T-Shirt Printing Techniques or Methods

T-Shirt Printing

There are many printing methods being used for custom shirt printing. Some of them are effective and cheap while others are outdated. In this article, we will discuss the methods that we use for custom printing in Dallas.

Direct to Film or DTF

is a process that transfers prints from a printed PET film to fabric or other substrates using a thermal transfer heat press. Unlike the DTG method, which

 only works on cotton fabrics, the DTF print method can work on both cotton and fabric blends.

What is DTF?

This involves printing a design on a film, after which it is transferred directly to the desired surface, such as fabric.

DTF printer technology can allow us to easily print on cotton, polyester, synthetic material or silk without any problems. DTF printers can also print on both dark and white materials.

Printing technology:

  • The DTF printer prints on a PET film.
  • The foil passes through a component, where the printed surface is sprinkled with adhesive (powder). The powder is applied in an even way. In addition, the dust shaker also removes excess dust.
  • The foil passed through the adhesive, passes through the automated industrial oven, where when hot, the adhesive melts and forms the adhesion layer.
  • Now we transfer with a heat press the printed image from the film to the desired surface or material.

Maximum print size: 50 x 60 cm

Inks: Each colour of Printer DTF’s cyan, yellow, magenta, white, and black inks uses a custom-formulated pigment. The white ink forms the foundation of the print, while the colored pigment prints the design onto the film.

Fabric composition: This printing technology allows us to apply the print on any fabric.

Care: Wash up to 30°C, delicate (up to 600 spins) inside out, without bleaching agents and do not tumble dry. 

All printed garments must be ironed inside out. The print should not be ironed at high temperatures. Prints made by this technology need special attention when ironing.


Digital printing (direct)

  • This technology involves the application of CMYK inks by a special printer directly on the surface of textiles. The inks will be absorbed by the fibers in the composition of the material, the print being pleasant to the touch, fine and non-rubbery (in the case of white or light-colored textiles, which do not need a white substrate) or fine and rubbery (in the case of dark-colored textiles, which they need white substrate). 
  • In the case of digital printing, vibrant colors, very well-defined details, vivid images are obtained, with very high flexibility and high resistance to stretching and numerous washes.
  • Adequate maintenance of personalized printed textiles will ensure a long period of time in which their colors and intensity will be preserved.

Inks: We use Polyprint inks in combination with FIREBIRD, inks specially developed for printing directly on various textile surfaces. Both the Polyprint ink and the FIREBIRD water-based ink give a glossy appearance and provide long-lasting print resistance to washing and ironing.

Composition of the textile material:  The material must contain at least 70% natural fiber (cotton, etc.), for better color fixation and greater resistance over time.



To make the prints on white materials more pronounced,  we use solution for the pretreatment of textile materials (Pretreatment liquid) .

It is important to know that:

In long-term contact with the sun, T-shirts turn yellow and spots may appear.

To avoid this, T-shirts should be kept in the dark where there is no contact with the sun or daylight until the first wash.

After washing the article this risk disappears

How to wash printed products?

First of all, it should be understood that the print applied to the product is vulnerable, especially when it comes to washing the t-shirts.

It is possible to wash a T-shirt with a print, but it is necessary to wash it in a delicate way (up to 600 rotations) turned inside out at a temperature not higher than 30°C.

Ideally it is hand wash. You soak it in barely warm soapy water and then rinse with cold water.

This guarantees a longer life.

At what temperature are customized clothes washed?

All of our personalized garments are machine washable at a temperature of no higher than 30°C.

White articles with prints printed by digital (direct) printing technology are subject to gradual fading, so the gentler the wash, the better the print will be preserved. It is also a guarantee that the t-shirt will not “settle”, will not shrink after washing. Colored print items are even more vulnerable as the image is printed on a white ink substrate, so care is important.

How to iron?

All printed garments must be ironed inside out. The print should not be ironed at high temperatures. Flex (thermal transfer) prints are particularly vulnerable. Prints made by this technology need special attention when ironing

 Thermal transfer printing

Customization process made by hot application, with a press, of a special thermal transfer film (flex) cut in advance with a cutter-plotter. If the instructions for use are followed, a thermal transfer print lasts very well over time. It is ironed on the back or covered with a cloth.

We recommend thermal transfer printing for promotional products in series.

Technological limitations: it is not possible to create details smaller than 2 mm, the range of colors is limited to the colors in which the thermal transfer film is produced. There are about 30 colors that normally cover the need. We do not recommend customization with more than 3 colors.

Maximum print size: 48 x 400 cm

Material:  Flex

Composition of the textile material:  Any textile used in clothing production

Care:  Wash up to 30°C, inside out, in the washing machine on a delicate cycle without bleaching agents. They step backwards.



It is the process by which an element passes from the solid state to the gaseous state. Sublimation allows the color pigment to pass from the sheet on which it is printed to the final support (t-shirt, mug, puzzle, etc.). Sublimation only works for white color customizations. Sublimation is done under optimal conditions on synthetic textiles or those containing synthetic material or on other supports such as ceramics, wood, metal that have been previously treated for sublimation.

How does it work?

The desired picture is printed (with sublimation ink) on a special sheet of paper. This sheet is positioned on the product to be personalized (t-shirt, mouse-pad, puzzle, etc.) and inserted into the thermal press for t-shirts. At over 200 degrees, the sublimation process takes place through which the water molecules turn into gas, and the color pigments are transferred from the sublimation sheet to the respective product.

Maximum print size: 29 x 41 cm

Resolution:  TexJet Plus allows printing at a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi

Inks:  Sublimation inks

Composition of the textile material:  The material must be composed of at least 70% synthetic fiber, for better color fixation and greater resistance over time.

Care: Use only liquid detergents to clean the mug. Porcelain objects printed by the sublimation method (Mug, etc.) do not degrade when exposed to high temperatures (for example, it can be placed in a microwave oven) or mechanical interactions. The mug is also dishwasher safe. The simple rules above will allow a longer life of the mug and you will enjoy it for more time.



Customization process made with special paints for screen printing on textile support. In principle (depending on quantity, number of colors, etc.) it is the cheapest form of printing on textile promotional products. If it is done correctly, a silk screen print behaves very well over time, it does not erase or fade.

Screen printing on flat textile support – the process by which different models of prints are made on different types of articles / objects made of textile materials. Screen printing is done by applying special paints, with the help of molds (serigraphic screens), on the flat textile support (without unevenness, seams) and fixing the paints by different methods. The making of the molds (serigraphic screens) is done with the help of a photosensitive emulsion based on the graphics made on the computer of the model to be printed, one mold for each component color of the print.

For screen printing, we use water-based, ecological paints and pigments (import Switzerland, Germany, Italy), of a special quality, which offer a very high resistance over time and to a large number of washes of the prints.

Any type of flat textile material can be screen printed, without unevenness or seams that can negatively influence the screen printing process and the quality of the print. That’s why some articles cannot be silk-screened in the manufacturing stage, but only in the cutting stage, i.e. component parts of the future textile article. Light or dark colored textiles can be screen printed, the methods and materials being different for the two types of textiles. Examples of textile items that can be personalized, printed, inscribed by screen printing: t-shirts, tank tops, blouses, shirts, caps, work/protective equipment, jackets, hoodies, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, children’s and newborn clothing, equipment sportswear, textile bags, umbrellas, hats, scarves, bandanas, promotional items, etc.

Maximum print size:  30 x 46 cm

Care:  Wash up to 30°C inside out, in the washing machine on a delicate cycle without bleaching agents


As a personalization method, embroidery is superior to other technologies because it is resistant over time, it gives an exclusive and elegant look to the product and a distinguished image to companies that use embroidery to customize uniforms and promotional materials. Through its special visual impact, embroidery represents an important advantage in promoting a brand.

Embroidery can be done on a wide range of finished textile products (gowns, shirts, t-shirts, caps, sweaters, jackets, bags, etc.).

Material:  High quality thread

Care:  Wash up to 30°C inside out, in the washing machine on a delicate cycle without bleaching agents. It’s being stepped on.

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