While checking out Hack a Day, I came across this post on Direct to Garment Printing. What is direct to garment printing you might ask? It’s a bit like digital screen printing. Instead of making a screen and applying one colour at a time, letting it dry in between and having to clean the screens, you put special ink in an ink jet printer and print the design (which could be multi-coloured) directly onto the garment – no transfers.
Now right about now you’re likely thinking, “Awesome, but how do I fit my t-shirt into my ink jet printer? Well that’s the main part of this hack, they go and buy an old Epson printer and tear it apart. They then build a sled type device on a drawer slide and mount the printing hardware on top. The t-shirt is then printed, allowed to dry, and then heat pressed.
According to their comments, the ink seems to last and doesn’t fade after washing. As said above, multi-colour works but their example is simply black. It should be noted that they ordered special inks and refilled some old ink cartridges in order to make this work. Regular ink jet ink does not last!