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If one fine day you feel like your t-shirt is not special and want to make it more colorful or interesting, you want to “do the business” with a t-shirt because of the excellent fabric quality. and unique designs, you will definitely want to know what types of printing methods are available for custom apparel printing. Each different printing method will be suitable for different fabric materials, designs and intentions. So let’s find out what methods there are for printing on t-shirts today.

1. Screen printing/Silkscreen

Silk printing is a very popular printing method today. Screen printing is based on the principle of ink absorption, the ink is put into the frame made of wood or aluminum alloy and scraped with a rubber blade. Under the pressure of the scraper, only a part of the ink is absorbed through the printing screen (a The printing mesh has been sealed with specialized chemicals used to create prints) and printed on previously prepared printing materials to form images or text. 

Initially, they were printed manually, but now as technology develops, screen printing is automated using machines.

Although screen printing is one of the oldest methods of printing t-shirts, it remains one of the most preferred methods because it produces sturdy and long-lasting prints.

To print multi-color designs with screen printing, different molds must be created because each mold only prints one color. This may seem time consuming, but unlike other methods where one template is used for one design, each die can be used multiple times and that makes screen printing efficient and consistent. Suitable for large orders.

Advantages and disadvantages of silk printing:


  • Suitable for large orders
  • Good print quality, long lasting
  • Printing molds can be reused, saving time
  • Compatible with most fabrics


  • Requires a relatively large, dust-free space to ensure the printed mesh is well preserved
  • Workers need to practice a lot to become proficient
  • Not suitable for complex, colorful designs because many molds must be created

2. Direct inkjet printing (DTG/Inkjet printing)

Direct inkjet printing is a method of printing directly onto the surface of the product. This is a relatively new technology in the printing industry, because it has only appeared in the world since 2004. In Vietnam, this printing technology is completely new, probably developed a few years ago. However, this printing technology has rapidly developed, to the point where it easily competes with the most used printing method today – screen printing/screen printing. As shared in an article about direct inkjet printing technology, please refer to: Direct inkjet printing technology . 

Some advantages and disadvantages of direct inkjet printing: 


  • Print the most complex and colorful designs
  • Printing time is quick so it is suitable for both large and small orders.
  • Saves space because inkjet printers are very small
  • The print is soft, not lumpy


  • Printing on dark materials and other than cotton will incur additional processing costs
  • The investment cost is quite large because the printer price is very high and the maintenance cost of the machine is also quite large.
  • The cost is relatively high compared to other printing methods

3. Dye sublimation printing (Dye sublimation)

In addition to DTG printing and screen printing, Dye Sub printing technology (dye sublimation printing, also known as heat transfer printing) is also a quite popular method in the t-shirt printing market. Thermal transfer printing technology is a technology that uses a special type of ink to print on specialized printing paper and then uses a heat press device to help the images from the printed heat transfer paper adhere tightly to the material to be printed. . The design is printed on a special paper and then the printed pattern is transferred onto the fabric. The ink will be heated until the printed pattern is completely adhered to the fabric, so dye-sublimation printing is almost impossible to peel off. Can print in unlimited colors, and produce exquisite print quality.

Dye-sublimation printing cannot be applied on all fabric materials. For this technology, you will need to choose a light-colored fabric model with a high polyester content. In addition, to get the best printing results, it is necessary to use high-resolution design files to achieve sharpness for printed images, as well as shape the size and alignment so that the design fits the design. printed products.


  • The printed product is soft and not rough or rough
  • Printed images will not fade, break, break or lose quality


  • Can only print on Polyester fabric, the less polyester the fabric has, the more ineffective it is

4. Heat transfer Vinyl printing (Heat transfer Vinyl)

This may be the printing technology with the least expensive investment for individuals/businesses who want to produce their own garments. This technology uses a cutting machine to cut the required patterns, images, and letters on the decal sheet and then presses them onto the fabric surface using a heat press. Vinyl printing is very suitable for printing simple, complex designs such as text, slogans, size labels and instructions for use on t-shirts, etc. 


  • Easy to do, quite cheap price
  • Create many unique effects


  • Limited to complex and meticulous designs
  • Not suitable for fabrics sensitive to high heat levels

5. Plastisol transfer printing

Plastisol transfer printingPlastisol is the name of a high-quality printing ink often used in screen printing and this method of heat transfer printing with Plastisol ink is quite similar to screen printing. But instead of the ink coming into direct contact with the fabric surface like screen printing, with this method, the ink will be printed on Plastisol transfer paper and then pressed onto the fabric surface. 


  • Printable on all fabrics
  • Stable quality, ink surface is quite glossy, bright and naturally beautiful
  • The ink does not dry immediately so the effect can be created immediately afterwards


  • Squid has quite a strong smell
  • The ink sticks quite a bit to the fabric, creating a heavy feeling
  • Ink has sensitive adhesion, so the flatness of the printed image is often uneven

There is no printing method that can meet all your needs, but depending on each different idea and purpose, choose the appropriate printing method. Hopefully with a little of the above knowledge, you can apply and choose the most suitable printing method for your t-shirts!


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