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Types of t-shirt printing

There are four types of t-shirt printing methods for t-shirt printing in Singapore: screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, dye sublimation, and heat transfer. Screen printing is the most common type of t-shirt and is typically used for bulk orders. DTG printing is a newer technology that allows for full-colour prints on light or dark garments. Sublimation is generally used for prints with many colours or all-over printed shirts. Heat transfer is a popular method for small orders or creating custom designs. All these methods have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential. Thus, these methods are the most popular in the t-shirt printing business. These can be found in shirt printing in Singapore.

  1. Screen printing

Screen printing is the most common type of t-shirt printing. It’s a versatile printing method that can be used on light or dark garments and can accommodate a wide variety of design styles. Screen printing is typically used for bulk orders due to the relatively high setup cost.

How does it work?

You must first have a stencil (or template) of some sort that you want to utilize. You also require a mesh that can hold your stencil.

Typically, nylon or another synthetic material is used to create the mesh. The mesh must undergo a pre-process before printing can begin. Getting a clear, identical-to-the-design region in the mesh is the objective here.

The mesh must then be coated completely with ink before being pressed with a squeegee to ensure even coverage. This procedure makes sure that your design is accurately reproduced on the t-shirt. If there is any extra ink, don’t panic; you can wipe it off.


Ensures high quality.

Very durable.

Excellent for big amounts.

If a single design is employed, quick results.


Too complex for relatively small amounts.

Not recommended for intricate patterns.

Not suitable for manual use.

Can be more expensive.

  1. Direct to garment (DTG)

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a newer technology that allows for full-colour prints on light or dark garments. DTG printers use inkjet printers to print your design directly onto the garment. This printing method is excellent for short runs and for complex designs that would be difficult to print with other methods.

How does it work?

It functions very much like how paper printers do. You enter the paper, and the printer prints the finished product after printing the ink on it. The same holds with shirts.

You will need a DTG printer and ink to utilize this technique. If you only need to print a few shirts at home, this printer might get pricey.

Additionally, be careful to get a high-quality printer since inferior ones may result in prints with poor design resolution.


This printing technique is useful for creating intricate and fashionable graphics on t-shirts. The t-shirt has a silky feel once the design has been imprinted on it. That’s not even like hand-painted t-shirts, particularly those done in acrylic.

Additionally, the DTG process is skilled in adding the ideal number of layers to the fabric. Because of the ink’s relatively low viscosity, more layers won’t cause it to stain the cloth.


Using the DTG process to print on dark-coloured clothing will be difficult. Because of the thinness of the ink, the design does not sufficiently shine out on the black cloth. Additionally, DTG-printed garments are ideal for transient wear.

An affordable cotton t-shirt with a DTG pattern typically has a one-year lifespan. After then, the print usually vanishes.

  1. Dye sublimation

Dye sublimation is typically used for prints with a lot of colours or all-over printed shirts. Sublimation is a printing method that uses heat to transfer your design onto the garment. Sublimation is excellent for prints with a lot of detail, but it can be difficult to achieve a consistent print quality.

How does it work?

You will first require a certain liquid dye kind. Applying the dye on the transfer paper first is recommended. You can sublimate material using heat and pressure once it has thoroughly dried.

Because you’re dying the cloth directly rather than merely printing on top of it, this is distinct from screen printing. Because of this, you can see the colours and the pattern exceptionally clearly, but you cannot feel them with your hands.


Suitable for huge designs.

Adaptable to countless hues and designs.

Has a long lifespan.


Only effective with light textiles.

If only used in tiny amounts, it can be expensive.

It doesn’t completely hide all t-shirt features like the armpits or side seams.

  1. Heat transfer

Heat transfer is a popular method for small orders or for creating custom designs. Heat transfer is a printing method that uses heat to transfer your design onto the garment. Heat transfer is great for small orders and complex designs, but achieving consistent print quality cannot be easy.

How does work?

You will create or select your customized t-shirt design on your computer. On your specific heat press paper made for use with the printer, print this image using an inkjet or laser printer. Apply heat with a hot iron when the transfer paper faces the t-shirt design. The quantity of heat and pressure used will aid in the design’s transfer to your t-shirt.


Compared to direct-to-garment printing, production times are much lower.

Low rejection rates.

Only transfers can create specific effects and textures.

Complex patterns may be printed straight onto the paper more quickly than on cloth.

Almost any cloth may be used for a transfer.

Setup expenses are pretty small.


Dark fabrics don’t take it well.

Not suitable for use on clothes that are heat-sensitive.

Printing takes longer.