Graphic Design & Digital Printing

What Is Apparel Printing?

There are many different processes which involve apparel printing and embroidery. The two primary methods which require the use of screen printing are screen printing and embroidery printing which are the most popular means businesses print on apparel. The earliest of both processes is screen printing, which has been around for nearly three centuries.

This process involves using special inks on fabrics. These inks have pigments which react with oxygen in the air, creating color. When the garments are made it is important that the fabric contains enough of the specific color in order for the inks to be visible. When a textile is made the cloth producers will add dye to the inks to give them additional color.

Over time screen printing has become much less expensive to use as technology has improved the quality of fabrics to produce higher-quality garments. In addition, the improved quality of fabrics has made the cost of producing garments cheaper which has helped to make this printing method more popular among small businesses which produce specialty apparel or T-shirts. Dryer printing is another type of garment printing method used to create high-quality apparel items. In Dryer printing, an inks pool onto a garment’s surface which can stretch and fade. Ink is transferred from the pool onto the garment by roller. In this type of printing ribbon is usually used to control the amount of ink being transferred to the garment.

Specialized garment printers using a heat press are the preferred method of garment printing by most small apparel printers. The high-speed of a heat press makes this a preferred choice for mass-market apparel printing over screen printing, which is less commonly used for apparel printing because of its slow speed. Heat press clothing printers can print hundreds of garments in a short period of time. It is ideal for mass quantities of garments produced for a retail outlet. Some heat press fabric printers can print fabric on a surface such as wood and use a die cutting machine to cut the pattern into the fabric.

Large orders of apparel with many colors will require the use of screen printing to create a colorful item of clothing. Screen printing is a popular method of mass-production clothing printing but it is also used for t-shirt printing, photographic imaging (photo printing), temporary tattoos, bold face printing and vinyl stickers. The ink used in screen printing is colored and textured, which creates a distinctive look and feel to shirts, jeans, hats, bandannas and mugs. In addition, screen printing offers various thicknesses and thread count to meet the varying needs of customers. When purchasing items with large prints, most apparel printers suggest a thick ink which is most suited to print logos, large prints with intricate detail, full color on dark stock and logos with solid black.

After the shirt has been printed, it is then ready to be shipped to the customer. Most Little Rock print shop ship to the customers within three business days of receiving an order. Items should be washed and hung to dry before the customer wears them. Customers may prefer to hand-dry their garments or they may opt to have their garments professionally dry-cleaned.