How to Print on T‐Shirts – 2 Ways

How to Print on T‐Shirts

This article is about how to print on T-shirts. You have probably come across a T-shirts with several of it.  Whether its for business or pleasure, there are certain processes involved in printing of T-shirts.  

Well,  printing on T-shirts is a bit easier and the technical. However,  in a matter of time you should learn and adapt to it. Even by following this guide, you can learn every single thing about printing on a T-shirt in Nigeria. 

Print on T-shirt made for brand recognition might be in form of logo and other business information. 

How to Print on T‐Shirts – 2 Ways

We are going to be looking at two ways of printing on T-shirts which are: 

1. Printing on transfer paper

2. Printing on inkodye

How to print on transfer paper method

Transfer heat paper is very easy to use and it only requires your inkjet printer to work directly for you.  It requires using the transfer paper for die sublimation printing. This is a process whereby the printing is put on your transfer paper before it is now stuck on the shirt and then heat is used to stick the printing on the shirt. 

1.  Purchase a standard heat transfer paper used for printing on T-shirts: 

The first point is to look for the right material for your t-shirt printing. There are two types of transfer paper depending on the kind of color or pigment you are planning to use.  Dark colouration of T-shirts and light colouration each have unique heat transfer paper. The light paper is used for white cloth white the dark is used for dark cloth.  You can get both from a printing, painting store. 

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2. Choose your kind of graphics

Whether you are making use of your company’s logo or any other graphics you are planning  on, make sure you have saved it on your computer. 

3. Next you should check what the mirror image on the light colored image looks like. This is because you need your written piece to be straight and not turning upside down.  So,  instead of the right positioning of the graphics,  you should go for the reverse graphics.  When you notice the reverse on the white paper,  then the right graphics would be formed on the paper but when you notice the graphics standing erect as they should be, then expose it. 

Also,  if you are making use of a dark transfer Image,  then the reverse or mirror law doesn’t work. Just get the graPhics on it  normally.

4. Then you should print the graphics on your transfer paper.  The transfer paper  is usually A4 and it would be printed out from  a laser jet printer.  You should make sure the design fits to your paper in order not to lose some of your graphics. Also,  You can print in landscape mode if the graphics width is more than height. 

5. The next step is to cut the graphics out of the material.  These should be done simply by using a ruler and a   pencil map out before cutting. 

6. Get a surface that can work with heat. Then cover the surface with. Towel or cotton, place your transfer paper on the cloth, then iron it on top of the shirt. Peel the paper off, then Boom you are done with printing. 

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Picture Credit: Rock Staar

Inkodye method 

Inkodye, just like its name it’s a die that is used for printing.  In this situation the printing is done like batik but a bit different due to graphics and some arrangements that would be out in place. 

1. At first you should start with ironing the shirt very well.  Make sure you place the shirt on a smooth, clean and dry surface so that it can easily adapt to the hot temperature of the iron to be used. 

2. Then you insert foam or cardboard in the shirt. This will help to enhance the process of the inkodye method and will prevent the ink from spreading without proper positioning. 

3. Then you should create another cardboard frame which will house the graphics. This cardboard will be designed to the shape of the graphics directly.  Trim and cut carefully before proceeding to the next step. 

4. Mix the Inkodye in a bowl.  At this junction, you have to be wary of over mixing of the Inkodye.  Pour it out in adequate proportion and also make sure that the room is well ventilated with indirect sunlight.

5. Then you place the cardboard frame on that position of the shirt you want a design. Put the frame where you should because it is very important that you are not missing the right position. 

6. Then you pour the ink on the cardboard. Do this carefully using a brush and so omit letting the ink spill on the sides of the shirt.  Don’t apply too much Inkodye because it might cause a problem with your T-shirt.

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7. Expose it to direct sunlight – By doing this, you are allowing the print to dye a bit and this should only take between 10 to 15 minutes. 


After you are done with any of the process, leave it to dry then wash off any element of printing that might mistakenly stick to the cloth.  This would also show you if your T-shirt print is strong enough. 

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