The Best T-Shirt Printing Methods in 2022

Starting a t-shirt business might sound as simple as creating a design, blank wholesale t-shirts buying , printing, and selling. But there is more to it. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider, like your experience with t-shirt customization methods, the type of designs, the capital, customer preferences, fabric, and so on. One of the biggest challenges, especially for people who are starting out, is choosing a printing method. This article breaks down the most popular t-shirt printing methods to help you choose the right one.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is arguably the most popular t-shirt printing method in practice. It involves a complex process that works by transferring the design onto the garment using a stencil that is held in place using a polyester mesh. This method is preferred by professionals for printing a large number of t-shirts in one go.


  • Very profitable for large orders
  • Durable print
  • Compatible with most fabrics


  • Not cost-effective for small quantities
  • Initial setup is costly
  • Steeper learning curve

Direct to Garment (DTG)

DTG allows you to print vivid, full-color, and photorealistic images onto t-shirts. It could be described as an apparel equivalent of printing on paper- you upload the design to the computer, fine-tune the settings, hit print, and the DTG printer will imprint the design on your tee. If you want to print complex and colorful designs on a small number of t-shirts, this is an option worth considering.


  • Relatively easy to learn
  • Can render designs with fine details
  • Soft finish that barely feels when you touch it


  • Good DTG printers are costly
  • Slow for printing in bulk quantities
  • Colors start to fade over time

 Dye Sublimation

The dye sublimation process starts by digitally printing the design on a transfer paper. When this paper gets heat pressed onto the t-shirt, the dye sublimates and gets transferred to the fabric. Unlike screen printing, the dye is not applied to the surface, but rather becomes a part of the fabric itself and gives you super soft designs.


  • Has a smooth finish on the fabric
  • Very little colors or design restrictions
  • The design is long-lasting


  • Works only on polyester and polyester blends
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Difficult to print on dark fabrics

Heat Pressing

This method involves printing the design on a transfer paper and later heat pressing it onto the fabric. While this sounds very similar to Dye Sublimation, the ink does not evaporate or get absorbed by the cloth but gets attached to the surface. If you are new to the field and testing the waters, Heat Pressing is a great place to get started.


  • Cheap for printing in small numbers
  • The process is fairly uncomplicated
  • Suitable for complex designs


  • Not suitable for heat-sensitive fabric
  • The printing process is longer
  • Does not work on dark colored fabric


If you are new to the market or want to start small, it is recommended to go for simpler methods like heat pressing. You can simply get the equipment, create a design, get blank shirts wholesale and start pressing away. Once you have a good understanding of the market, you can expand your more ambitious methods like to screen printing or DTG.