Digital T-Shirt Printing Options

Digital T-Shirt Printing Options

There are many custom tees and embroidery service providers available in Indianapolis, IN, however, each individual business uses a different type of production processes in their operations. The two most common methods that are used in this industry are traditional screen printing and digital printing.

The former method also referred as silk method, involves creating a screen (commonly known as a stencil), using which the ink layer is applied to the surface of the T-shirt or any surface where the design must be printed. Each stencil is used once and their combination gives the final look of the design.

The digital application counterpart, however, is a much newer type of process that enables you to process your artwork on a computer, which is directly printed to the garment. There is no embroidery or transfer of heat involved in this process and the ink is produced directly to the fabric of the T-shirt. Both methods are popular in Indianapolis and come with many advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in this blog. Let’s begin!


The silk application provides a high level of color vibrancy, especially on the darker surface. The ink used in this process is thicker, which allow the company to print a brighter and sunnier color on a darker shade of T-shirt. However, the DTG application is more useful when detailed and precise work is required, such as small logo design.


When using the silk techniques method, the selection of colors can be fairly limited as it can be costly to choose a variety of colors. Conversely, the DTG method allows you to print an unlimited number of color and gradients you want on your tees as it uses CYMK + white inking process, which is used in conventional office printers. Furthermore, using the latter method also removes color bleeding out of the equation, which ensures a great level of clarity and precision.


In screen printing process, it may take a long amount of time to complete a custom order as the stencils need to be created and combined together to achieve the final result, which is a time-consuming process. However, using computer-based four color inking process, a company can provide faster turnaround as there is no setup time required.

Order Size

As we have mentioned previously, creating a custom screen printing batch is a tedious and time-consuming process, therefore, you must order a large number of tees to get value for your money. Contrastingly, the latest digital transfer process provides you the flexibility to print in smaller quantities, allowing you to order as low as a single piece. It is ideal when you want to print different colors and designs. Perhaps that is the reason that many St. Louis fabric designers use this method in their production.

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