Everyone loves a custom t-shirt. You have the ability to make it uniquely yours. You can even sport your own art. Customizing a t-shirt doesn’t have to be complicated, it can actually be very easy. Let’s look into exactly how to customize a t-shirt and find which process is best for you!
Design a Custom T-Shirt
When designing your custom t-shirt you want to make sure that you have a good quality t-shirt to put your design on. You can get a good quality t-shirt from just about any store that sells clothes. It might be best to purchase 2 t-shirts just in case something goes wrong with customizing the t-shirt the first time. You can always return the extra t-shirt if you don’t use it just don’t take the tags off and save your receipt!
The next step is to transfer your design to a vector,.ai,.eps, or .pdf file. You want your design to have a transparent background for your custom t-shirt. Most people will create the design for their custom t-shirt online, on photoshop, or on procreate. Any of these platforms with allow you to make your custom design into at least 1 of the files listed previously.
Different ways to Customize your T-Shirt
When customizing your t-shirt you can use white toner transfer printing, direct garment printing, embroidery, heat transfer vinyl, or sublimation printing. All these options are great it mostly depends on exactly how you want to get your design on your custom t-shirt.
Customize your T-shirt with White Toner Transfer Printing
White toner transfer printing means you will be using a Digital Heat FX white toner transfer printer. This particular printer has the ability to print up to 5 colors at the same time.
You will use EZ Peel Transfer Paper that your design is printed on for your custom t-shirt. You can then line up the paper where you want the design to be on your custom t-shirt and heat press for about 30 seconds. This length of time may differ depending on the material. You then let the design on your custom t-shirt cool and can remove the transfer sheet.
You can finish your custom t-shirt with a final heat press.
Direct Garment Printing a Custom t-shirt
Direct Garment Printing a custom t-shirt literally means you are printing directly onto the custom t-shirt. This process uses inkjets to pinpoint target ink to t-shirts giving a high-resolution image right on your shirt.
With this process, the custom design is now part of the shirt, so it will not peel or crack. When doing this kind of printing you want to pretreat the shirt by using either a pretreat machine or spraying your custom t-shirt with an HVLP sprayer. You can then heat press your shirt with the heat transfer sheet and load the shirt into the printer. The print the custom design right onto your t-shirt. Heat press the wet shirt to cure it and your custom t-shirt are ready to go!
Embrioder your Custom T-shirt
Embroidery is another way to customize your t-shirt. You can upload your design to the embroidery machine using the control panel of the machine using a USB or Bluetooth. You can now hoop your t-shirt onto the machine.
You can select the design for your custom t-shirt and then load the appropriate sool colors for your design. When the colors are loaded into the machine, your design is loaded into the control panel and your t-shirt is hooped on you can start the embroidery process.
When the embroidery is done you can unhoop your t-shirt and your custom t-shirt will be ready to use!
Customize your T-shirt with Heat Transfer Vinyl
This method probably takes longer than other methods when customizing your t-shirt because you will need to cut out all the vinyl from rolls or sheets. These pieces of vinyl are then cut into the shape of your design.
Heat Transfer Vinyl works well for designs that are not multicolor. Most heat transfer vinyl for customized t-shirts work with a cricut that comes with its own software to create your design. You then can cut out your design and it will be on the vinyl, do not forget to mirror the image so your design does not come out backward.
Remove the part of the vinyl that is not your design off the transfer paper. You’ll want to get out an ironing board and lay your t-shirt flat, then put the paper with your custom design on the t-shirt. It’s best to put a thin layer of fabric between the iron and the design on the t-shirt. You can then press the design into your t-shirt, it’s best to press each area of the design for a minimum of 30 seconds with heat transfer vinyl.
Once the design is cured to the custom t-shirt you can then remove the transfer paper (the clear film). You can then wear your custom t-shirt!
Custom T-shirt with Sublimation
Sublimation printing is best for lighter colors or white t-shirts and t-shirts made of 100% polyester. This kind of customizing is printing paper that you then transfer onto the custom t-shirt. You can upload your design onto the printer and then you can line the design up with where you want it on your custom t-shirt. You want to use heat tape to keep your custom t-shirt in place and press the transfer paper onto your shirt and press. Let your custom t-shirt cool and pull off the transfer paper. Your custom t-shirt is ready to wear!