Useful Tips

T-shirt printing: an overview of popular technologies


A print on a T-shirt is a fashion trend that has been present in design collections for the past half century from year to year. A large selection of clothes with a pattern will allow you to choose the right thing for everyone - even the most sophisticated mods will not have problems with this. But if you feel the creative potential in yourself and do not like to be “like everyone else”, it is much more interesting to make a print on a T-shirt yourself.

It is enough to have a desire and learn from this article what is:

Drawing technology

Modern technologies make it possible to apply drawings to the fabric with photographic accuracy and in 3D quality, but what if there is no special equipment. There is always a way out, and you can do a unique thing with your own hands.

Silk screen printing or screen printing is the easiest way to print. Thus, silk was applied in ancient China, and it was patented in England in 1907. Viscous paint is applied to the fabric through a stencil. A print applied in this way is durable, does not require special preparation and is the most budgetary.

The easiest way to do t-shirts with prints is to do it yourself with the help of screen printing, although batik and outline drawing can also be done without special equipment. We will go from the simplest and master the art of silk screen printing.

Printing technology

Printing on t-shirts is performed by different technologies. We will write briefly about the most popular.

Direct digital printing is an advanced technology for transferring a picture quickly and without intermediate steps. Suitable for working with small runs, single items.


  • high quality, gradient fills, detailed detail,
  • lack of restrictions on the choice of fabric,
  • wash / UV resistant print.


  • hand wash t-shirts / fabrics only
  • not suitable for large runs,
  • prepress required.

When digital printing, there are no restrictions on colors and shades


Another name is direct screen printing. Suitable for circulations of 50-100,000 copies or more. Drawings are clear. In the manufacture of batches of 200 pieces, the cost is reduced.

Two types of paints are used: plastisol and water. They come with different effects:

  • glitter patterns - glitters,
  • image on dark fabric - etching paints,
  • volumetric patterns - foams,
  • the effect of gloss, gilding, silvering - metallized.

The technology of sublimation printing on t-shirts is suitable only for synthetics of light shades. The drawing is transferred to special paper, and then to the material using a thermal press. At high temperatures, the ink evaporates, they penetrate the fibers of the fabric, dyeing it.

A quality print will be obtained on fabrics with a synthetic content of about 65%. The greater the proportion of cotton, the faster the print dims during washing.

For the sublimation process, you need the following equipment:

  • thermal press - with its help, the paint turns into gas and is transferred to the material, giving it the specified color,
  • computer / laptop - for searching, editing, printing images,
  • printer - suitable inkjet models, for example, 4- or 6-color Epson,
  • paint - sublimation ink absorbed into the fibers of the fabric under the influence of temperature,
  • CISS - provide continuous ink supply to the printer,
  • paper is an intermediate carrier with a loose surface, when heated, the pores expand, absorb the dye, then the paper cools, the pores close and hold the color inside.

As images, raster (RGB / CMYK, with a resolution of 200 dpi) or vector images (CMYK, mesh filling, bitmap replacement) are not suitable.

Industrial Sublimation Printer FT-1904X


  • no restrictions on image resolution / colors,
  • pattern resistance (at least 50 washings), UV protection - paint penetrates the fabric,
  • becomes part of the fiber
  • practicality of the product - the t-shirt can be ironed, the pattern will not suffer,
  • low cost.


  • tissue restriction - only synthetic,
  • high price,
  • the duration of the manufacturing process.

Sublimation technology for printing on t-shirts is one of the most affordable in terms of the price of the finished product. The average price range is from 10 (one-color printing, a batch of 50,000 pieces) to 200 rubles (full-color patterns, small circulation).

Silk screen printing

It is carried out both in the printing house and at home. To work, you need a grid stretched over the frame, ink, a stencil. The pattern is obtained by pressing. Screen printing is used when printing on t-shirts with various effects on the fabric is required:

  • fluorescent patterns
  • drawings in gold and silver,
  • volume ornaments
  • T-shirt printing of reflective images / labels, 3D, glitters.

The average circulation is from 50 to several thousand units. The larger the circulation, the lower the price.

Silk screen prints of Homer and Margery


  • low cost
  • high speed,
  • image durability
  • the ability to create various special effects,
  • compactness of the equipment used.


  • the difficulty of printing photos,
  • duration of preparation
  • applying the same drawings throughout the entire batch of products.

Silkscreen printing is suitable for applying labels, logos and pictures in small runs. Specially processed vector and raster files are used.


The color film is cut on a plotter and assembled into a single drawing by analogy with the application. The media is fixed on the shirt using a thermal press. The technology is optimal for applying small labels / logos.


  • a wide selection of films of different colors and textures,
  • printing on T-shirts of any color - the shade of the fabric does not reduce the saturation of the image.


  • long term,
  • the complexity of the procedure.

The drawing is voluminous and clear

Thermal Transfer Technology

The modern method of indirect printing. Special transfer paper is used. The pattern is transferred to the fabric using a thermal press, less often an iron. High-resolution vector and bitmap files are suitable as source images.

You can print on transfer paper using the silk-screen printing method, less often - offset.


  • multicolor pattern
  • duration of storage of transfers,
  • high speed,
  • minimum restrictions on the choice of fabric.


  • long preparation / adjustment of equipment,
  • the inability to print different images within the circulation.

T-shirt Printing Equipment

The choice of equipment depends on the technology. For sublimation, you need a printer:

  • manual - easy to use, inexpensive, suitable for home use / small runs, cost - from 35 000 rubles,
  • semi-automatic - it is possible to dry the T-shirt during the intermediate stage of the process, the cost is from 60,000 rubles,
  • automatic - labor costs are minimal, all processes are debugged, printing speed is high, cost - from 150 000 rubles.

Thermal application requires a digital / inkjet printer and thermal press. At home, it can be replaced with an iron.

When using thermal transfer:

  • PC / laptop with graphic editor,
  • printer and scanner,
  • sublimation press - vertical-folding (inexpensive, easy to use) or rotary.

Direct digital printing requires an inkjet printer.

Digital Fabric Printer

You can watch how digital printing on t-shirts takes place in this video:

Recent comments

  • LizaLiza on Masks for hair extensions: a choice of professional tools, home recipes
  • Nata on Gel polish does not stick to nails: the main reasons, what to do?
  • woodiskingser on Timur Rodriguez's children dream of an iguana
  • Vera on How to extend the shelf life and determine the freshness of eggs: use a simple life hack
  • famillionchik on Timur Rodriguez's children dream of an iguana

About the female site Sweetheart I

This resource was created for girls and women. Here you will find interesting and informative articles on various topics. Each publication contains photos and video materials.

Women's site "Sweetheart" is a portal consisting of such popular sections as: news, horoscope, dream book, tests, beauty, health, love and relationships, children, food, fashion, needlework and others.

Our women's portal brings optimism and beauty to visitors that can cater to the tastes of any woman. Recipes of culinary dishes will force you not to let go of a man and maintain a good, bright relationship.

Women's magazine, online edition of "Sweetheart I" is updated daily with relevant articles on various topics. With us you can learn about many diseases and alternative medicines that can cure them. All kinds of recipes for masks that can support youth for a long time.

Paint selection

In order to make a quality print on clothes, it will be better to use indelible dyes based on acrylic. They have very bright and saturated colors, are very easy to use and incredibly resistant to fading. Skillful combination when applying a print of aerosol spray paint, water-based spray paint, as well as liners for drawing contours of the picture will allow you to create an exceptional product with a beautiful image of a fashionable design or an original inscription on a T-shirt.

A creative approach to decorating a simple plain t-shirt will make you the owner of a unique thing. We offer art lovers and people with a well-developed imagination to make an interesting drawing on a T-shirt. So, how to make a quality print on a t-shirt?

Drawing drawings on a t-shirt at home

Even without special skills, using special tools you can give your clothes a unique style and a bright personality. Consider two ways to apply a picture to a fabric - using a stencil and using a nodular technique. They can be used not only individually, but also in close combination with each other. For dyeing, a T-shirt is taken from a natural material - cotton, silk, linen, or the product should have no more than 20% synthetics. If the T-shirt is new, it should be washed before dyeing, in order to wash off the softening additives.

Essential Tools

To create a unique robe you will need several improvised tools. You will need such auxiliary materials:

  • paints - acrylic spray paints, spray paints, liners and pastels on the fabrics of the color range that you have chosen for the picture or inscription,
  • a set of ready-made stencils or thin cardboard paper for making your own stencils,
  • aerosol glue for fixing the stencil on the fabric,
  • clerical sharp knife
  • masking tape or paper tape,
  • strong threads or pharmaceutical gum,
  • small pebbles,
  • film or old newspapers to protect the apartment from paint,
  • personal protective equipment - gloves, glasses, mask.

Nodal dyeing technique

How to make a print on a t-shirt at home using knotted technique? A step-by-step instruction involves the implementation of several phased steps:

  • Draw a sketch of the future image, choose a color scheme.
  • Cover the workplace with film or newspapers, fixing them with masking tape. Unfold the t-shirt, straightening all the folds.
  • In several places, wrinkle into small knots, fixing them with threads or elastic bands. In the center of the T-shirt you can wrap a spiral. To achieve greater heterogeneity, pebbles can be placed inside the nodules, which are fixed on the inside of the T-shirt.
  • Shake the spray paint well in the bottle and apply it in smooth circles, holding the bottle at an angle of 45 degrees to the surface of the T-shirt. With this technique of dyeing, the fabric is coated non-uniformly. If you make a picture with many shades, then the darker tones are applied first, followed by the transition to lighter ones. To get uniform strips, the balloon should be sprayed at a distance of 3-5 cm from the material to be painted. Each coat of paint must dry before the next coat is laid on it. Between applying the layers, pause for 10 minutes to dry the dye, and after painting, dry the product for at least half an hour.
  • Remove all the knots from the dry T-shirt, straighten it well and finish the composition with chaotic white spots throughout the field of the t-shirt straightened. You can also apply with the help of colored liners various patterns, inscriptions, ornament. After all the manipulations, it is necessary to iron this area through a thin cloth for 2-3 minutes, choosing the ironing mode for cotton.

As you can see, it is quite easy to make a print on a T-shirt using nodal technique. In addition, such a procedure is quite accessible to everyone at home. But it should be remembered that such a T-shirt can be washed only by hand in water at a temperature of no more than 30 degrees, after turning the product inside out.

Using thermal transfer paper

Printing on a T-shirt using thermal transfer paper is even easier. This technique is quite convenient to use, and the result will undoubtedly please the owner of an exclusive item decorated with his own hand.

To create a print you need to prepare:

  • T-shirt (white)
  • thermal transfer paper
  • iron.

Initially determine which print you want. Before you print a picture, rotate it in the mirror direction. This is done so that as a result, when applied to the fabric, you get not a mirror, but just the correct display. This rule is especially important if there are text labels on your image.

Lay the t-shirt on the surface of the ironing board. line the fabric. Take paper with a pattern printed on it. Next, cut the image along the contour.

Then lay the paper down on the fabric. Next, turn on the iron, choosing the highest power. After ironing the paper for four to five minutes.

After that, leave the product for seven minutes to let it cool. Remove the paper; it is no longer needed. Take it off carefully so that the image on the surface of the item does not damage.

Of course, over time, such a print will lose its presentable appearance. But sooner or later this happens to any thing.

Screen painting technique

Now let's try to master another simple technique. Next, we will tell you how to make a print on a t-shirt using a stencil.

  • Buy a ready-made stencil in a specialized store or make your own by drawing his sketch on thin cardboard and cutting out with an office knife. It is necessary to cut carefully so that there are no protruding material residues and crumbs on the slices.
  • Cover the workplace in the same way as described in the previous method, and lay out the t-shirt. Ensure maximum tightness - fix the stencil on the shirt with double-sided tape or temporary fixation with aerosol glue.
  • Before making a print on a T-shirt, shake the spray bottle with paint well - you need to shake for at least 30 seconds. Apply layers of paint in a circular smooth motion. In order for the staining to be of high quality, one more coat of paint should be applied after the previous one dries.
  • When the drawing is finished, the stencil should be removed and the T-shirt dried. And in this case, you can also use liners for additional inscriptions, patterns or ornament.
  • If a water-based spray paint was used, this area will need to be ironed in the ironing mode for cotton.

Selection of a picture for print

Asking the question, what kind of print can be done on a T-shirt, it should be noted that the drawing does not have to be very complicated technically. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to cut a good stencil and make a clear staining of the details. It should be a sketchy drawing rather than a work of art. And here your imagination will come to your aid.

Finally, we give some useful tips when applying prints to clothes:

  • clothing that is chemically exposed should be as natural as possible and contain no more than 20% impurities in the composition of the material,
  • the cheapest self-adhesive wallpapers are perfect for making stencils - they fit tightly on the fabric and are well removed from it,
  • to cut out small details of the stencil, it will be successful to use a medical pen, which is used to pierce a finger during blood sampling - it is thin and sharp, leaving an even beautiful cut,
  • To transfer a picture to a fabric, you can use thermal transfer paper, which can be bought at an electronics store. On this paper using a color printer, any image is printed that needs to be cut along the contour, then attached to the T-shirt in the right place and ironed with a very hot iron for 4-5 minutes. After allowing the t-shirt to cool, you should remove the paper - as a result, you will get an original colorful image.


So, to make a print on a t-shirt at home is not difficult. You can experiment freely with your wardrobe, giving your clothes an elegant look and realizing your creative thoughts and ideas. Having trained on simple T-shirts, you can transform boring clothes, giving them a second life and enriching your wardrobe with new extravagant accessories.

Краски для принтов на ткани

If you are worried about how to paint a drawing on a T-shirt, you can not worry about it. The time when gouache was mixed with PVA glue remained in the distant 70s. For this purpose, there are now special acrylic paints that are used directly for painting on fabric. The choice of colors is so great that you do not have to mix them in search of "just that" color. When choosing paint, the main thing to consider is that on dark and colored fabrics it can slightly change the shade, so sometimes it is worth taking a lighter or brighter tone. Do not try to stock up on acrylic paints for future use: they tend to dry quickly enough.

Tools and supplies for printing

For work you will need:

  • “Frame” - a fragment of a smooth base (no more than the width of the T-shirt and no less than the size of the picture),
  • felt squeegee
  • plastic squeegee, which is used to remove excess air when gluing film coatings,
  • assembly film (the size should correspond to the stencil and cover it with a margin),
  • foam sponge (the uniformity of rolling will depend on the degree of its granularity),
  • bristle brushes (be sure to stock up flat, and a round one can come in handy if you plan to do additional rendering of fragments),
  • a stencil (better cut from a self-adhesive film),
  • iron.

How to make a print on a t-shirt yourself: step-by-step instructions

When all the necessary materials are purchased, you can begin the creative process of creating a unique T-shirt. You can apply a drawing to a t-shirt at home in several stages.

The initial stage is preparatory. If you decide to ennoble your favorite T-shirt, then before starting work it will be enough to iron it well. If your “canvas” is only from the store, it should be washed well beforehand. There are several reasons for this:

  • factory products, as a rule, are impregnated with special compounds for better storage in the warehouse,
  • sometimes it’s necessary to remove excess factory paint so as not to get an unpleasant surprise,
  • the starch may be contained in the fibers so that the new thing is better “kept in shape”.

The washed and ironed “canvas” is now worth “pulling on a stretcher”. Moreover, "pulling" - this is very arbitrary. The main task - the knitwear should not be deformed, the weft and warp threads should in no case be skewed. To paint on the fabric lay evenly and did not spread, first make a paper layer.

In our case, a drawing tablet, the remains of chipboard, MDF or laminate can serve as an “easel”. The main condition is that the surface should be perfectly flat and not too slippery. So that the fabric does not move out, you can use fixing clips or ordinary clothespins, and remove the push buttons and furniture stapler so that there is no temptation to use these very necessary, but in this case unacceptable, items. The field of activity (in the literal sense of the word) is ready, now we can already directly apply the drawing to the T-shirt.

We take the prepared stencil and roll on it a mounting film, starting from the corner, and carefully leveling it so that there are no creases, waves and wrinkles. For rolling it is better to use a felt squeegee, but you can choose from another material. The main thing: it should be elastic, but soft enough.

The fourth step is at first glance simple, but rather painstaking: you need to remove the substrate from the film. The film may stubbornly not want to peel off or strive to tear at the most inopportune moment. If you decide to print on a T-shirt for the first time, it is better to opt for a simple drawing without small fragments, and move on to complex ones as experience becomes available.

We safely got rid of the substrate and now our task is to arrange the stencil evenly and in the right place. Fix it on top with the protruding portion of the mounting film and begin to gently roll with a hard squeegee. Make sure that fragments of the stencil do not remain on the installation, so take your time, do everything slowly, but carefully.

When the stencil is glued, remove the mounting film, and roll it further, paying particular attention to the edges and corners. If there are gaps, the pattern may not be clear at best, and at worst not aesthetic stains form on the fabric.

The final stage is one of the easiest, but the result is already on the face. There came a moment of direct drawing. The image is made using a foam sponge or a flat brush, a roller in 2-3 passes. Paint is applied from corners and cuts to the center, try to make the layer thin and uniform. Watch out. So that the spray does not fall on the fabric in the wrong places: the acrylic does not wash and spoil the thing at the finish will be a shame.

When the paint has settled evenly and there are no gaps left, put off the T-shirt until it dries completely. Carefully remove the stencil, and if small fragments remain, remove them with a needle.

The final point is fixing the print. Iron the t-shirt from the wrong side, pre-lining the pattern with paper or cotton. The temperature of the iron platform should be as high as possible for the fabric from which the product is sewn.

If you do not want to waste your time, you can order a T-shirt with any pattern in our store: Futboholic.