Screen printing hoodie is the go-to method for most hoodie printing. This classic method is vibrant, durable, and pretty much everyone’s favorite. Another nice thing is you can print on dark fabrics no problem. And almost any type of fabric. The trade-off is that you pay per color, and set up charges can be high if you’re getting a small run. So keep the print simple. For a breakdown of all the pros and cons of the two top print methods, check out my post Screen Printing vs DTG.
DTG hoodie or direct-to-garment is what to use when you’re doing a small run of hoodies, or need to have full color. The print quality is not quite as good as screen printing, and the colors aren’t quite as vibrant, but you can easily do a single piece with rainbows on it, which would be unaffordable using screen printing. Keep in mind you should go with 100% cotton for best results, and be careful about washing with hot water and strong detergents if you want it to last.
Heat transfer hoodie is the method to use if you want some shiny metallic foil business, or when you have a full-color design but can’t afford to pay for all the ink colors, and can’t use DTG because you have an odd print location. Keep in mind it creates a thin plastic coating on the surface of the fabric, eliminating breathability, and will eventually crack and chip– if you’re too hard on it or wash it too many times. It’s essentially a pressed sticker.
Dye-sublimation hoodie is the method for doing an “all-over print” (almost all over). This is also a good choice for doing a full-color print, like a magical space unicorn design. Everyone has one, right? Dye-sub is similar to a heat transfer but it involves a chemical reaction, skipping the liquid phase when heated, turning into gas that bonds to the fibers. It makes a durable, permanent, brilliant “soft hand” print. Keep in mind that it only works on polyester. So there’s that.
Embroidery hoodie is the method to keep it classy or brand your hoodies for retail. Keep in mind that embroidery comes with backing on the opposite side of the fabric that can be bulky on thinner garments or slightly uncomfortable in areas of friction (like on the nips). So as always, keep your embroidery design small and simplified. The left chest is where a typical embroidered logo or design would go, but a couple of creative placement examples are the wrist or the edge of the hood.
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