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Types Of T Shirt Printing Machines

Updated on June 28, 2011

T Shirt Screen Printing Has Been Proven

The Traditional T Shirt Screen Printing

T shirt screen printing is traditionally done using a t shirt printing mesh and a rubber squeegee that pushes the ink through the mesh. This method is a bit arduous and labor-intensive, making it costly to do when there are only a few t shirts that need screen printing.

Technological advances, however, have made the t shirt printing process faster with large machines that can print more than one t shirt simultaneously. There are also modified printers that can now print the t shirt’s design directly into the fabric. There are more t shirt screen printing equipment available and these will be discussed in this article.

Knowing What's Best For Your T Shirts

Function-Based T Shirt Screen Printing Machines

T shirt screen printing machines are also classified based on function. These types of machines can handle not only large numbers of printing orders, but also clothing of every type. They can also print over large areas of fabric, something like curtains and carpets.

The traditional way of t shirt screen printing only prints the design on a certain area in front of the shirt. Sometimes, the boundaries of the print are seen as lines around it. Other times, the area is printed with white ink before color is applied.

  • Belt Printing Machine – Belt presses can print designs beyond the square area in front of the t shirt. Designs that wrap around the shirt or reaches the sleeves need a belt press to create printed t shirts. The machine uses a belt to move the t shirt under the screens.

They are very expensive because the ink registration and deposit are controlled in amounts that do not follow industry standards. To control the thickness, or the “hand,” of the design.

  • All-Over Printing Machine – Similar to the belt press, the all-over press can print the design all-over the shirt area, including the sleeves. Unlike the belt press, however, the all-over press uses one large and two smaller platforms to spread the shirt under the screens for printing.

Although they can provide greater control over the quality of printed t shirts produced, they cannot fully print the design from end-to-end because of the edges of the metal plates clamped on the sides of the shirt and the sleeves. There is a blank area lining the edges of the shirt.

  • Cylinder Printing Machine – The cylinder press is the rarest type of specialized t shirt screen printing machine. It can print a continuous image of the design around the shirt by attaching a cylinder inside the shirt. The cylinder rolls as the design is printed on the fabric. This same machine is used for screen printing designs on mugs, cups and other cylindrical objects.

Aside from these t shirt printing machines, there are other types that use digital printing, instead of t shirt screen printing. Technology has given us modified laser and inkjet printers that can use textile inks and directly print designs on the fabric.


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      andy 7 years ago

      very nice your posted blog