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Vinyl T-Shirt Printing

Vinyl printing is a simple technique used to create custom designs for all kinds of garments. In a gist, it involves sheets of polyurethane cut to produce designs applied to garment through heat treatment.

This method of printing usually has a one colour print limit. It also requires that the artwork used be in vector format – created through software packages such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or Corel Draw. Vectors images are clearer because they come out as lines as opposed to the pixels normally produced by the jpeg format.

The designs created are then converted into mirror images and go directly to the vinyl cutters. These machines are much like large printers but use blades instead of ink to etch images onto the vinyl. After removal from the cutter, excess material surrounding the image goes through a weeding process that results in the final design. Once this entire process is complete, the design is ready for application to the garment using a heat press.

For best results, the approximate temperature of the press should be at 160C. Note that this will vary depending on the garment and vinyl used. The garment is then laid flat on the heat press base plate to prepare for proper image placement. Once in the ideal position, the clamp goes down for ten to fifteen seconds to press the design. Upon release, all that’s left to do is remove the backing film from the garment and you are left with just the design.  


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