Plastisol ink printing is the traditional style of printing which is our company’s standard method. The inks are thicker and rougher compared to discharge and waterbase inks since the ink sits on top of the shirt. Plastisol inks do not color the fibers like a dye, instead the ink wraps around the fibers and makes a mechanical bond with the fabric. Plastisol inks can be printed on any garment or fabric porous enough to permit good ink penetration. A benefit to plastisol ink is its ability to print very opaque on dark garments. Our minimum quantity for screen printing is 12.
Direct to Garment printing is the method you should use when you want full color design or photo printed on a garment. Our DTG machine uses a specialty ink which is applied to the fabric directly and is absorbed by the fibers. The ink adheres best to garments that are 100% cotton, for that reason we will not print on other material/blends. Metallic, shimmer/glitter, and fluorescent colors (files are printed CMYK) cannot be achieved with DTG printing. We currently accept prints on t-shirts and some select styles of sweatshirts. Every design is different so it is best to talk to one of our sales rep to figure out the best way to print your design! Unlike our other printing processes, there are no minimums so this is the perfect method for low quantity orders.
Discharge ink is tailored for darker colored shirts. The water based ink is formulated to remove the manufacturer’s dye, leaving its natural color showing (usually tan, the color of natural cotton). Once the dye has been removed, the discharge ink will then re-dye the print area with the desired ink color. Since you are dyeing the fibers, this gives the print a super soft feel. The only major downside with discharge printing is that you must wash the shirts before they take on their soft “no feel” state. Results may vary depending on the individual fabric composition of the garments you choose. Discharge works best on garments that are 100% cotton, for that reason we will not print on other material/blends. Take the extra step to ensure your design looks awesome and ask our sales rep about discharge reactive dyed shirts! Our minimum quantity for discharge printing is 48.
The basic dye sublimation process uses special heat-sensitive dyes to print graphics, text and virtually any image onto special transfer paper. The paper is then placed on the pre-cut fabric pattern and both are placed into a heat press.
When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred to the item and has actually reformed into or underneath the surface. Run your finger across the surface of a sublimated garment and you will feel nothing but the fabric.
Dye sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer-coated item, in the case of team uniforms 100% polyester garments. At high temperature, the solid dye vaporizes into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The same high temperature opens the pores of the polyester fabric and allows the dye vapor to enter. When the temperature cools, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state trapping the dye into the fiber of the fabric. It has now become a permanent part of the fabric.
This is why dye sublimation can’t be done on natural materials, such as 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials which have no “pores” to open cannot accept the gas vapor. The dye particles are designed to bond with polyester, and ignore everything else. It is like trying to mix oil and water with most natural materials.