons, or velcro. These garments may pull, fade, or even develop blemishes. In addition, dye sublimation is best dried inside out. Never place it in the dryer that uses a screen print dryer. The heat from the dryer may cause the dye to migrate.

If you plan to design and print intricate designs, you can use screen printing. However, it will require a lot of patience and practice. In contrast, dye sublimation uses CMYO (CMYK) color combinations to achieve photo quality. T-shirts can be printed with any color you desire. There are no limits to the color combinations you can use. The color combinations can be as subtle or as complex as you want.

Vinyl Transfers

If you want to add a design to your T-shirt, one of the best options is heat transfer vinyl. There are many advantages to this type of design, including durability and ease of application. However, there are a few things to consider before choosing this printing method. For example, if you have only one color, a simple iron-on transfer will work just fine. However, if you want to add multiple colors, screen-printing your design is a better option.

Before using vinyl transfers for T-shirts, it is important to check that your printer and cutter can handle the design. Some vinyl manufacturers do not provide measurements, so you'll need to research their products online to see what fits your needs. Lastly, the design should last as long as possible after washing and drying. To do this, you should read the manufacturer's care instructions and check customer reviews. However, the process may not be as simple as it sounds if you are aiming to design a shirt for a commercial purpose.

Epson Artisan T-Shirt Printer

The Epson Artisan T-Shirt printer is one of the most powerful printers available. With 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution, the Epson Artisan prints true-to-life images. However, at nearly $1,000, this printer is also one of the most expensive models. Fortunately, it offers a good combination of price and performance. You can purchase it for under $400 on Amazon.

The Epson Artisan 1430 printer features a wireless connection so you can print directly from your mobile device. It can print on a variety of materials, including glass, acrylic, wood, and aluminum. It also boasts a cleaning function and an auto-shutdown feature to eliminate the need for frequent maintenance. This printer is also easy to use and includes an extra tray for A4 and A3 prints.

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