Why Not To Print Over Seams, Pockets, or Zippers( Back to Top )
To get the best quality print when screen printing, we need as flat of a surface as possible between the pallet on the press and the screen. The front and back of shirts are consistently smooth and the same thickness which allows us to get a perfect print every time. When you print over a seam/pocket/zipper, it creates an inconsistency as these are thicker portions of the garment. For hooded sweatshirts, we do have special pallets that have indentations for the zipper and pocket seams but not every sweatshirt is exactly the same. When you print over these portions of garments, it creates a gap in the print where the ink in the screen does not hit the shirt due to the ridge caused by the seam. It looks something like this:
We do our absolute best to give you the highest quality print possible, but when a garment goes over the seams, we cannot accept responsibility for any negative effects caused by this issue.
Why Not To Print On Ribbed Garments ( Back to Top )
Ribbed garments provide the best form fit of all blank shirts as they stretch to meet the size of the individual wearing them. This is great the for final consumer but makes printing them a problem. When you pull a ribbed garment onto the press, it is not stretched out, so the ink only goes on the top of the ribs. Then when the shirt is put on, the ink pulls apart, exposing a gap between the ribs that is not printed. We can apply more pressure on the press to try to force the ink into the gaps, but then it limits the amount of detail that is actually shown on the garment. Due to these issues, we strongly suggest that you do not print on ribbed garments.
What Colors Don't Discharge Well ( Back to Top )
Recently in our shop we did some testing to find out what colors worked and what colors didn’t when using discharge inks. Due to the intensity/amount of the dye they use to make the shirts bright and vibrant, the following shirts do not work well when using discharge ink or our Premium Standard Ink: Kelly Green, Red, Royal Blue, Lapis, Cobalt, Purple, Forest, Teal, and Turquoise. If you are going to print on these shirt colors, please note that lighter colors like white and yellow will be influenced by the shirt color remaining underneath.
What Shirts Don't Work Well With Jumbo Prints ( Back to Top )
Jumbo prints account for approximately 50% of all orders placed at our shop. People want as big of a print as possible. With standard unisex or mens tees, this is no problem. There are some shirts that have some issues with jumbo prints:
- Tank Tops (Most tanks are low cut at both the neckline and the sleeves. Printing jumbo prints on these garments can cause print defects from printing over the seams).
- V-Necks (The neck line of the v-neck may cut into the design. Take this into account when you are designing your shirt).
- Girls Tees (Jumbo pallets are wider than the girls tees, meaning to get the tee onto the press, we have to stretch the shirt. This causes several issues: possible ripped shirts, loss of form from stretching past normal means, a distorted image due to stretching the shirt, and the design being cut off the bottom/sides of the shirt).
NOTE: Any print that goes over a seam can result in imperfections in the print. (Which can be very cool-looking, if you're into that.)
What Garments Don't Show Detail Well ( Back to Top )
With the modern advancements in screen printing (including high mesh count screens and specialty presses) we can recreate a level of detail with tees that was previously unattainable just 5-10 years ago. There are some garments though, due to their construction, that don't work well with detail. They are:
- Ribbed garments
- Canvas material (aprons/bags/etc.)
- Burnout tees
- Pique polos
These items do not work well with detail is because they are not smooth like standard t-shirts.
Why Isn't Every Garment Perfect? ( Back to Top )
Contrary to popular belief, most t-shirts are not made by giant machines, they're sewn together in facilities by hand. Due to the human element, not every shirt will be 100% correct. You may have two large shirts that are both the same style but one may have a slightly different cut. Being that Threadbird does not make the shirts, we only order them from the manufacturer/distributor, we cannot guarantee that every garment will be made correctly. We try our best to catch these issues before sending the shirts to you, but sometimes these defects can slip through. You may find a hole in your tee or may see a seam that isn't sewn up the way it should. If you do find any items with holes or rips in them, please let us know and we will work with you on refunding you for them. We cannot refund any shirts due to the fit of the tee.
What Issues Will Arise in Printing Hoodies ( Back to Top )
Hoodies are one of the more difficult garments to print on, but they are also one of the best sellng items during the winter. Here are some of the issues you will need to be aware of when printing hoodies:
- Double lined hoodies can only print 1 color ink and no underbase. They slide around on the press so we cannot print multiple colors.
- Pockets on hoods have to be glued down to print over them. Due to this issue, when you receive your hoods, they may still have some of the glue spray in the pockets. This should wash out after one wash.
- Prints on the hood itself vary based on what brand of hood you are printing on. You may have to heat press the design onto the hood if it is double lined. Only the single lined hoods work with hood prints.
- We do have special pallets that have indentations for the zipper and pocket seams but not every sweatshirt is exactly the same. When you print over these portions of garments, it creates a gap in the print where the ink in the screen does not hit the shirt due to the ridge caused by the seam.
- When you print over the seams, it can throw the registration off. You may see white poking out from under the design.
- Hoodies are thick fabric and soak up a lot of ink. The color of the hood will often times influence the ink colors. To get the highest quality print when going over zippers &/or pockets we recommend using a 100% cotton or 80/20 blend hoodie and use all discharge colors so there is no underbase.
- When printing hoodies, we cannot mix them with regular tees on an order as they require a different set of equipment and settings on the printing press. If you would like to order the same design on both shirts and hoodies, you would have to order it as if they were two separate designs.
What To Do Differently on Tri-Blend Tees ( Back to Top )
Flash units on presses burn the tri-blend material, so tri-blend shirts are not underbased. Please take this into account when you order them. Without an underbase, tri-blend tees will have a faded/vintage look which is what the shirts were intended for. When printing tri-blends we always recommend using either 100% waterbase ink or a waterbase discharge ink to get the softest print possible. If you don't use waterbase ink, your only real option is plasitsol ink. Threadbird recommends that you only opt for a tri-blend tee if you are looking for a soft shirt with a soft print.