Article Image

Apparel Decoration Guide

At Westminster, it is our goal to help your brand look its best when out in the world. As artists ourselves, we take great pride in being able to execute all design visions, despite any added layers of production complexity. We work with you on each project to help determine the best garment and method based on your desired graphic. From the wide range of options below, we can help you narrow down the best method based on each of your designs and the desired quantity and budget for said project. To ensure the optimal result, our design team is available to assist with the artwork creation, or we may simply help guide your team on best practices for consideration.

Imprint Method Optimal QTY Optimal Graphic Optimal Garment
Spot Color Screen Printing 24+ Pieces Simple Vector Art, Corporate Logos Cotton, Cotton/Poly Blends, Tri-Blends
Direct to Garment (DTG) 12+ Pieces Full Color, Half Tones, Shading Cotton, Cotton/ Poly Blends, Tri-Blends, Denim
Digital Squeegee 150+ Pieces Full Color, Half Tones, Shading Cotton, Cotton/Poly Blends, Tri-Blends, Polyester
Simulated Process Screen Printing 200+ Pieces Digital Ink Graphic, Specialty Inks Cotton, Cotton/Poly Blends, Tri-Blends
Embroidery 30+ Pieces 3D Type Graphics, Corporate Logos Cotton, Cotton/Poly Blends, Tri-Blends
Full-Color Heat Transfer Unique Per Project Full Color, High Shine Finish Unique Per Project
Custom Dyed Garments 144+ Pieces PMS Matched Garments Cotton


This tried-and-true process is economical and offers extremely detailed quality. Screen printing offers the perfect combination of quick service and high quality with options to print up to 10 colors. PMS colors and color matching with 90% accuracy is available. Of course, you can screen print on any color garment, however, when making your selection there are first a few things you may want to consider. Any color other than white or natural is considered a dark garment. On dark garments, most designs need a layer of white printed first, so the color inks are visible. This is called an under base and does not bode well for soft-handed printing or metallic inks.

Within traditional screen printing, there are a number of methods we can leverage and use to achieve different variations of print. Depending on the graphic and garment you may want to consider the following types of ink:

    • Plastisol: Standard printing ink, thicker and opaque but will hold small details easily. Typically, the least soft print so different techniques are used to produce a softer feel.
    • Chino: Additive used to make plastisol softer and can be mixed into any Pantone color, it is a little more transparent but will hold detailed artwork well. Most comparable to water-based ink for softness.
    • Water-Based: Will achieve the softest hand possible and more environmentally friendly than plastisol however are thinner and more transparent which will not hold small detail well.
    • Discharge: A water-based ink that bleaches the fabric and deposits the ink in one step. It only works on cotton fibers and cannot achieve a guaranteed Pantone match.

Super soft-hand on dark shirts can come at the expense of bright, accurate color matching.


On light shirts, use chino for designs with detailed elements. Water-based can be used for open logos.



DTG is a very budget-friendly decoration method that can provide full-color graphics at very low quantities. This process is great for full-color graphics on smaller quantity runs where you have a specific budget you need to stay within.


When the budget is flexible this high-quality full-color decoration is hard to beat. Without needing to use pretreatment this allows you to print on a wide variety of fabrics and utilize a significant color range while using fewer screens. This process combines traditional screen printing with DTG allowing for no pretreatment to be used.


High-quality full-color decoration doesn’t have to mean high cost. This decoration technique has many benefits besides being budget-friendly, which is especially the case on a high quantity order. This is great since it allows you to print on a wide variety of fabric types, locations, and allows you to use specialty inks like metallics or glitter.


Digitizing is done with immense attention to detail. Embroidery involves reformatting the artwork, so the sewing machine knows precisely where to lay the stitches on the garment. Sometimes this requires hand-select stitching rather than by machine to enhance the finished product. Design and vision are taken into account and our expert recommendations are made in order to deliver the best product possible.


Full-color heat transfers are great for light and dark garments and go on a variety of substrates. There is no limitation to colors, and the imagery can achieve photo quality.


In some cases, we have the ability to custom dye garments either fully to match a PMS color or in different Tie-Dye designs. For those projects of 144 or higher this can be a fun opportunity to have a more unique garment made for your brand!