T-Shirt & Garment Care
Follow these few tips to take care of your products and your shirt will last a long time with the same bright looking design.
Washing: Wash inside out with cold water with similar colors using a gentle cycle
Ironing: If ironing is necessary, iron inside-out on the lowest setting
Drying: Tumble dry low or hang-dry
No-Nos: Avoid using bleach and do not dry clean.
Be wary of washing and drying on a high setting, especially when the garment is 100% cotton. High-temperature washing or drying settings can fade or crack the print of all t-shirts, but DTG may be slightly more susceptible.
LibertyMinded tries to prevent this by using almost exclusively preshrunk garments.
Screen printing vs. Digital Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing
Liberty Minded products are produced by multiple printing methods - some of our most popular products will be screen printed, and our unique products will be printed using DTG.
So what are the differences and benefits?
Screen printing involves creating a stencil (printers call this a "screen"), and then using that stencil to apply layers of ink on the printing surface. Each color is applied using a different stencil, one at a time, combined to achieve the final look.
Benefits of Screen Printing
- Screen Printing will result in a high quality thick print of ink to the product.
- Colors are usually pre-selected in a limited range for each design and therefore ink should be applied generously and result in a more vibrant overall design that should closely match the mockup.
(Frequently we simply photograph our screen printed products where possible as these products require pre-production)
Things you should know
- With screen printing, only one color can be applied at a time. Therefore, the number of colors on a t-shirt is limited, and each color requires more time, another screen and stencil, and ultimately, more money. That’s why screen printing is a good choice for simple designs with one solid color, and when someone is making many t-shirts of the same design at a time (eg. for a sports team, summer camp, or event). Screen printing is usually for simpler limited color designs meant to be produced en masse.
- There can be errors in screen printing. We may have already launched our budget section of the site to try and figure out how to sell some of the designs that have errors. Some screen printing shops suck at their jobs. Humans are simply not as precise as computers and machines can be. Sometime the "registration" between different colors in a design can affect details. This is very true if the design is at all intricate or has small text or text with multiple colors. Ink from screen printing is messy and sometimes (rarely) can also result in the occasional drip or splatter onto a product. We do our best to never ship a poor quality print, but we have to allow for a very small margin of error.
- Plastisol inks are made with plastics, so they aren't as great for the environment. Screen printing is a messy business.
- High-quality screen printing is a complex art form, and takes a tremendous amount of money and time to master. Simple applications are relatively easy to accomplish, but high-end, high-volume jobs can be difficult for a novice shop. Screen printing also requires a steady stream of supplies to keep up with materials usage; a business will invest hundreds or thousands of dollars a month to keep their shop supplied.
Digital printing is a much newer process that involves your artwork being processed by a computer, and then printed directly onto the surface of your product. Digital printing is not a heat transfer or appliqu'e, as the ink is directly adhered to the fabric of your shirt.
Benefits of DTG Printing
- One of the most important factors is that DTG allows us 'one-off printing' - which means that your order is manufactured "on the spot" and that means that LibertyMinded can experiment and offer products that are more unique and might not otherwise be great sellers since we do not have to keep and maintain stock. (You get something more unique)
- DTG does not have as high of a profit margin for us, but because we can experiment, it means we can figure out which designs are popular before choosing whether or not we want to (or if it makes sense for the design) to invest in a screen print that requires buying a lot of inventory. Screen printing is also something we can only do with very GRAPHIC designs
- DTG has more flexibility in terms of ink colors as it uses technology similar to an inkjet printer and therefore...
- DTG allows us to print with unlimited color usage and greater detailed prints so that we can print photos in the designs with ease
- Direct-to Garment use Eco-Friendly Water-Based Inks
- DTG has a Softer feel on the garment (Not a thick plastic feel)
Things you should know
- The colors of your product might not be as vibrant as the image shown on the product page. This is the fault of the product mockup generator with the printing company. The mockups should be pretty close, but the ink may be a little translucent, so imagine the design at about 75-80% opacity with a little of the colors of the shirt underneath. (If you need to compare, take a look at some of the DTG printed products on our action shots page)
- DTG printing will fade faster than screen printed products as the water based ink is not as thick or durable as plastisol but you can take care of your shirt to help prevent that from happening, please follow the care instructions at the top of the page.
Remember that the value of DTG printed products are that they are unique and produced via a one off printing method! This allows us to offer a wide variety of color options and print niche ideas and designs that most businesses would not bother to stock. The quality of DTG is very good and in most cases it is on par with a screen printed