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T-Shirt Printing...

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by DaisyGirlDesigns, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. DaisyGirlDesigns

    DaisyGirlDesigns Junior Member

    I thought this could be classed as graphics for print!

    Basically in my frustration at the lack of tshirts/hoodys/dresses with designs i like i am thinking of doing some designs for a few of my own for myself, so they would be one offs, unless of course people asked where i got it from as they wanted one...

    Back in my school days i did product design with textiles (didn't touch 'graphic design' till i went to uni!) so i am wanting to explore this area of design again as a personal experiment. I am wanting to involve not only printed graphics, but i am also handy with needles, threads, beads, ribbons, felting etc etc...

    I would like to know:

    What experience have people had with getting your own designs onto clothes?

    Is there any important information i need to consider before i get stuck into this?

    Do you have any reccomendations of places that provide quality clothing and quality printing?

    What printing techniques are available now?

    Just some inspirational direction would be welcomed for this personal experimental work :D
  2. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    A timely post!
    A contact of mine is going off today to sample a direct to garment printing machine. It's basically an inket printer that is specifically designed to print onto clothing. There is no limit on colours or design style, so it is perfect for one off designs.

    I'll let you know if he decides to get it, and if you are interested I'll be happy to give you his details.

    EDIT: A quick additional note. I work for a t-shirt printer, so I like to think I know quite a bit about artworking for print. I have experience with screen printed clothing and heat transfer garment films. Anything you'd like to know, just ask. If I can help I will.
  3. DaisyGirlDesigns

    DaisyGirlDesigns Junior Member

    Sounds good! I look forward to hearing how that goes!!

    I am off now to prepare some shetland wool for felting (my mum has a flock of sheep, and among them she has some pedigree shetland sheep, whose wool is very much sought after for textiles!)

    I have done a little bit of screen printing at uni and loved the finished feel it gave. Just sadly i never really did more than the one brief that allowed me to use it :(

    How would it work me sending art work to be screen printed? We were taught that screen printing was one of the most expensive forms of putting graphics on clothing? Is this true? Not that this would particularly bother me as i am looking for something special.

    (you will maybe regret saying you are a t-shirt printer after you have answered 1001 questions hahaha...)
  4. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I'm not a t-shirt printer myself, I just work for a few. Unfortunately screen printing is expensive, and it has it's limitations depending on the style of the design. It's easier to print blocks of colour rather than halftones (even though it is possible). The more colours in the design = more screens. It's the setup costs that make screen print so expensive, as it is quite a drawn out process. The printers I know will charge around £20-£25 per screen setup. So if it's a 3 colour design you'd be talking £60-£75 setup cost before clothing/ink etc.
    Screen printing is really a mass production process, it's not suitable in terms of costs/labour for one offs.

    However, if my contact does go for the direct to garment printer, the sky is the limit design-wise, plus there is no lengthy and costly setups involved. So it'd be perfect for one-offs.

    Keep the questions coming. Here to help, and all that...

  5. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    oh man, here is a thread where i can answer every question you can have....

    in terms of screen printing, each printer does different things, some charge for the cost of printing and no set up, some charge for screen set up and printing, some can handle CMYK screen printing....

    there are a million answers to this, there are also loads of questions and solutions...

    Monster Screen Prints, Nottingham

    screen printing, start with these guys, generally agreed to be amongst the best (price and quality) in the uk.

    I could go on for days and days....
  6. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    mrp, write up some tutorials mate :D would be awesome to read what you think about everything on it :D haha
  7. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Everything I learnt, I got from other people, I would be rehashing their wisdom.

    If answers are needed, I will gladly give them, soooo

    "What experience have people had with getting your own designs onto clothes?"

    Loads! In varying shapes and sizes from shitty transfer paper tests, to paints, to professional screened jobs.

    "Is there any important information i need to consider before i get stuck into this?"

    Well that is a difficult one, 300dpi minimum, CMYK, consider what you are printing on, size of garment, size of artwork on different garments, consider you market, process you want to go through to get it done....

    "Do you have any reccomendations of places that provide quality clothing and quality printing?"

    As per my link above, but quality shirts, think gildan, fruit of the loom (they have several varieties, cost differs with quality), if you can afford American Apparel then they are some of the best shirts available (sizing is a little inconsistant). Do your research into sizing, sizes differ from brand to brand, sometimes length, collar etc.

    Quality printing, oh the never ending search....depends soooooo much on the process you want to go with.

    "What printing techniques are available now?"

    Fromt the bottom up.
    Paint and Pens
    Transfer papers (easily 5 different varieties)
    Screen Printing
    (these 2 arent readily available in the UK)
    Discharge printing
    Belt printing.

    Advise would honestly be, if you want to do a test, transfer papers are ok, but if this is for any form of commercial venture, then screen printing is the absolute minimum.

    There is soooooooo much info to cover and its late.

    EDIT: I forgot CAD cutting, but don't do that.
  8. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    haha but us 'cardiffians' are always up late. :D

    awesome to know that any info I would need on this is readily available through you aswell as online :D

    really interested in some tshirt creation. Why buy someone elses design when I could learn to create my own :D
  9. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I was in the new place at the bottom of Churchill way, by the back of the CIA till nearly 2, nice place.

    If only tshirt printing was easier to do well in small amounts.

    I cant remember where I heard this, cheap, fast, quality, pick 2, you will have to sacrifice the other one.
  10. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    BB book of life?


    I was at the gatekeeper cleaning the kitchen til 3, not so nice place ;) haha
  11. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I do that at work, and it's not perfect. It has big limitations. There are only a selection of colours and the design can't be too detailed. This process is where you cut blocks of coloured material, which is heat-pressed into/onto the garment, you can overlap layers of block colour to make up the design.

    This process is perfect for small runs of text based designs.

    Personally I've never seen a fruit of the loom shirt that is that great, it's generally seen as a budget shirt with the people I work with. They most use heavyweight Gildan. But there are lots of shirt wholesalers.
  12. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    the premium and organics are way better than the normal ones, but i do agree the best you can do easily in this country is gildan heavys.

    I am inclined to agree with you about CAD cutting, but it is such a specific area that it is good for, I would never recommend it. On short runs it might end up being a practical solution, how does it compare on cost to screening on a short run?

    Ball park number, 5 shirts, 2 colours, plus set up, probably somewhere around the £50-60 mark, if you can talk a printer into that short a run (ha).
  13. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I'd only be guessing at prices, as I don't get much say on that side of things, but the CAD vut stuff is significantly cheaper because there is no screen set up.

    So the price will most likely be 3/4 - 2/3 less. But most designs you do by CAD cutting wouln't be worthwhile screen printing unless they were huge runs.
  14. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    random, maybe i should look into it a bit more

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