Modern technology has provided advanced capability in many industries. T-shirt screen printing is no exception. Graphic artists and T-shirt printing businesses have benefitted from implementing modern printing machines to produce ever more spectacular designs to print on apparel items.
High tech printing devices have allowed businesses with steady graphic design work loads, to attain greater efficiency. Enterprises who invest in such superior technology are able to reduce factory screening charges and decrease the amount of pieces required in a minimum run of garments bearing the same design. Although the required initial investment for this equipment may be substantial, the long term advantages are worth the price paid.
The investment needed to acquire apparel printing equipment differs widely, depending on the printing method used, and its capability to accomplish different jobs. Obviously, not every high-technology printer is capable of making impressions on garments. Other specialty items that are not made from fabric, such as mugs, desk accessories or sporting items require machines that use a completely different process. This equipment is not appropriate for garment printing.
Silk Screen Printers
High-tech silk screening machines often have the capacity to print on many different types of apparel items. Duffles, jackets, caps, fleece apparel, pockets and pants are some examples of additional garments that silk screen printers may be capable of imprinting. This equipment typically requires a long-term investment, so the ability to print additional items can help the owner’s bottom line. A screen printer may offer up to six colors.
DTG or Direct-To-Garment printers use inkjet technology to lay color directly onto fabrics. DTG printers are a costly alternative, but provide high quality printing in large quantity orders. Unlimited colors can be produced by this equipment. Speed of printing is a factor to consider when purchasing this type of machine.
Hot Stamp Printer
A hot stamp press will transfer decals and foil stamps to fabric. Not all will print on T-shirts. Some hot stamp printers have the ability to apply vinyl or flocking. Additional customizing capability may be a benefit for some businesses, and should be carefully weighed against additional investment outlay.
Decal printers are another type of press that uses heat to adhere digital inks onto and into fabrics. These machines are typically used to enhance T-shirts that have been pre-printed by screen printing or digital garment transfer methods.
Printer Cost Versus Color Capability
An important aspect of finding the right T-shirt printing press is its capacity to print multiple colors. Color in printers is a function of the number of “screen palettes” that are integrated into the machine. As you might expect, the greater the number of colors a printer can produce, the larger the investment is likely to be.
Another important factor in choosing a high-tech T-shirt printing device is the quantity of impressions that it can produce in a particular time period. When inquiring about this capability, interested parties should ask, “How many minutes does it take to print one T-shirt, when the maximum number of colors are printed?” This figure can be used to determine the printer’s daily production capacity.