Being a designer you may have multiple options to decide which printing techniques is most suitable for a specific design on the garment. Experienced designers choose printing method primarily on the basis final outcome as design sharpness, durability, brightness, texture and hand feel. Similar outcome can be obtained by multiple ways. In the sampling stage, printing cost might not be considered and designers get done sample printing with most convenient option. But as a designer you must consider which option will be most suitable for bulk production in terms cost of printing and production time.
As when a design comes for production, we need to consider many things to choose a particular printing method. Each printing method has advantages as well as disadvantages. So it is up to you which one to finalize as you are handling bulk printing. But important thing is final print outcome. When a contract is signed with buyer for a particular looks you can’t alter it to save money. Still you can save if proper printing method is being chosen. Final outcomes mean hand feel, texture, brightness etc.
Most used printing methods are screen printing, heat transfer printing, direct print, cut out print, block print, boutique print. Each printing method has multiple ways of application. Like – pigment print, discharge print, transfer print, khadi print etc. For example, if you are going to print light color on dark base then discharge print is always advisable. Discharge print also gives soft hand feel. If you want bright white print on dark base (black) color then you have to choose khadi print instead of other options but hand feel is harsh in khadi print.
According to technology level screen printing it can be done in rotary printing, flat bed printing (manual or semi-automatic machine). Printing cost per garment will vary a lot comparing to each others. Other variables are production time and minimum production volume. Though your customer will specify the printing option before final order, you can advice them better option if you have clear knowledge about different printing methods and pros and cons of each one. In the following I have explained reasons why and when to go for any particular printing option.