BIDBI Guide to Print Techniques

  • 2nd December 2020

At BIDBI we print cotton bags for a wide range of businesses. Our expertise lies in ensuring the finished product to looks amazing. Whether that’s a clean one colour logo, a bright and bold slogan, or a gorgeous full colour artwork- we can print it all.

To achieve the best print finish for everyone we offer a wide range of print techniques.

Our account managers are always happy to help you decide which print technique would be best for your design. But in case you want to have a look yourself here is the ultimate guide to printing techniques at BIDBI.

Screen printing

Screen printing also known as silk screen printing or serigraphy is a traditional print technique which has been around for centuries. Screen printing is when ink is pushed through a stencilled mesh screen, which has been placed above a garment, which creates a printed design.

A separate stencil is made from each colour of the image, the ink is pushed through each stencil to build up the whole final design with all the colours.

Ink is mixed for each print job, so the ink colour is mixed just for you, so this means that pantone colour matching is possible. We can also add glitter to the ink, foil, or make florescent ink.

Cost is an important factor with screen printing. Since BIDBI’s minimum order quantity is 100 units screen printing can be really cost effective. Because the screen is a one-time cost, each additional unit lowers the overall price per unit.


-          Choice of numerous specialist inks; foil, glitter, florescent etc.

-          Can achieve vibrancy in the colours

-          Inks can be mixed to match specific pantones

-          Doesn’t fade easily and is durable

-          Ability to print on any fabric or substrate


-          Limited to the number of colours you can print

-          The print can be felt as the ink is layered onto the canvas

-          Colour blending is harder to achieve

Digital Printing

Digital printing also known as heat transfer printing is when an image is heat transferred onto your bag or garment.

Your exact image or design is printed onto transfer paper and is heat pressed so the design transfers and sticks to the item.

Digital printing is perfect for very intricate designs as an exact image can be replicated on a garment and can include fading, overlap or gradient. This technique is ideal if you are printing photographs or you are replicating a complicated piece of artwork.


-          Can create intricate photographic prints

-          Not limited to the number of colours in your design

-          Great alternative if your artwork cannot be screen printed


-          Digital printing cannot print white

-          Cannot print on jute or JUCO bags

-          Cannot be printed onto darker bags


DTG or Direct to Garment printing is a fairly modern technique, the ink is printed directly on to the fabric in the same way an inkjet printer prints onto paper. The garment is then heat pressed to seal the print onto the fabric.

The printer uses CMYK ink which gives a much wider range of colours than other ink systems.  When it comes to gradients with smooth transitions, details such as fine lines, skin tones, digital printing is the best choice.

DTG printing doesn’t cost that much set up, which means that it is a more cost-effective option for printing small batches or single items.


-          Perfect for small runs of 100

-          Full colour photographic prints are possible

-          The print feels like the fabric


-          Limited to which fabric types you can print on

-          Colour vibrancy isn’t as good as screen printing

-          Cannot pantone match colours exactly

-          Colours will fade eventually


DST (digital screen technologies) combines both screen and digital printing. We use DST to print full colour images onto coloured or darker fabrics. It has unmatched colour accuracy and a durable finish.

If you have an artwork file with full colour or photographic detail and wish for it to be printed onto a non-light fabric, then DST is for you.


-          Full colour photographic prints are possible

-          It is possible to print on dark fabrics 

-          Great colour accuracy


-          Limited to which fabric types you can print on, no Jute or JUCO

-          Not as cost effective as other print methods on small orders

Edge to edge

Our edge to edge printing is slightly different from the rest of our print techniques as it prints the cotton canvas before it has been made into the final product. By doing this we are able to cover the cotton in your design, so it is sewn right to the edge with no outline or white space as there would be using the other print techniques.

The edge to edge printer works the same way an inkjet printer would work, by the cotton going through the industrial sized printer and your design being printed onto the large roll of cotton ready to be sewn into your chosen item.


-          Edge to edge printing

-          Full colour photographic prints are possible

-          The print feels like the fabric

-          Can be sewn into any design you wish

-          Washable, durable print

-          Perfect for repeat patterns


-          Limited to which fabric types you can print on

-          Less cost effective than other print methods as full UK manufacturing is more costly