The Different Types of Printing Methods Explained | Learn About Custprint's Printing Services

Modified on Tue, 30 May 2023 at 06:23 PM

Custprint prides itself on being one of the few platforms with printing methods which are all in house. To know more about our printing methods and how we can print your artwork please visit How we Print and Manufacture

The printing method that we choose for your artwork depends on a variety of factors some of which are below:

  1. Your artwork size.
  2. The print area
  3. Number of colours in the print
  4. Artwork complexity in terms of shapes, gradients etc. 
  5. Your order quantity.

While there are a lot of printing methods that can be used to print an artwork, currently when you place an order with us, we choose the printing method that is best for your artwork and pass on the lowest possible cost to you. 


Important: If you need your artwork to be printed through a specific printing method, we suggest that you contact us for a separate quote as the quote on the website may not be specific to be print method that you are looking for. 


Here are our different printing methods in detail:


Screen Print

Screen printing, also known as silk screening, is a popular method of printing images or designs onto various materials, such as fabric, paper, glass, metal, and plastic. It involves the use of a woven mesh screen stretched tightly over a frame. The screen acts as a stencil, allowing ink to pass through the open areas onto the substrate beneath.

 

The process begins by creating a stencil, either manually or using a photosensitive emulsion. The stencil is then attached to the screen, which is placed on top of the material to be printed. Ink is applied to one end of the screen, and a squeegee is used to evenly distribute the ink over the stencil. The squeegee is moved across the screen, forcing the ink through the open areas and onto the material.

 

Screen printing is known for its ability to produce vibrant, durable, and high-quality prints. It allows for precise registration and can accommodate a wide range of colors and textures. It is widely used in various industries, including textiles, advertising, signage, packaging, and art. The versatility and versatility of screen printing make it a popular choice for both commercial and artistic applications.

 

Transfer Print

 

Screen transfer printing is a variation of screen printing that involves the transfer of a printed image from a screen onto a different substrate. It is commonly used for transferring designs onto textiles, such as T-shirts, hats, and fabric banners.

 

The process begins by creating a screen with the desired design or image. This screen is similar to those used in traditional screen printing, with a stencil or emulsion applied to it. However, in screen transfer printing, a special transfer ink is used instead of regular screen printing ink.

 

Once the screen is prepared, it is pressed onto the fabric or substrate using a heat transfer press. The heat and pressure applied during this step cause the transfer ink to adhere to the fabric, creating a permanent bond. The transfer ink typically contains pigments, binders, and other additives that allow it to transfer and adhere effectively.

 

Screen transfer printing offers several advantages. It allows for the printing of intricate designs and multicolor images with high precision. It also allows for a wide range of colors and effects, including metallic or foil finishes. Additionally, screen transfer printing is suitable for both small and large production runs, making it a popular choice in the textile and apparel industry.

 

 

Sublimation print

Sublimation printing is a method used to transfer full-color designs onto a variety of substrates, such as textiles, ceramics, metals, and plastics. Unlike traditional printing methods that use ink, sublimation printing uses heat to transfer dyes directly into the material, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints.

 

The process starts with a design created digitally on a computer. The design is then printed onto a special transfer paper using sublimation inks. These inks are formulated to convert from a solid to a gas when exposed to heat, without passing through a liquid state. This is known as sublimation.

 

The transfer paper with the printed design is then placed on the substrate and heat is applied using a heat press. The high temperature causes the sublimation inks to vaporize and penetrate the surface of the material. As the material cools, the inks solidify, permanently embedding the design into the substrate.

 

Sublimation printing offers several advantages. It produces high-resolution, photographic-quality prints with smooth color transitions and sharp details. The prints are durable, resistant to fading, and can withstand repeated washing or exposure to sunlight. Additionally, sublimation printing allows for printing on a wide range of products, making it popular in the apparel, home décor, and promotional product industries.

 

Direct to Film Print

TiDTF printing, which stands for Direct-to-Film printing, is a relatively new digital printing method that enables the transfer of full-color designs onto various fabrics. It is an alternative to traditional screen printing and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing.

 

The DTF process involves printing a design onto a special film using a DTF printer. The printer utilizes UV-curable inks that are specially formulated for adhesion to the film and fabric. Once the design is printed, a powder called "adhesive powder" is applied to the wet ink, which helps create a bond between the film and fabric.

 

Next, the film is placed onto the fabric with the adhesive side facing down, and heat and pressure are applied using a heat press. The heat melts the ink and adhesive powder, allowing them to penetrate and bond with the fabric fibers. Once the heat press cycle is complete, the film is peeled off, leaving the vibrant and durable print on the fabric.

 

DTF printing offers several advantages. It can produce high-resolution prints with vibrant colors and intricate details. It allows for printing on various fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, and even dark-colored fabrics. DTF prints are soft to the touch and have good washability and durability. Additionally, DTF printing can be cost-effective for small to medium-sized production runs and offers flexibility in design customization.


 Offset Print

 

Offset printing, also known as offset lithography, is a widely used commercial printing method for producing high-quality prints in large quantities. It is based on the principle of repulsion between oil and water.

 

The offset printing process involves several steps. First, the image or design is transferred onto a metal plate with a photosensitive coating. The plate is then mounted onto a printing press. Ink is applied to the plate, adhering only to the areas that contain the image. Meanwhile, water is applied to non-image areas, keeping them ink-free.

 

Next, the inked image is transferred from the plate onto a rubber blanket cylinder. The rubber blanket cylinder then transfers the image onto the printing surface, which is typically paper or another material. The process of using an intermediate rubber blanket cylinder helps achieve a consistent and even transfer of the image.

 

Offset printing offers numerous advantages. It allows for high-quality prints with sharp details, vibrant colors, and precise registration. It can accommodate a wide range of substrates, including paper, cardboard, and plastic. Offset printing is known for its efficiency in producing large print runs economically. Additionally, it supports various finishes, such as gloss, matte, or metallic coatings, to enhance the appearance and durability of the final prints.

 

Vinyl Print

 

Vinyl printing, also known as vinyl cutting or vinyl decal printing, is a popular method of creating custom designs or lettering on various surfaces using vinyl material. It involves cutting shapes, letters, or images out of adhesive vinyl sheets and applying them to a substrate, such as walls, windows, vehicles, or promotional items.

 

The process begins with creating a design or text digitally using specialized software. This design is then sent to a vinyl cutting machine that uses a small blade to precisely cut the design into the vinyl sheet. The excess vinyl is removed, leaving only the desired design on a backing sheet.

 

To apply the vinyl, the backing sheet is peeled off, exposing the adhesive side of the design. It is carefully placed onto the desired surface and pressed firmly to ensure proper adhesion. A squeegee or similar tool is often used to remove any air bubbles and ensure a smooth application.

 

Vinyl printing offers versatility and durability. It allows for the creation of intricate designs, intricate lettering, and even full-color prints. The vinyl material is available in various finishes, such as glossy, matte, or textured. It is resistant to fading, water, and UV exposure, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Vinyl printing is commonly used for signage, vehicle graphics, window decals, wall graphics, and personalized items.

 

Direct to garment Print

 

DTG printing, or Direct-to-Garment printing, is a digital printing method that allows for full-color, high-resolution designs to be directly printed onto garments and textiles. It is an alternative to traditional screen printing and heat transfer methods.

 

The DTG printing process involves loading a garment onto a specialized printer that uses inkjet technology. The printer applies water-based textile inks directly onto the fabric, layer by layer, to recreate the desired design. DTG printers are equipped with a print head that can move in multiple directions, allowing for precise and detailed printing.

 

DTG printing offers several advantages. It allows for the printing of complex and intricate designs, including photographs and gradient color blends, with excellent color accuracy. It provides a soft and flexible print feel as the ink is absorbed directly into the fabric. DTG printing also supports on-demand printing, making it suitable for producing one-off or small batch orders. Furthermore, it offers the ability to print on various garment types, such as cotton, polyester blends, and even dark-colored fabrics.

 

However, it's important to note that DTG printing is typically more suitable for smaller production runs due to the time it takes to print each garment individually compared to other methods like screen printing.

 

Puff Print

Puff printing is a specialized technique used in garment decoration to create raised, three-dimensional designs on textiles. It adds a unique texture and depth to the printed image, giving it a raised or "puffed" appearance.

 

The puff printing process begins with applying a special puff ink onto the fabric. This ink contains a foaming agent that expands when exposed to heat. The desired design is then screen printed onto the fabric using the puff ink. Once the design is applied, the garment is heated using a heat press or conveyor dryer. The heat causes the foaming agent in the ink to expand, resulting in a raised effect.

 

The raised areas of the puff print have a soft, cushion-like feel, creating a tactile and visually interesting effect. Puff printing is often used to highlight specific parts of a design, add dimension, or create a textured effect. It is commonly used in apparel, such as sweatshirts, hoodies, and t-shirts, as well as in promotional items and accessories.

 

It's worth noting that puff printing may require additional care during laundering to maintain the raised effect, as excessive agitation or high heat can flatten the puff.

 

High density printing

High-density printing is a specialized technique used in garment decoration to create raised and highly tactile designs on textiles. It involves applying a thick layer of specialized ink to achieve a heightened visual and textural effect.

 

The high-density printing process begins with preparing a design using a software program. The design is then converted into a stencil or film. Next, a thick ink, often referred to as high-density or puff ink, is screen printed onto the fabric using the stencil. The ink is applied in multiple layers to build up the desired thickness and dimension.

 

Once the ink is applied, it is typically heated using a heat press or conveyor dryer. The heat causes the ink to expand and rise, creating a raised effect with a substantial texture. The result is a print that stands out from the fabric, offering a visually striking and tactile experience.

 

High-density printing is commonly used to add emphasis to specific elements of a design, create a 3D effect, or provide a premium look and feel. It is often used in sportswear, logos, branding, and promotional items where a bold and textured appearance is desired.

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