How Many Printing Methods Are There For Cotton Canvas?

Have you ever been curious about how Enviro-Tote gets your artwork transferred onto our custom tote bags? There are actually a few different techniques available in which this is done. The print style that is used will be dependent on a couple of factors: the material the artwork is being printed onto, the detail within the artwork itself, and the way in which the artwork was designed.

Today we are going to talk about printing techniques. Including the various print options Enviro-Tote offers, as well as tips when you are designing your artwork.

Printing Techniques

It is important to remember that canvas is a coarse material. To provide the best results for printing artwork to a custom tote bag, Enviro-Tote offers different printing techniques to ensure the best possible print quality.

Screen Printing

This is the most popular option Enviro-Tote offers, and it is great for vector artwork. Screen printing is the process of pressing ink onto the canvas material through a stenciled screen to create a customized picture or pattern. If you are looking for a higher level of vibrancy or are printing on darker materials, screen printing will more than likely be your best option.

Heat Transfers

The heat transfer process is used for images that were created in pixels and are not easily color separated. This is the best option for highly detailed and multi-color images. Heat transfers are done by creating a digital transfer of your custom design, which is then transferred onto the fabric of your choice through heat and pressure.

Direct to Garment

Direct to Garment printing (or DTG printing) is a process where the ink prints directly onto the canvas material using CYMK printers. A specialty printer is used in this technique, which allows the specialty ink to absorb into the fibers of the canvas.

Designing Your Artwork

The most important part of your custom tote bag – aside from the quality of the product itself – is the artwork or design that you put onto it! Which is why the Enviro-Tote has formulated guidelines to follow when preparing your design.

Some of the more essential items to consider include:

Line Weight

The line weight is a crucial element within each custom design. The weight must be no less than 1.5 pts thick. When printing on 15 oz canvas, a 2 pt. thickness is required at minimum. For printing knockouts on 15 oz, at least a 3 pt. line weight is required.

Color Matching

For screen printing a Pantone Color Matching System is used. All inks print Coated; however, we can color match to an Uncoated color as well. Enviro-Tote also offers special inks and foils. Ask us to find out more!

When color matching for heat transfers, customers have the option to send us a hard copy and can use Pantones. If a hardcopy and Pantones aren’t available, we will match to the file.


A variety of sizes are available for screen printing to tote bags. When you have selected your bag style online, you will find an Art Specs tab located within that specific product page. You can download this reference sheet to use when designing your artwork. Or you can visit the Art Specs page on our website to view the sizing for each available tote bag.

File Formats

Screen printing requires vector artwork in .ai, .eps, or .pdf files. These file formats are typically created within Adobe Illustrator. Occasionally we can accept .bmp, .psd, or .tif files.

Heat transfers and direct to garment printing require a .jpg or .psd file. For optimal resolution, we recommend that the file is at least 300 dpi at print size.

Looking to customize a tote bag order, but aren’t exactly sure where to start or which bag to select? You can always reach out to our Sales Representatives to see how we can assist you with creating the perfect custom tote bag!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *