What is digital printing on T-shirts?

Shirtworks

digital-sample Digital printing or direct to garment printing as it is sometimes known as is a relatively new concept and works in the same way as an inkjet printer but we use t-shirts instead of paper. 

What sets it apart from other printing processes we use for garments is that it can produce much higher resolution prints, making it great for replicating detailed images onto your t-shirt. It also has no set-up and is perfect for low numbers – the minimum order is just one!

We now have over 5 years experience of printing digitally and have recently upgraded our machinery to the latest versions. This has enabled us to produce superb results for our customers.  The quality of the t-shirt has a direct effect on the quality of the prints that can be achieved and every t-shirt will print in a different way. At the moment 100% cotton t-shirts are a must but things are moving as ink manufacturers develop new ink and we hope to be able to print onto 100% polyester very soon. The T-shirts with the tighter weave will give you the best results, so we recommend staying away from the very cheapest end of our range. Cheaper digital machines are limited to printing onto white t-shirts and also limited in size of print, we don’t have such limitations and we print on all colours of shirts and can print  a massive 610 x 450cm. 

Jumbo size digital print

 

One great advantage of digital printing is the softness of the print onto dark shirts, this can make a massive difference to the feel of the shirt if your design uses a large blocks of colour.

Our ink manufactures recommend a 30c wash, although we are very happy with our wash results at 40c.  For best results artwork should be produced to 300dpi but we are able to achieve satisfactory results with lower resolution and we can help with this if your artwork is not high enough resolution.  Digital printing works best when using artwork with tones, gradients and shading.

With digital printing we are reproducing your artwork so the better your artwork is the better results we will get, ideally artwork should be 300dpi and we except most formats including jpg, png, psd, ai and pdf. Jpg's files will have a background colour to the design, which is normally white, we will consult with you and remove this before printing.

With digital printing the print will vary depending on the brand and type of t-shirt we print on and we can advise you on this, depending on your design and budget. The Continental Clothing NO3  will give superb prints.

It is not possible to guarantee an exact match between all garments. This process should be avoided if consistency is important. Screen printing is the more reliable process.

Pros and cons of digital printing

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Pros – High resolution, detailed prints, soft to touch prints; minimum order of one; lasts well.

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Can be expensive, can only print onto 100% cotton garments; some variation between prints can occur.

 

We have a chart showing when is it best time to use digital printing compared to screen printing based on price on our blog

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Roll over the skull t-shirt to zoom and to see how detailed digital printing onto 100% cotton t-shirts and sweat shirts can be.