Methods of Decorating Apparel

At Scotteez Apparel we use 3 methods of application for decorating a shirt. Those methods are screen printing, sublimation and heat transfer vinyl. Each methods has it’s place and benefits.
Screen printing is the best and most popular method for bulk orders. Screen printing is an application of “pushing” ink through a stenciled screen for each color layer providing a vibrant, almost 3d finished product. The ink rests on the garment and is adhered through a high heat curing process for long lasting use. One of the biggest limitations to screen printing is that you are bound to the number of colors the printing press allows for which are normally 4 color, 6 color or 8 color. Our presses are set up for 6 colors but generally that is more than sufficient for most designs and logos. The advantage to screen printing is that once you are set up for the first print you can easily replicate the print over and over. Additionally, screen printing is not limited to one particular fabric. Screen printing works on cotton, cotton/poly blends and polyester apparel.
Sublimation is a great method for full color designs but comes with limitations. Sublimation ink is transferred to a garment using high heat to cause the ink to turn to gas and transfer to the garment, dying the fabrics. Sublimation requires a polyester fabric for bonding and can work on a garment with as little as 50% polyester however the ink does not adhere to cotton. Therefore, if the shirt is only 50% polyester then only 50% of the design is adhering. The best results of sublimation are on 100% polyester. Also, sublimation does not use white ink therefore the process only works on light colored garments with the best results on white. Other light colors yield a great result but the design generally is faded or “vintage” looking.
Heat Transfer Vinyl allows for two types of materials. One is a solid color design in which vinyl is cut to the shape of the design and heat applied to the shirt. This is a great method for low quantity orders of a basic design. This same vinyl is used on athletic uniforms therefore it is proven to be durable and long lasting. The other type of HTV is printable HTV. Using a specific vinyl type we are able to print, cut and adhere a full color design to a garment. The result is a vibrant application however it has a plastic feel on top of the garment. This method is best for short run orders requiring a full color design on cotton or polyester blends.
When cared for properly all 3 methods have the potential to last the lifetime of the garment. Decorated apparel should be washed inside out in cold water, dried on low heat and not washed with fabric softener or bleach. You should also not iron over the application as heat can cause the application to release from the garment.
Whatever your needs may be Scotteez Apparel will deliver. Give us a call, drop us a message or stop in and we can discuss what method will be best for your decorated garment needs.
Scotteez Apparel More
2049 N. St. Helen Rd.
Saint Helen, MI 48656
(989) 632-1117
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