January '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 9 C ustomizing T-shirts has never been easier or more popular, says Marcus Davis, product manager at HanesBrands. at's because there are many different printing methods that can be applied to T-shirts as well as a large selection of tees with different fabric contents to choose from. e most widely chosen blends in tees today include 100% cotton, cotton and polyester blends, and 100% polyester. Each blend has its benefits and limitations when it comes to print- ing, he says. Brian Walker, founder and CEO of RTP Apparel, says that "technically, the same shirt could be used for all processes. e base gar- ment really is cross-platform compatible for the most part." He added that there are garments that are bet- ter suited for specific jobs. For example, direct- to-garment printing works better with higher thread counts and 100% cotton, which create a smoother print surface, requiring less pretreat- ment and ink than a lower thread count shirt. Lower thread count shirts usually have bigger threads and a rougher surface, requiring addi- tional pretreatment and inks. Paula Aven Gladych is a writer based in Denver, Colorado, who has been covering the graphics industry since 2014. She can be reached at Viper MAXX pretreatment machine pretreating a shirt. (Image courtesy RTP Apparel) It's advisable to wait 24 hours before shipping a finished product if you are unfamiliar with the garment, inks or transfers. (Image courtesy JERZEES)

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