What is Screen Printing? -
Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-colored image or design.
What is Machine Embroidery? -
Machine embroidery is an embroidery process whereby a sewing machine or embroidery machine is used to create designs and insignia on clothing and other fabric textiles. The sewing or embroidery machine accomplishes this by reading a specialized digital art file that contains the design instructions for the machine to stich out. This specialized file type is commonly referred as as a "Digitized" file. Common file type extensions include .dst, .ofm, .exp, .emb.
What is Direct To Garment (DTG) Printing? -
Direct-to-garment printing (DTG) is a process of printing on flat textiles using specialized aqueous ink jet technology. DTG printing is mostly used for 100% cotton T-Shirts for best results. However, the technology is evolving to allow for printing on other materials such as polyester. DTG printers typically have a platen designed to hold the garment in a fixed position, and the printer inks are jetted or sprayed onto the textile by the print head. DTG typically requires that the garment be pre-treated with a Pre-treatment machine.
Since this is a digital process the print is sharper and has a higher resolution, or DPI, than traditional printing methods such as screen printing. However, unlike screen printing, there is no long setup or clean-up process, and DTG has the ability to print just one single shirt for much less cost than would be possible to just print 1 shirt using the screen printing process. The flip side of this is that DTG machines print at a much slower rate than traditional screen printing and the inks/materials are expensive compared to screen printing. For bulk quantity printing, screen printing is the more practically and inexpensive solution.
What is Vinyl/Heat Press? -
Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV is a vinyl used to decorate apparel, bags, and other soft goods. Unlike adhesive vinyl or sign vinyl, HTV is printed onto an item using heat and pressure. How you apply each heat transfer vinyl depends on the fabric and the application guidelines. Just as there are many different types of garments, there are different types of HTV to decorate them.