Types of Printing
There are various different printing types you must know of.
Qikink uses DTG, DTF, Sublimation, UV, Vinyl, All over Printing and Embroidery to fulfil its daily orders.
Printing types will generally differ as per the product to be printed and print finishing.
The following are the mostly used custom printing techniques on merchandises
- T-Shirt Digital Printing (DTG)
- Screen Printing
- UV Printing
- Eco Solvent Printing
- All over Printing
- Digital Printing on Paper
- Tie & Dye
- Vinyl Printing
- DTF Printing
- 3D Printing
T-Shirt Digital Printing is the new age method of printing T-Shirts in high quality and other apparels as well. This is the method of printing directly on the garment. This method of printing also called as DTG Printing makes fashion more sustainable by Print on Demand options.
Complex Graphic designs, photos, texts can be printed without coating the number of colours and quantity to be printed. It just prints any design fed into the printer with the same quality of the print file. This is useful for personalises products and modern ecommerce websites.
- File Size: 300 DPI
- Print Size: 14×18 In
- TAT: 1 Day
- MOQ: 1 Pc
- Cost: A bit Pricey
- Quality: Same as Screen Printing
- Wash: Around 30 Cycles
Qikink Products for DTG Printing
Screen printing is a traditional method of printing used on various substrates. This method uses a mesh as an intermediate to transfer the ink onto the substrate.
The most commonly used screen printing method especially on T-Shirts is spot color screen printing process. The other methods are halftone, greyscale, duotone and CMYK Screen printing. The newest in this line of printing is a hybrid system with oval shaped printing, which uses screen plus digital printing process. These techniques started with newspaper printing and came to scene printing. After digital printing became popular, these techniques has lost its sheen.
There are different kind of inks and finishes in screen printing as below,
- Plastisol Printing
- High Density
- Glow in Dark
- UV Reactive Printing
Steps involved in screen printing are
- Color Separation
- Film Printing
- Screen Making and Exposing
- Setting Frames with Garment
Benefits of t-shirt screen printing are
- Versatile Products
- Cost Effective
- Pantone Matching
- Edge to Edge or Full Size Prints
- All over Prints
3. Sublimation Printing
Dye Sublimation is a new age printing method used on a variety of products from apparels to accessories. This printing method can be used on any polyester fabric. A special coating is necessary to print on accessories like coffee mugs, key chains etc.
Sublimation printing doesn’t have white ink, thus it is printed on white color fabrics and accessories especially for dri fit t shirt printing. Or on any light coloured substrate. The print is long lasting and cost effective.
Transfer the print design to a transfer paper and then onto the product via heat press or vacuum press. All over printed products are printed using sublimation technique.
4. UV Printing
UV Printing is one of the most versatile and high quality printing option for accessories and industrial applications. The prints are very precise and cured instantly by passing uv light.
The printing possibilities includes embossed printing, layered printing and printing on bendable substrates like silicon and fabrics as well.
The prints are of very high definition and costlier than sublimation or screen printing.
5. Eco Solvent Printing
Eco solvent printing is one of the digital printing method which uses bio degradable solvent inks to print on various substrates.
Uncoated substrates can use eco solvent printing and major advantage on using this printing is wastage is very minimal. The process is costlier when compared to solvent ink printing.
Qikink uses Mimaki Eco Solvent Printers to print its range of kiss cut stickers and canvas products.
6. All over T-Shirt Printing
All over T-Shirt printing is a process of custom printing a design on a fabric and process cutting to stitching to finish the T-Shirt. This allows the T-Shirt to be printed on all sides, front, back and sleeves.
Standard method of all over T-Shirt Printing is done using sublimation printers. The design is transferred onto a paper, then to fabric using heat press machine. The printed fabric is cut as per the T-Shirt pattern and sewn to a T-Shirt form.
All over Printing is not only confined to T-Shirts or apparel products. There are many lifestyle accessories and pet products made with all over printing.
Products like dog collar, chair cover, flag, keychain, cushion cover, bags and many more such products can be done using all over printing method.
Products for All over Printing
7. Digital Paper Printing
This is where digital printing originated. Printing a graphic design or a photo on a paper or any paper product without making a plate or a screen. This method is typically used for printing visiting cards, marketing materials and other wide range of paper products.
Digital Paper Printing is used in various range of products from Posters, Cards, Books, Flyers, Wrappers and many more products. Though this method of printing is costlier than traditional offset process, most of the paper printing process is digitized now because of the simplicity of operations and versatility of finishing.
Qikink uses digital paper printers for
- Thank you Card
- Custom Letter
- Frame Posters
8. Tie & Dye
Tie and Dye is a process of pulling and tying the parts of fabrics with strings and immersing into dyes. The dyes are absorbed into untied parts of the fabrics. The dye wont penetrate through the tied sections.
9. Vinyl Printing
In general, vinyl printing is a type of printing used in outdoor printing for printing promotional banners.
Here, let’s see vinyl printing in the context of Apparels. Vinyl is a PVC material available in various colours and shades. It can be cut in custom shaped and applied onto the T-Shirts using heat press. Unlike Sublimation transfer, the image on the transfer sheet is transferred to fabric, here the vinyl itself is pasted on top of the garment.
Vinyl printing for T-Shirts is cheapest available form of printing one off pieces. This is widely used in printing numbers in back side of sports jerseys.
There are printable vinyl, which can be printed using inkjet. The inverted printed layer can be applied using a transparent transfer sheet onto T-Shirts using heat press.
10. DTF Printing
Direct to Film or DTF printing is considered as an alternative to Direct to Garment or DTG printing. This uses a multi step process often performed by a single machine. The steps are as
- the design is printed on a film using a special solvent ink
- Dry the film
- Apply a powdered glue on the back of the film
- Curing Process
- Store them or heat press onto T-Shirt
An advantage to this printing is it can be applied on cotton, polyester or any kind of fabric. And printing on white or dark color of garment doesn’t give any differences.
However, the user experience of the T-Shirt is lower. The printed layer on the T-Shirt sticks out as like a sticker is applied onto the T-Shirt. It is good for promotional products which specific use cases, like it can be used to print a multi color logo on a coloured sports jersey etc.
Embroidery is the process of stitching your design to the fabric. This is a two step process. They are Digitising the design and sewing the digital file onto the fabric using an embroidery machine.
It is the most long lasting decoration option, especially used for uniforms and highly decorative products. This also provides a premium look, a pop up effects with thread feel.
Embroidery can be widely used for thicker fabric structures such as Sweatshirts and hoodies with fleece fabric, Polo shirts with pique fabric, Caps, Bags and more.
Engraving is a decorative process of carving a design onto a substrate. This is done using cutting and grooving of metal or wooden pieces.
The modern engraving process for merchandise are done using laser machines. Laser engraving is most aesthetic form of creating a design or a pattern.
Laser engraving is method of vaporising the material with deep cuts marking a design permanently. This can be used in decorating the merchandises like Belt buckle, chain, bracelet and more lifestyle products.
13. 3D Printing
3D Printing is creation of a three dimensional physical object from a three dimensional digital file. This is also called as additive manufacturing.
This is done by creating a CAD model of the object and applying thin layer of the additive one above the other as per the computer aided 3 dimensional model design.
These are the various techniques of custom printing services. One can choose the printing method as per the product to be printed, minimum order quantity, quality required and cost involved. New age digital printing methods are offering various printing options. Qikink offers a wide range of printing products to be used for corporate gifting to lifestyle brands’ retail sales.