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a white shirt that says camp on it on a press

The Key to Loading a Shirt Perfectly Every Time

Sliding a shirt on a platen. Should be easy, right? Not quite. Loading a shirt perfectly is a skill needs continuous practice. By knowing a few tricks, you may find that rhythm sooner rather than later. Let's check out the different ways to load a shirt straight every time.

SETUP

Before you even begin loading shirts onto a press, you need to set up your space. Have a table or a cart right next to you at the press to hold the stack of shirts you plan to print. Whether you lay the shirts tag side up or face down on the table is completely up to you. The process for both is similar. Try out both to see which works best with your methods.

RELATED: HOW TO GET PERFECT POCKET PLACEMENT ON PRESS

jonathan picking up a gold shirt to load onto a press

Photo by Golden Press Studio.

THE CENTER CREASE

You have probably noticed when you pull out a box of shirts, the shirts have what appears to be a center crease line down the shirt. This is NOT a center line, but it does work as a starting point. Just don’t make the mistake of using it as a true center of the shirts when you load onto your platen.

a bunch of shirts in a shop

Photo by Carpy's Print Co.

THE ROCKING MOTION

One of the more popular methods is the rocking motion to load a shirt. Pick up the shirt from the bottom and place the fingers on the side-seams,, making the fabric tight between your hands. Then you rock the shirt forward onto the platen. As you rock back, pull your hands with your body and tug on the shoulder seams to center your shirt.

RELATED: ADVICE ON PURCHASING WHOLESALE SHIRTS

a stack of shirts by a roq press

Image by Floodway Print Co.

THE PEDAL (AUTOMATIC PRESSES)

Although the process of loading a shirt is the same for automatic presses and manual presses, the pedal feature on an auto increases speed. The pedal pauses the press to allow you to load a shirt. Once you have the rocking motion down for loading, you incorporate the pedal. As you begin the rocking forward motion with the shirt, press your foot down on the peddle pausing the press. Rocking back you lift your foot to allow the arms to swing you the next open platen.

To load a shirt properly, you just need to rock it out (or put the pedal to the metal). Hopefully this article helps improve your production and produce better prints. 

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