How Do We Make Our T-Shirts? Screen Printing vs. DTG

If you're on our mailing list, or if you've visited our blog lately, you've seen our new line of t-shirts. We are so excited about these! Most of us are crafters, love to DIY, or have kids/grandkids. We know that all of those things require comfy, functional, easy to care for clothing. There is nothing worse than trying to chase kiddos around while making sure your top isn't too low in the front, or that it isn't riding up on the sides while baby wearing. Been there, done that!

When we decided to create our small clothing line, we kept all those things in mind. As a mom and a crafter myself, I wanted to make sure that our shirts were soft and comfortable to wear, would stand the test of time, and would be easy to wash.

Guess what!?! I found the perfect process to make the perfect tees! DTG (direct to garment printing). Wait.. you haven't heard of it? Okay, let me explain.

Screen Printing

Let's start with something we're all familiar with, screen printing. This has been the method used for t-shirts f-o-r-e-v-e-r. It's easy to mass produce tees using this process because you can create your screen (or set of screens if you are using multiple colors) and keep them on hand to reproduce tees as often as you need them. You can also do large runs of tees easily if you have the equipment on hand. 

BUT, here's the thing about screen printing. It's not really something that a small company can handle, at least in large quantities because the equipment is pricey and you need a lot of space to do it right. There are other draw backs to using screen printing in general. Over time, the printing starts to crack, maybe even peel off. That's the worst! We all have tees from way back when that are so super comfy, but the design is fading, peeling, or missing chunks. Yep, you know you have them too! 

Another BIG downside to screen printing is that you have to be careful about your designs. Due to the way screen printing works (a screen for each color on your shirt) you are limited to the number of colors you can use. Most screen printers charge per color, and they should, because it's a lot of work to create each screen, and set the colors before moving on to the next color. The more colors you add, the higher the price of your shirt, AND the stiffer your shirt becomes. Think about it, all that ink layered on top of your comfy tee... it isn't going to sit nicely anymore, and won't be as comfy as you want it to be. 

So, as much fun as screen printing is, it just wasn't what we were wanting for our t-shirt line. We want you guys to love your tees for as long as you want! That brings us to our next option... 

DTG (direct to garment)

This technology is fairly new on the market, but it's taking it by storm! Why? Well, for one thing it's really easy. Let's dive in to just how this process works. 

The first step is to start with a high quality tee. The higher the fiber count in your shirt, the softer it will be. Just like bed sheets! 

Next you decide on your design. Because screens aren't involved, you are not restricted to a certain number of colors... which means the skies the limit on your design. Seriously. You can even have photos printed on your shirts. Awesome, right? 

Then comes the best part, the actual process. Using a large printer, the design you create is printed directly onto the shirt so that the image is embedded into the shirt fibers. It does not sit on top of the fabric (with the exception of white ink which is printed in a two step process) so you shirt stays super soft and comfy, perfect for wearing everyday. 

We are working in partnership with a fabulous printer that takes our designs, prints them on the shirt color you choose from our shop, and mails it directly to you! How awesome is that!? You get your shirt exactly the way you want it, and it comes straight to your door (which saves on shipping cost and time for you!).

With DTG printing, you can wash your tee on cold like you do all of your other laundry. Then, put it straight into the dryer on low heat! Folding and putting it away is another story... in my house that can take days! 

You will love the way you look and feel in these shirts! We found the softest fabric, and the best printer around! Be sure to hop over to visit us on Facebook or Instagram and let us know what designs you would want to see on a tee! We are slowly adding more designs, and can't wait to share them with you! 

Here are a few of our top sellers. You can check out the rest in our shop

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