What types of printing methods are there

Which printing processes are available?

Flex, flock, sublimation or digital printing: which printing technique is best for my motif? For orientation we have put together an overview of the nature of our types of printing.


Flex printing (smooth foil printing)

Flex printing guarantees a long service life. Garments can be printed in many ways, but this is where quality plays an important role. Flex printing delivers the best results and is ideal for motifs with a maximum of three colors. Color gradients are not possible with flex printing, which is why it is ideally suited for fonts, numbers and simple graphic objects. With flex printing, the motif is attached to the substrate with the help of a thin film. This is done using a transfer press that works with high pressure and heat. The carrier film is then peeled off and the motif remains. Flex printing is preferred, especially for smaller order quantities.

Properties & texture

  • smooth, matt surface (slightly stretchable)
  • 1- to 3-color motifs

Advantages:

  • very high durability
  • high coverage and intense colors
  • Printing on any textile color possible
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified

Disadvantage:


Flock print (velvety foil print)

Flock print is a print with a special structure. Anyone who wants to produce durable and high-quality print results opts for flock printing. When designing sports or club jerseys, flock printing is becoming the first choice. The surface is velvety and easily stands out from the product. Flock printing is particularly suitable for fonts and logos. However, color gradients are not possible here. But how does flock printing actually work? For this purpose, a printed film is attached to the garment. Very strong pressure and high temperatures then create a perfect unit. The quality of the colors will hardly show any weaknesses even after many washes. So it's no wonder that this noble printing process has long since proven itself.

Properties & texture

  • velvety, raised surface (does not stretch)
  • 1- to 3-color motifs

Advantages:

  • very high durability
  • high coverage and intense colors
  • Printing on any textile color possible
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified

Disadvantage:


Special flex printing (effect foil printing)

For those special moments! There are prints that are beautiful but do not stand out from the crowd. However, this is different with special flex printing. Special flex printing is always used when something special is required. If items of clothing are to shine with a disco ball design or are refined with noctilucent elements, then this print variant is the right choice. Glitter can also be applied with the special flex print. For this purpose, silver particles are added to the paint. Printing is particularly suitable for fonts, motifs and logos. Color gradients, on the other hand, cannot be displayed. With special flex printing, a thin film is fused with the corresponding substrate under strong pressure and high temperature.

Properties & texture

  • smooth surface with effect (not stretchable)
  • 1- to 3-color motifs

Advantages:

  • Glitter, luminous or holographic effects
  • very high durability
  • high opacity & sharpness of contours
  • bright and intense colors
  • Printing on any textile color possible

Disadvantage:

  • Color gradients are not possible
  • not according to Pantone (existing foil colors)
  • only simple motifs and lettering can be implemented

Digital direct printing (textile direct printing)

A modern printing technique with many facets. If you want to immortalize colorful motifs with lots of color gradients or photos on items of clothing, you should opt for digital direct printing. Even demanding motifs are reproduced in high quality and not only white, but also colored textiles can be printed with it. In the case of digital direct printing, the printing ink is sprayed onto the garment, which does not impair the wearing comfort. The fabric remains pleasantly soft and, unlike many other printing processes, the motif itself has no frame. Even the smallest editions can be realized through digital direct printing and there are no restrictions when it comes to the selection of printing colors.

Properties & texture

  • unlimited color choices
  • sprayed, easily noticeable surface (slightly stretchable)

Advantages:

  • brilliant colors
  • detailed motifs
  • very high durability
  • high opacity
  • Color gradients are possible
  • possible on almost all cotton or cotton blend fabrics

Disadvantage:

  • Printing is not possible on every textile
  • Neon and special colors are not possible
  • Cannot print Pantone colors

Printing on dark textiles can feel slightly sticky (fixer) at the beginning, but disappears after the first wash


Sublimation printing (thermal sublimation)

For colorful prints. Sublimation printing has many advantages, especially in textile printing. The print is not noticeable because the color forms a chemical bond with the garment. But not only textiles are refined by sublimation printing, cups, puzzles, etc. are also given the finishing touches. In addition, there are no limits to creativity, because all colors can be used with this printing form. In this way, motifs with more than three colors and color gradients can be realized. With sublimation printing, a special ink is applied to coated printing paper. Great heat and strong pressure then press the motif onto the garment. This must have a certain proportion of polyester so that sublimation printing takes effect.

Properties & texture

  • unlimited color choices
  • colored, imperceptible surface (very elastic)
  • Functional textiles remain breathable

Advantages:

  • brilliant and detailed print results
  • extremely high durability
  • high opacity
  • Colors are printed directly into the textile fiber
  • Breathability is retained

Disadvantage:

  • lossless printing only on white polyester
  • Neon and special colors are not possible
  • slight pressure marks on the transfer paper may appear
  • Printing is not possible on every textile color

Digital transfer printing (smooth foil printing)

Digital transfer printing is equally suitable for simple and complex motifs. Details and sharp contours are reproduced excellently and there are no limits to the choice of colors. The motif can be felt on the textile and the surface is slightly stretchy. The high durability is particularly impressive. It should be noted here that the printing process cannot be used on every textile. In addition, the implementation of neon and special colors, as well as Pantone colors is not possible. T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, caps, jackets and also functional clothing are refined with digital transfer printing. In the printing process, a special film is printed and cut accordingly. The motif is applied to the textile using a transfer press.

Properties & texture

  • unlimited color choices
  • sprayed, easily noticeable surface (slightly stretchable)

Advantages:

  • brilliant colors
  • detailed motifs
  • very high durability
  • high opacity
  • Color gradients are possible
  • possible on almost all cotton or cotton blend fabrics

Disadvantage:

  • Printing is not possible on every textile
  • Neon and special colors are not possible
  • Cannot print Pantone colors