Printing Dos and Donts
If you are new to garment printing the tips listed below might save you some potential frustration. With many different combinations of garment style and ink there are known issues that can arise during the printing process. Take a look at the tips below to get an idea of the dos and don’ts of garment printing before you plan your order. If any of this seems confusing however, please do not hesitate in contacting us with any of your questions or concerns!
Why not to Print over seams or zippers
When printing garments using any kind of method, whether it be direct-to-garment or screen printing, we get the best results when printing on a completely flat surface. When loading the garment onto the press we lay it across something called a pallet before it is printed. Ideally we would be printing across the smooth, centre portions of the shirt that lay flatly across these pallets. However if you are wanting to print over a seam or zipper it creates uneven bumps that cause the ink to pool messily. The ink may also might not get proper coverage and look like part of the design is missing. Additionally, printing over a sharp, metal zipper may cause our screens to rip which is obviously something we want to avoid.
Potential Problems with ribbed garments
Ribbed garments are great for sports or exercise activities in that they are stretchy and form fitting. However, if you choose these type of garments for custom printing the ribbing can also present some issues in terms your print’s durability. When the garment is printed the ink is applied and cured when it is laid out flat and not being stretched in any kind of major way. When you stretch the garment afterwards the ribbing will separate and cause the ink to tear creating noticeable linear gaps in your design. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it is definitely something to be aware of.
Potential issues with hoodies
Hoodies are one of the more common types of garments that we print, however there are also a number of issues that can arise with hoodie printing. We will do our best to circumvent these issues but there are still many factors that are good to be aware of your end when creating your design and setting up your order.
Double-lined hoodies are only really suitable for single colour prints with no white underbase. As the two layers are prone to moving around between hits of inks, designs that are multiple colours will be misprinted on double-lined hoodies.
Due to their heavier fabric and greater propensity for large pocketed areas, hoodies often require a bit more glue to keep them flat across our printing pallets. Most of the time this will be in no way discernible when you pick up your garments, but if it seems a bit sticky this will go away after a single wash.
What garments Don‘t de-tag or custom tag well
A very common thing that many of our clients are looking for is the ability to take the clothing manufacturers neck tag out of their garments and have their own branded size information printed in its place. Most manufacturers make this easy for you by crafting their tags in such a way that they are easy to completely take out. However, you should also be aware that there are also a large number of manufacturers or particular garment styles that do lend themselves to de-tagging and/or inside tag printing.
Alternative and American Apparel Garments: These tags are sewn in such a way that they leave a little bit of the tag behind underneath the neckline seam.
Fleece Garments: The inside of fleece garments is very fuzzy and rough and does not lend itself to printing a custom printed sizing information. Additionally many fleece garments have been sewn in such a way as to leave a bit of the tag underneath the seam after you try to remove it.
large prints across multiple garment sizes/styles
Although we have a maximum print size of 14 x 16 inches, this does not work across all garment style and sizes. If your order contains women’s and children‘s garments the total width of your print needs to be considered as the torsos of these garments typically is smaller than unisex garments. Additionally, if your order contains a mix of necklines (crewnecks, polos, tank tops, etc.) then the placement and total height of your print needs to be considered as well.
Ink opacity on Tri-Blend Fabrics
Typically to create bright, opaque colours we need to print and cure a white underbase and then print the actual desired colour over top. To achieve this a large amount of heat is required to dry the white ink and then to also dry the coloured ink that is layered over it. On 100% cotton this is not really anything to worry about as it is quite heat resilient but on tri-blend garments this can potentially lead to the shirt getting burned. For this reason we heavily recommend a more soft hand or vintage look to prints going on tri-blend garments. This is achieved by softening the ink and printing only a single layer with no white underbase.
If you are unsure about anything related to your print projects, here are some extra helpful links. These explain a little bit more about our printing processes and apparel pricing. Additionally, you can generate a quote on any product page and we’ll get back to you. Alternatively you can contact us by phone or email and we will happy to answer any questions you may have.