ODDBALL WORKSHOP > FAQ
What is DTG Printing?
DTG stands for Direct to Garment.
It's direct because the ink is printed directly onto the fabric.
Is this screen printing?
No. This is a fully digital process. No screens are used and the color choices are unlimited.
What is the largest size I can print?
We can print up to 14 inches wide x 16 inches tall.
How many colors can my design be?
Your design can be as simple as 1 color or as complex as you can make it.
We have an unlimited color palette to work with, making half-tones and gradients easily.
What type of ink is used?
Digital printing uses water-based (eco-friendly), 4 color process inks, CMYK.
Do you have minimums?
No, you can order as few as one or as many as you can imagine.
Are there setup charges?
No, there are no setup charges.
I don't have vectored artwork. What should I do?
The art department will review the artwork you have provided and determine what the best course of action is for you to get the best results possible.
If they decide that the artwork needs to be vectored, Oddball Workshop can have your image vectored for you for a minimal charge. Once complete the vectored artwork is yours to have for future uses.
What is Screen Printing?
Screen Printing involves pressing ink through a mesh screen to create the desired image. Each color requires a separate screen and the process is generally limited to 8 colors. Set up and film charges apply.
What is Embroidery?
Embroidery is where the logo is stitched onto the material using threads. Digitizing costs apply.
What is a Vinyl Transfer?
Vinyl transfer is a process that involves heat and pressure to apply the vinyl to the garment or accessory. The vinyl is stretchy and durable making it perfect for technical fabrics as well as t-shirts, etc.
What is Sublimation?
The basic dye sublimation process uses special heat-sensitive dyes to print graphics, text and virtually any image onto special transfer paper. The paper is then placed on the pre-cut fabric pattern and both are placed into a heat press.
When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred to the item and has actually reformed into or underneath the surface. Run your finger across the surface of a sublimated garment and you will feel nothing but the fabric.
Dye sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer-coated item, in the case of team uniforms 100% polyester garments. At high temperature, the solid dye vaporizes into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The same high temperature opens the pores of the polyester fabric and allows the dye vapor to enter. When the temperature cools, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state trapping the dye into the fiber of the fabric. It has now become a permanent part of the fabric.
This is why dye sublimation can’t be done on natural materials, such as 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials which have no "pores" to open cannot accept the gas vapor. The dye particles are designed to bond with polyester, and ignore everything else. It is like trying to mix oil and water with most natural materials.
What is best for me? Sublimation or DTG?
Sublimation is for synthetic materials and requires specially treated fabrics such as polyester or polymer fabrics. It’s perfect for technical garments based on the fabric.
DTG works best on cotton or majority cotton/natural fabric based materials. It’s perfect for t-shirts, tank tops, tote bags,etc.
Sublimation allows for an all-over print or repeating pattern on fabric whereas DTG prints are limited to a 14” x 16” print size and can be impeded by seams or the contour of the garment.
If you are unsure which option is best for you we would be happy to discuss it with you.
Can one print cotton material with sublimation?
No, cotton does not accept the dye. Sublimation only prints polyester and polymer coated objects. The sheet metals used in the awards industry have a polymer coating on the metal to keep it from oxidizing. We are actually printing the lacquer coating with the sublimation. The same is true with coffee mugs. We are using a special mug with a polymer coating. The top layer on mouse pads and coasters is a piece of fabric made of 100% polyester.
Well then how about 50/50 T-shirts?. Will they print?
Well sorta a.... In a 50/50 shirt, half the fabric is cotton and half polyester. The poly part prints just fine, but the cotton does not print at all. So, what you have is a strand of cotton and a strand of poly side be side all over the shirt. Half is printed and half is not. When a person looks at the printed shirt, the black images will appear gray, the dark blue images will appear light blue and reds will appear pink etc. Everything appears washed out. Personally, I think you are much better off to buy the "Softlink" shirt; which is 100% polyester but looks and feels like a heavy weight cotton shirt. I know it is a little expensive, but it is a great shirt .... just outstanding quality. Look into some of the new "vapor-ware" material. It is a tight weave athletic material that is 100% polyester and accepts sublimation printing that is truly exciting.
Can you use cotton based materials with sublimation?
No, it is not possible to print on cotton based materials as fibers are not able to open up to absorb the dye. Sublimation only prints polyester and polymer coated objects.
Can you sublimate 50/50 T-shirts?
In a 50/50 shirt, half the fabric is half cotton and half polyester. The polyester part of the shirt will print, but the cotton will not print, so only half of the shirt will show the colours of the image. That means that the black images will appear gray, the dark blue images will appear light blue and reds will appear pink etc. leaving the print with a washed out look.