Apparel Graphic Academy

Direct to Garment Tees are the way to go

Two proven methods of decorating tees

There are two methods of decorating a tee shirt with ink. One is silk screening and the other is Direct to Garment printing.

Silk Screening is a method where the ink is applied to the tee shirt via a mesh screen with the design area cut leaving a open area for the ink to flow freely on to the garment. This is a very efficient process for large scale orders. The above is an example of what we have done for the MWR on Diego Garcia. This was done with embroidery.


One major drawback is that the design is limited to the amount of colors which can be used in the design. There is one screen for each color in the design.

Because of the amount of color in some designs the order has to be large enough to absorb the cost of the screen set up.

For example a six color design would cost around $120.00. This is why multicolor screen printing needs at least 144 pieces to make the order feasible.

No screens in digital

The digital to garment printing technique does not require any screens at all. This makes this process very inviting for a small order. For example a design with over 12 colors does not require any complicated set up like screen printing. It prints whatever is on the computer screen. An order of six pieces is very easy to do.

The set up is very easy and basic. The key is to have good finished art. The easiest format to use is Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. These two drawing programs are very popular and are used exclusively in the apparel decorating industry. Also, there is a great deal of designs available for sale on the internet which can be linked up with a basic lettering system to produce some very acceptable art work.

Popular designs

Seattle Seahawk Playoff Shirt 2015. The Road to the Championship goes through Seattle
Seattle Seahawk Playoff 6.1 oz Navy T-Shirt. This was featured on KOMO 4 News on December 29th 2014

The most popular designs available on the internet are mascots. Everyone has a mascot and you will find many schools teams use and enjoy the same mascot design. The only difference is the lettering used in the design.

This blog was intended to introduce the reader to the two techniques for custom decorating apparel. For more information contact NW Custom Apparel.