What is a better way to show your artistic side? Well, there are many ways to show one’s creativity. It could be painting, drawing, and other crafts such as cross stitching. But have you ever thought of printing T-shirts to show off your skills in drawing, lettering, and logo designs?

T-shirt printing is one of the methods loved by many artists for simple reasons of showcasing and plainly doing what you love the most that people can see and appreciate. Well, for some it is their way of showing their own personal ideas such as the atheist t-shirts. Let’s start by learning the four methods of T-shirt printing.

4 Main Methods on Printing T-Shirts

1. Iron-On Transfers

These method work by using a special type of paper in your home printer to print out your design. Then you place that bit of paper on top of the t-shirt and iron it. Then when you peel away the backing of the paper, your design which is printed on a special adhesive layer will stay stuck to the t-shirt. This printing method is only best when you are printing a t-shirt for a concert or for an event. Where you only have to wear it only a couple of times.  This method is not perfect for professional printing.


  • Easy to do
  • Cheap


  • Over time, design  wears, crack and peel away. They flake away at the edges and generally it doesn’t look great.
  • Designs don’t look incredibly sharp just because home printers aren’t incredibly high-quality and the paper itself.
  • The adhesive layer makes things way bit fuzzy, your design can end up looking like it has a soft focus finish to it.

2. Vinyl Heat Press

This method is like Iron-On Transfers but the quality you’ll find in Vinyl Heat press is much better. This method works by using a vinyl cutting machine to cut your design out of a big sheet of vinyl and then uses a heat press to stick that vinyl to the t-shirt. You can’t do incredibly detailed designs with this method because you are cutting your design out of one flat color. Then you have to peel away all of the excess stuff, so tiny details can be very time-consuming and can easily get lost because the machine might not be that accurate.

3. Screen Printing

This method works by taking a special screen with your design on it and pulling ink across it with a squeegee. The ink is going to go through all of the little holes in your screen with the designers and onto the t-shirt. The method essentially dyes the fabrics so you get a nice soft finish and it’s just much higher quality and it’s the most widely used. You can get a much finer details in your design with this screen printing method.

When screen printing a t-shirt with lots of design and color, always have in mind  that you should use one screen for each color. This is one disadvantage of screen printing method. This disadvantage is absolutely costly especially when you have to use two or more color.

4. Direct-to-Garment Printing

This is a method that prints your design directly into your shirt with a printer. This method is good for printing bulk lots of a design that has a lot of colors shading to it. The printing machine used in this method are very expensive. So if you are planning to have your t-shirt printed this way you have to go to a professional or a company that specializes on this method.

T-shirt Printing Techniques Explained

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