T Shirt Printing in Denver
In the world of custom t-shirt printing, there are many variables that you must be considered if you want your final product to turn out as you imagine it. It’s not as simple as design and print. There are many varieties in garments, from quality to cut to fabric type, and there are different methods that can be used to apply your design to a garment. The decisions made in these areas will drastically affect the feel and look of your custom t-shirts. Let’s take a look!
Picking a Shirt
The first step of the t-shirt creation process is, of course, to choose the type of garment or garments that you would like to print on. Denver Print Company carries all major brands such as Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, American Apparel, Canvas, Bella, Dickies, Anvil, and Augusta. Each of these clothing brands has lines available in different colors, thicknesses, fits, and size options. Picking the right type of shirt is crucial to your budget and to the people who will be wearing the garments.
Denver Print keeps a wide variety of shirts in stock, but we of course don’t have room for every type of shirt in every size and color. We invite you to contact us to see what we currently have in stock. We can be reached by phone at 720-542-6105.
There is much to consider when choosing a garment type. For example, if you are hosting an outdoor event in the middle of the summer, you might not want to select a thick cotton Gildan t-shirt. Your employees would much rather be in a thinner cotton American Apparel or Canvas t-shirt. Promotional giveaway shirts are always a crowd-pleaser, and to make this more affordable we offer Hanes and Anvil shirts. These are lower-cost cotton t-shirts. A lower-cost t-shirt will still last for several hundred washes without fading or stretching.
Types of T-Shirt Printing
Once you have selected your garment type, the next step is to select printing technique that you would like to use. “What do I care HOW you print my t-shirt,” you maybe asking yourself, “just print it.” With t-shirts, however, the printing method dramatically affects the final product. So you must choose wisely. The most popular type of t shirt printing, and the type we do most frequently at Denver Print, is screen printing. We also do embroidery, direct-to-garment, and dye sublimation. Another option is heat pressing. We don’t offer that option, as it is designed for one-off shirts and the quality is low compared to the other methods.
Direct to Garment
- Fastest turnaround time
- Best for smaller orders
- Environmentally friendly
- Unlimited design color options
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a relatively new and innovative method of t-shirt printing that has many advantages over traditional printing methods such as screen printing or heat transfer. In DTG printing, an inkjet printer directly prints the design onto the fabric of the t-shirt, rather than transferring the design from a separate medium.
Denver Print Company has recently added a new PolyPrint TexJet Echo 2 direct-to-garment printer to our printing arsenal that has dramatically improved our ability to quickly print custom t-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel items. With this new equipment, DPC can now handle even shorter runs of smaller quantities with faster turnaround times than ever before possible.
One of the biggest advantages of DTG printing is the ability to produce high-quality, detailed designs with a wide range of colors. Unlike screen printing, which is limited to a certain number of colors, DTG printing can produce designs with any color, including vibrant and bright hues. This is because DTG printing is a digital process, which means that the printer can mix and match different shades to achieve the desired effect.
Another advantage of DTG printing is its cost-effectiveness for small-batch orders. Traditional printing methods require the creation of screens or transfers for each color in a design, which can be time-consuming and costly for small orders. DTG printing eliminates this step, allowing for one-off or small-batch orders to be produced quickly and cost-effectively.
DTG printing also allows for the creation of custom designs with minimal setup time. This means that a customer can submit a design online or in person and have it printed onto a t-shirt in a matter of minutes, rather than waiting several days or weeks for traditional printing methods.
Additionally, DTG printing is environmentally friendly, as it does not require the use of harmful chemicals or excess water. Traditional printing methods often involve the use of harsh chemicals and large amounts of water, which can be detrimental to both the environment and the health of the workers involved in the printing process.
- Most cost-effective method for large orders & single-color designs
- Highly durable
- More colors = More cost
This is the most common t-shirt printing method. It is cost-effective for large t-shirt runs and delivers a high-quality, vibrant, and long-lasting result.
Screen printing gets its name because the ink is pressed, one color at a time, through a woven mesh directly into the fabric of the shirt. A stencil is placed underneath the mesh to block the fabric outside of the design from absorbing any ink. One stencil must be created for each color in the design, which is why the cost of screen-printed shirts goes up with the more colors that are used. This method is cost-effective for large t-shirt orders because once a stencil is created, it can be used over and over again.
- Professional look – great for company uniforms
- The go-to method for hats
- Longer turnaround time
- Not great for high-detail designs
Embroidery, of course, is technically not printing. It’s sewing. But it is a very popular method of custom apparel design, particularly for more high-end projects, such as uniforms or hats.
Modern-day embroidery is done, like everything else, with the assistance of computers. Nearly any design can now be converted into a stitch pattern and perfectly sewn by the automated hand of an embroidery machine. What this process lacks in romantic nostalgia, it more than makes up for by delivering a perfect result every time.
- Best for all-over printing
- Great for athletic apparel
- Must be done on polyester
This method uses heat to transfer ink directly into the fabric itself. Dye sublimation printing is used for many types of materials (it’s used to print on coffee mugs, for example). On apparel, it is generally used for “all-over” prints. The end result feels as though the ink is part of the fabric.
Sublimation is also quite environmentally friendly, as it doesn’t produce any water waste. The dyes are digitally printed as a solid onto transfer paper and then heat is applied to the paper. This heating process turns the dye into a gas and when it hits the material it is intended to be printed on, the material absorbs the ink and it and immediately turns back into a solid within the garment. It never turns into a liquid state. Also, no water or washing is required to create the apparel. Additionally, the transfer paper on which the dyes are printed can be recycled.
The cost of dye-sublimation is usually prohibitive for those looking to do a simple design-on-a-t-shirt project, but for sports team uniforms or artistic shirt projects, the quality of the final product is hard to beat. Dye sublimation must be done on 100% polyester shirts.
If you still have questions about your t-shirt printing or apparel printing project, please give us a call or fill out a quote form. We can help figure out what would work best for you and produce a custom quote for your project.
- Color mode must be CMYK
- File type may be: TIF, JPG, PDF, EPS, or PSD
- Outline fonts or supply font files with print files
- More info Here
- Allow your shirt to have greater impact by investing in professional graphic design. A great shirt design can be of use for many years!
- We also specialize in converting flat logos into printable artwork for screen printing and embroidery.
Standard turnaround time (from proof approval):
- Digital Direct-to-garment - 5-7 business days
- Screen printing - 3 weeks
- Embroidery - 3 weeks
Who uses custom apparel?
- Auto Repair Shops
- Non-profit organizations