We’ve been running Anglotees for over a year now and we occasionally get questions about how we print our shirts and questions as to why don’t use a particular process. We’re going to try and address those questions in this post and will use this as future reference point for these questions in the future.
Anglotees Primarily Uses Screen Printing
Most of our shirts are printed using the silk screen printing process. We use a factory locally to us in the midwest. This is process is simple, each color is printed through a screen onto the garment. This is the most economical way to print the large quantities of t-shirts that we print on a weekly basis. This is also how MOST t-shirts are printed, even the ones you find in the store.
The only drawback to this process is that if the design has a lot going on with it, a lot of ink is used which can give a plasticky feel to the shirt. We try to counter this by keeping the designs simple. Usually, after a few washes the plasticky feeling washes away.
Screen printing is also the longest lasting of the various printing process because you’re permanently putting ink on the garments.
Occasionally We Use Direct to Garment Printing
We have a secondary printer we use when an order is messed up and we need small quantities reprinted. Direct to Garment printing is where a shirt is fed into a physical printer (like your printer at home) and the design is directly printed on to the garment. This is a neat process and there are more color ranges available when printing. However, it’s a time consuming process so is not suitable for large print runs (we print 200-300 shirts a week so it just wouldn’t work).
From time to time, a shirt will arrive damaged from the screen printer or there will be something wrong with the garment and we just can’t send it to the customer. In situations like that, we often have it reprinted using our secondary Direct to Garment printer.
Why We Don’t Use Heat Transfer
We’ve gotten lots of questions about why we don’t use the printing process where the design is dyed into the garment. This is called heat transfer and what happens is heat is used to transfer the ink into the garment, dying the garment. This makes the printed design become apart of the garment. This is a cool process and it’s less plasticky than screen printing. However, as with direct to garment printing, it’s a very slow and laborious process so we can’t use it for large quantities.