Printing t-shirts at home can be done multiple ways. The most common are by using heat transfers and screen printing.
Let’s start with what heat transfer is. This process includes the application of an ink-based design printed on quality transfer paper to a t-shirt or other garments with the use of a heat press machine. Using this machine is simple. It works by using pressure and heat to solidify the design to the garment.
The factors that come into play when using heat transfer are time, temperature and pressure. These factors alter depending on the garment you are printing on and what you are printing. For example when printing on shirt with transfer paper one temperature and pressure is required and when you are using plastisol transfers a different heat is required. Because these are two methods of heat transfer are most popular knowing which temperatures are required is important.
About transfer paper.
This method is the most common method of printing shirts. This requires transfer paper, an inkjet printer and the right ink. Once your design is printed onto the transfer paper, the rest of the steps are simple. Lay the design onto the garment and set with a heated press. There are additional steps to consider such as if its necessary to mirror the image before printing, this is necessary with light colored t-shirts. Dark and light colored t-shirts also require different transfer paper.
This is easy, can be done on almost all fabrics and requires no minimum amount of shirts like when you create shirts though a printing company. The only disadvantage it that these printed shirts have poor washability.
About Plastisol Transfers
The main difference starts with how the design is printed. With plastisol transfers, the design is printed by screen printing machine not an inkjet printer. This process of printing is a little more tedious and time consuming but the final product is more durable than the transfer printing method.
Professional t-shirt printers can use more advanced methods to save the time and possible aggravation associated with heat transfer screen printing.