Types of T-Shirt Printing Techniques


Types of T-Shirt Printing Techniques

Shruti Swaminathan

Story By: Writer, Blogger

"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more "

- Anthony Robbins


Every year t-shirt designs and printing are becoming more and more accessible. It is something every small business can take advantage of, due to the booming market for all kinds of t-shirts, including customized ones.


In the 20th century, t-shirts took the fashion industry by storm. By 1950s t-shirts became popular among boys who wore them as casual wear and sportswear. In the 1960s, printed t-shirts finally achieved status as fashionable that can be worn for all occasions. By mid 2000s, printed t-shirts were also used for the purpose of advertisements by the various businesses.


In the last few years, printed t-shirts are available in many different designs, fabrics and styles that include crew-neck and V-neck shirts. T-shirts are especially popular now with branding for companies or merchandise, as they are cost-effective.


Digital technology has transformed the world of t-shirt printing options and many t-shirt printing methods have emerged. Today many small businesses have recognised the growing demand for customized t-shirts and the subsequent demand for t-shirt printing machinery.


One of the most crucial aspects of a t-shirt business is using the most suitable t-shirt printing technique, keeping in mind your budget and the kind of fabrics you want to work with.


Let us take a look at the different t shirt printing techniques used for customisation:


Read :- Things To Keep In Mind For Your Online T-shirt Business


  •  Screen Printing 


screen printing


Screen Printing is an old and very popular technique of t-shirt printing. Screen printing technique is also known as Silk Screen printing. This is an ideal technique for printing high-grade t-shirt designs because it assures its customers of utmost replication of design. Screen printing is the most durable t shirt printing technique that provides long-lasting results.


Price – 1.25 Lakh




  • It is a very cost-effective technique for production of bulk quantities.


  • It focuses on attaining high quality designs.


  • It is mostly preferred for one colour per screen.




  • It can print only simple images and designs.


  • This is an expensive technique for multi-coloured designs.


Read :- How To Do Marketing Of Your Custom Printing Business


  •  Direct-To-Garments (DTG)




The direct-to-garment printing process works like an ink-jet printer. Direct-to-garment technique prints ink directly on the t-shirt and generates colour images with accuracy. TexJet Echo is one of the best dtg printers for  small business set-ups that reduces the cost per unit and prints perfectly on the dark colour t-shirts.


Price – 3 Lakh Average




  • It is a cost-effective technique for printing small quantities.



  • There are no set-up costs for this technique.


  • Unlimited colour options are available in this technique.




  • Volume discounts are not provided.


  • This technique is expensive for producing large quantities.


Read :- Different Types of 3D Printing Resins For Small Businesses


  • Heat Transfer


heat transfer


Heat Transfers have been used since a very long time. The basic heat transfer printing papers are the most commonly used printing techniques. The advanced form of heat transfers are known as plastisol printing that are printed on high quality papers. These designs can be transferred onto the t-shirts by using a heat press machine.


Price – 1.5 Lakh




  • Heat transfers produce full coloured images easily and quickly.


  • T-shirts printed in this technique can be designed as per the requirements of the client.




  • This technique prints perfectly on light coloured t-shirts. It cannot be used for dark colour t-shirts.


  • This technique is not very durable in comparison to screen printing and direct-to-garment.


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  •  Vinyl Printing


Vinyl printing


In this technique special soft cloth is cut into shapes and designs using cad cut vinyl printing machine. This material is further printed on the t-shirts using heat press machine. Vinyl cutting technique is used in designing slogan, sportswear, small graphics.


Price – 5.5 Lakh




  • Customized designs can be printed in this technique.


  • This technique is beneficial for printing huge number of designs.



  • T-shirts printed through vinyl cutting are durable.


Read :- 7 Steps To Beautiful Apparel Product Photography


  • Dye Sublimation


dye sublimation


Dye sublimation technique is best for printing polyester. A special type of liquid is used in this technique. This liquid dries up when it is mixed with the polyester fabric. After the liquid dries, it solidifies on the fabric, then apply heat and pressure for the sublimation to take place.


Price – 4 Lakh




  • Unlimited colours, graphics and styles can be used in dye sublimation technique.


  • T-shirts printed using sublimation printing machine are durable.




  • T-shirts printed using dye sublimation should only be made of polyester. So it cannot be used for other types of fabrics.


So as is evident, each of the t-shirt printing techniques mentioned here has its own benefits and drawbacks. Keep them in mind while selecting the best one for your business to ensure the best outcome.


Read :- Small Business Trends to watch out for in 2020



Shruti Swaminathan

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