different t shirt printing methods

Top 5 Different T-Shirt Printing Methods | Best Results

There are a few different methods of printing logos and designs on T-shirts. Each method has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences before deciding which process to use. In this blog, we will take a look at different T-shirt printing methods, i.e., screen printing, heat press method, direct-to-garment printing, sublimation printing, and vinyl printing. We’ll also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each process, so you can make an informed decision about which popular method is right for your business.

Types of T-shirt Printing Methods

Different t-shirt printing methods

1. Screen Printing

Screen printing techniques are a process that involves forcing ink through a stencil or mesh screen. This T-shirt printing method uses multi-colored inkjet printers to create designs with gradients, shadows, and other effects. The main benefit of screen-printing is that it can print complex designs at a relatively low cost due to its high production speed. A drawback is that the ink doesn’t hold up as well as other T-shirt printing methods, so screen-printing designs aren’t ideal for anything washed frequently or worn by young children.


  • High production speed with multiple colors
  • Low cost for intricate designs


  • Poor ink holdout
  • Resulting in faded logos
  • Poor print quality
  • Limited use for children’s clothing.

If you’re wondering a basic way on how to use a sublimation printer for T-shirts, check this link.

2. Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer printing is a process where a heat press machine transfers dye from paper to fabric. This T-shirt printing process is low-cost and fast, but the results are lower than other printing methods. Heat press printing is especially useful for simple logos with minimal colorful designs because the paper needs to be peeled off after the shirt is printed.


  • Very fast
  • No heat or pressure is needed after printing.


  • The lower-quality product that is less durable than other T-shirt printing methods
  • Limited to only certain types of designs and images because heat needs to be applied after print.

3. Direct-to-Garment Printing

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a form of inkjet printing that uses specially formulated dye-sublimation to transfer paper ink directly onto a T-shirt. DTG has many benefits because it’s fast, high-quality T-shirt design, and is versatile. While this printing method is considered more expensive than screen printing, the cost per shirt can be comparable depending on how much time an order takes to produce. One drawback of DTG is that they need special heat transfer paper, making it difficult to find products for sale. We also have a whole article written on the best sublimation printer for T-shirts. I hope this helps you decide to get the best printer for your needs.


  • Fast Process
  • The resulting products last just as long as sublimated prints with vibrant colors.


  • More expensive than other processes, although not as costly as some assume.

4. Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing transfers dye into a sublimation coating that then becomes colorless. When heat and pressure are applied, the coated fabric changes colors like magic. This form of T-shirt printing business work is more expensive than another basic method, but the results are beautiful, vibrant, and extremely durable. Sublimation printing can take longer to produce than other methods because the design needs to be baked into a coating before it can be printed on a shirt.


  • Durable, vivid prints that last as long as the shirt itself.
  • custom T-shirt printing method offers a highly aesthetic and unique style.


  • High-cost; sublimation printing is at least twice as costly a method as others.

5. Vinyl Printing

Vinyl cutting is a method of using an electronic cutter to precisely cut intricate shapes in Heat transfer vinyl. This T-shirt business is often used in the sign-making industry, but some companies are beginning to use it for basic logo prints on shirts. The results aren’t as vivid or high in design quality as screen printing, DTG printing, and dye sublimation printing, making it a poor choice for most complex designs. However, vinyl cutting is low-cost and versatile because it can be used with materials other than T-shirts.


  • Low cost


  • They are not as high-quality prints or durable as other T-shirt printing work.

Learn a detailed comparison between Heat Transfer vs Sublimation vs Screen Printing.


Can I use my own designs and if so, how much will it cost me to get them printed on t-shirts, and what will be their quality like?

Yes, you can use your own designs and artwork on t-shirts. The cost of getting your designs printed on t-shirts will depend on the complexity of the artwork, the number of designs that will be printed, and the type of shirt (regular or heavyweight). The quality of the artwork will be high since it will be printed on a high-quality shirt.

How can I choose the right print method for my company’s needs?

Choosing the right print method for your company’s needs can be difficult, but it is important to do your research. There are a variety of different print methods that include digital printing, offset printing, and screen printing. Each of these has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited to your company’s needs.

Which one is better: screen printing or embroidery?

Both screen printing and embroidery have their benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the right type of printing for your specific project is important. Screen printing is a quick and affordable way to create custom garments, while embroidery can be more detailed and time-consuming.


In this blog post, we’ve outlined the top 5 different T-shirt printing methods. We also looked at some of the pros and cons of each printing method. Hope you have learned the basic details of different t-shirt printing methods for an informed decision.

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