Computerized methods of printing have better and long-lasting prints on t-shirts. It is mostly used to print a small order since it is suitable for designs that are more complex and printed shirts are easy to customize. For this to happen, you need to invest in a printer that will fulfill your expectations, in regards to t-shirt printing.
Luckily, there is a wide variety of printers in the market, but if not careful, you could end up with one that does not match with your needs in printing or even worse; it does not produce the excellent work that you expected. Therefore, there are technicalities involved in printing t-shirts which you ought to know and below is a summary of how it works and key features to look out for, when selecting the right tool for the job.
How does digital printing work?
First, scan an image or copyright-free design and save it in your computer. Edit and modify the image to how you would like it to appear on the t-shirt. At this point, you should know the image has to be reversed on the paper, in order for the image and text to appear correctly after the transfer. For more clarity, your software has a tool that works as a mirror that reverses texts.
Make a copy on a sheet of paper to have a sample of your final work, and then print your image on the plain side of the paper to be transferred. Cut out the print and place it where you would like it to appear on the shirt.
Did you preheat the iron? You should before anything else at this juncture. Place a piece of hard material such as cardboard between the front and back of the t-shirt. After ironing (to remove any wrinkles or folds), transfer the image upside down on the fabric. Firmly iron over it for 20 seconds, while ensuring there are no bubbles left. After ironing, peel one corner to see if the transfer was successful; if it is not, keep on ironing it until it looks ok. You have your first custom-made t-shirt.
Key features of a good t-shirt printer
a) A combined degassing system
High quality printed t-shirts are as a result of efficient printing plates. These plates are produced by applying a mixture of developer solutions, solutions that should be bubble-free or else the printed material will have surface defects. Such work is unacceptable in this industry.
Therefore, your inks should have degassing modules. Apart from damaging your work, your printer is at risk of misfiring and possible permanent damage. Degassing your inks also allows your printer to work better and faster since there it maintains the right temperature levels, vital for the ink.
b) Safe environment is guaranteed
Believe it or not, printers can cause harm. There have been cases of extraction of either ink mist or hot air and ozone filtration. Other dangers are open UV printers that expose you to ink particles. Select a printer with a closed UV that does not connectors at the back and the on top.
c) Type of ink it uses
In t-shirt printing, you will use a particular type of ink, either water-base or plastisol. Both types are common but serve different purposes with plastisol being the best for garment print work while water-based ink is still used on fabrics, but also works for yard items. Depending on how you will use it and the quantity, you also need to consider their impacts on the environment as they could affect you or your surroundings.
Both inks do have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using them in particular applications. For the water-based, it is self-explanatory that it is just water mixed with dyes and as water evaporates, this sets the ink. For plastisol, it is easy to use and can be used straight from the can, most of the time. Its formulations can be used to print both light and dark t-shirt fabrics. It is safe to re-use any leftover ink after the job.
Having this information about printing using modern technology, you can easily analyze where your business will start and what you require to make it in the t-shirt printing industry; right printer, right ink, right fabric and you are ready for business.