T-Shirt & Hoodie Customization using Vinyl Printing

T-Shirt & Hoodie Customization using Vinyl Printing

If you are looking to customize a t-shirt, hoodie, sweatshirt, formal shirt or any other piece of clothing then there is a new way to do it, and it’s Vinyl Printing. In this article, we shall examine the medium and will see how it differs from other modes of customization like  Embroidery or Screen Printing. We will analyze its durability and life along with other amazing possibilities which this new and versatile medium gives, and which was not possible earlier. So let’s begin. 

Customization: What is 

Let’s start with the basics, when we say customization it means to print the user’s design on the apparel be it polo t-shirt, round neck t-shirt, V neck t-shirt, hoodie, sweatshirt, jackets or a formal shirt. If you want a t shirt with your company logo on it, it’s a customized t-shirt. Please note that this job is not being undertaken in mass, ie not all the t-shirts of that make a being printed with your logo, only the ones you as a user have selected or indicated undergoes this change. It is a permanent and irreversible mode. Once a hoodie has been customized it cannot be rolled back and no one can “un-customize” it. So it’s a permanent transformation, done as per the user’s input and requirements, and done only on the required number of pieces. 

There are many ways of doing it and based on the budget, time available and indented final output one of the many modes is selected. The most commonly used mode for a high-quality output is embroidery. It’s a computerized automatic embroidery machine that imparts this job and its pretty flawless in it. Embroidery right now is the most used method for t-shirt customization. It permanent gives an elegant look to the garment and is very formal. But there is a new way of doing it, and this post is all about the new guy – Vinyl Printing. 

Vinyl Printing 

Also popularly known as Rubber Printing, this method is not new per se, its been around, but was used mainly by textile companies to produce in bulk. With the advent of technology, many newer machines had come which had made it possible for companies like us to impart vinyl printing without having a textile manufacturing unit setup. Just with our small unit, we can take care of any kind of customization requirements. 

Vinyl or Heat Transfer Vinyl ( HTV ) to be precise is a synthetic material made from Polyurethane ( PU ) which is a polymer made of organic units joint by carbamate links. Polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer, which means this will not melt on the application of heat and is chemically inert. It’s a safe and non-hazardous material for application on any kind of garment for all age groups. It gives a smooth rubbery feel and a bright shiny texture upon application on garment hence also called rubber printing colloquially. 

 

Vinyl: What makes it different 

Decorating a garment using Vinyl is not new but is not catching up fast and rightly so. It has many major advantages over say embroidery. The first and foremost final result. Vinyl gives an excellent result in terms of print colors and sharp edges of designs can be replicated exactly and with relative ease working with vinyl. If a design has sharp edges, it will not come out properly in embroidery as it’s a mechanical medium where the thread is stitched using a computerized needle and thread head. Vinyl offers a flat surface on prints and is a perfect medium to apply on garments with a flat surface. Secondly, the color and brightness of vinyl are lifelong, and it remains in its original glory till the life of the garment – typically 60 – 90 washes. It does not fade or wear down after repeated washes or exposure to the elements. This one is the biggest reason for its preference over embroidery, as the embroidery is as good as the thread used, and it fades after repeated washes. 

Vinyl is a digital medium, which means that there is no fixed cost for its application. Irrespective of the quantity it per unit cost is the same. For instance, if a job requires to print name and number of a cricket team, and the printing cost is Rs 450 per t-shirt, so it will remain the same if we are printing 11 t-shirts of 1100 t-shirts. This is unlike screen printing, which is an offset medium and has a fixed cost. So the per-unit cost of screen printing will successively decrease as the quantity increases. This makes vinyl a perfect material to make proof copies for the bulk print job which eventually are carried out through screen printing. Screen printing is an excellent application medium but only in bulk quantities. If one plans to execute a single unit or small batch order (up to 50 ) vinyl is not only better but also cost-effective for printing. 

Vinyl can also be printed, so if a logo or an image needs to be transferred to the garment, vinyl again checks all the boxes in the right way to come up as the most preferred medium. Printing on vinyl is executed using solvent, eco-solvent or latex printer, these are large scale printer and comes with a huge setup cost. But the final quality is unmatched any other image transfer mediums and has all the benefits of a vinyl print. 

There are certain shades which are not possible in any other medium other than vinyl, Golden and Glitter prints to be precise. You cannot execute it using either screen printing or similar mediums. Even sophisticated Direct to Garment ( DTG ) printer are unable to print in gold and glitter shades of any colors, and even if it does the quality of the output in terms of luster and shine is nowhere near what one gets using vinyl for the same job. This makes vinyl the only medium for printing using glitter shades. It’s highly popular and now an undisclosed industry secret. So if you have a garment with golden or glitter printing, be assured that its vinyl and nothing else. 

Vinyl: Where it can be applied

With a versatile new medium, such are vinyl with us, we are virtually no short of options to apply it on. Irrespective of the type of vinyl, it can be applied on any kind of garments – pure cotton, pure polyester or any blend of the two. And along with the textile, it can also be applied on canvas and leather. This covers a whole new way of customizing not only garments but also bags of any kind. As most of the bags are either made up of canvas or leather this opens up a wonderful new opportunity for customization. Apart from this, vinyl can also be applied on – wood. Yes, its right wood or any kind of wooden material – Ply, MDF or engineered wood can be an application surface for vinyl. Ceramics is also another material on which vinyl can be applied and also metal. So now we have a list of material on

which vinyl can be applied : 

  • Garments: Cotton, Polyester or blends
  • Canvas
  • Leather
  • Wood: Ply, MDF, Engineered wood, or any other kind
  • Ceramic
  • Metal 
  • Plastic: Only thermosetting plastic ( the one which does not melt)   

Along with the above-listed material, vinyl can also be applied to other materials also like glass but that is subjected to the vinyl quality and expertise of the professional doing it.  

Conclusion 

Heat Transfer Vinyl ( HTV ) or vinyl is a versatile medium to apply on a range of products that surface. The application is permanent and stays in its original glory until the end of the product’s natural life cycle. We at Prince Street take a lot of pride in saying that we have one of the most exhaustive ranges of products that can be decorated with vinyl on the Indian internet. All the products are listed online on our site and are ready to order. The ordering process is simple and the user can also design the product using our easy to use browser-based online designer.  

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