Stamp of Approval
ONE CAN NEVER know too much about apparel printing. Consider this: Two stacks of T-shirts folded side by side on the shelves of a trendy retailer. Pricing is similar. One stack is comprised of non-descript, white tees, while the other features shirts with members of a popular band, a funny saying or an intricate design splashed across their surface. Unless the consumer is in the market for a non-descript, white tee, he or she would likely purchase one from the neighboring stack. These days, consumers are looking for garments that pop—that say something. Apparel printing plays as important a role in customer satisfaction as does the garment itself. For distributors not familiar with the many printing processes available and for those wishing to expand their printing IQ, Promotional Marketing has compiled a directory of apparel printing terms and technical features.
Screen Printing/Spot Printing:
According to Brian Conway, owner of Collingdale, Pennsylvania-based A.I.R. Conway, this is the most common type of printing used in the textile industry. Conventional spot printing is used with a screen that has an image burned on to it that will allow ink to pass through on the areas that need to be printed. Properly prepared artwork is the key to a successfully printed screenprinting order.
Digital Direct to Garment:
Looking for the latest and most advanced type of printing for high quality, low quantity runs? Look no further than digital direct-on-garment printing, a method of decorating not to be confused with conventional screenprinting. Digital direct to garment allows the artwork to be sent directly to the machine without the use of screens that are typical in the conventional screenprinting operation. This type of printing is mainly used on small orders that call for four-color process or full-color designs.
This method of decorating uses a heat press, similar in concept to an iron, that transfers the ink from a paper substrate to a product with the use of heat. The heat and the pressure cause the image to transfer. This printing process is widely used in the short-run sector of the industry, as well as in most sports programs where small runs are required with heavy emphasis on the personalization of the garment.