Sublimation is a process where the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage.


The most common ink used in commercial garment decoration. Good color opacity onto dark garments and clear graphic detail with, as the name suggests, a more plasticized texture. This print can be made softer with special additives or heavier by adding extra layers of ink.

Water-Based Inks

These penetrate the fabric more than the plastisol inks and create a much softer feel. Ideal for printing darker inks onto lighter colored garments. Also useful for larger area prints where texture is important. Some inks require heat or an added catalyst to make the print permanent.

Discharge Inks

Used to print lighter colours onto dark background fabrics, they work by removing the dye in the garment - this means they leave a much softer texture. Similar colours are difficult to control, but quite good for distressed prints. Variation has to be accounted for.


Consists of a glue printed onto the fabric and then foil (or other special effect) material is applied for a metallic or velvet finish.


Metallic flakes are suspended in the ink base to create this sparkle effect. Usually available in gold or silver but can be mixed to make most colors.


Similar to glitter, but smaller particles suspended in the ink. Glue is printed onto the fabric giving a metallic like feel to it.

Puff/High Density

An additive to plastisol inks which raises the print off the garment, creating a 3D feel.

Caviar beads

Again glue is printed in the shape of the design, to which small plastic beads are then applied - works well with solid block areas creating an interesting tactile surface.

Photo Prints

Artwork is created and then separated into four colors (CMYK) which combine to create the full spectrum of colors needed for photographic prints. This means a large number of colors can be simulated using only 4 screens, reducing costs, time, and set-up. The inks are required to blend and are more translucent, meaning a compromise with vibrancy of color.


Gel is basically a transparent print technique. A special ink is printed onto the fabric to give a gel effect.


Another printing technique which involves a special kind of chemical which gives a transparent see through effect on the fabric provided that the fabric is burnout friendly.


Embossing refers to Plotter Cut labels and stickers.


Spray is the intricate form of garment decoration.