How to Print on Nylon Windbreakers  | Screenprinting.com

Printing on nylon is a struggle. Many variables and differences in the material can make print jobs difficult. Once you get the process right, it’s a cinch. Jonathan Overmyer at Golden Press Studio walks through how to print on nylon windbreakers using their original shirt design.

Printing on windbreakers is more challenging than printing on other garments. Jonathan uses a gold shimmer ink to print his design: the first design Golden Press Studio created for their shop merchandise . He prints on both the front and back of the windbreaker, using a large print on the back and a left chest print on the front because “nobody wants to print across some buttons.”

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TOOLS AND TIPS

To print on windbreakers, you’ll need a product called epic hugger catalyst. You’ll want to use it for two reasons. The smoothness of the nylon and its waterproof feature make it challenging for the ink to create a bond with the fabric and adhere to it. The hugger catalyst acts as glue to help the ink bond to the windbreaker. There’s a debate as to whether or not you should remove the waterproof coating of a windbreaker or similar garment with rubbing alcohol before printing on it. For this project, Jonathan doesn’t remove it and hasn’t had any issues. Most waterproof garments offered to decorators can be printed on without removing the waterproofing. 

To prepare the ink for printing, Jonathan determines the amount of ink he’ll need to print the job. He then mixes the catalyst with the ink. You’ll need 10% by weight of the catalyst. Jonathan uses 200 grams of gold shimmer ink, and adds 20 grams of the catalyst. 

Mix the ink, and be ready to print soon. The epic hugger catalyst, like other catalysts, begins to thicken over time. The mixed ink will have an optimal window of four to eight hours.

The mesh count Jonathan chooses is 110. This mesh count is recommended for shimmer inks, because it allows the shimmer flakes to pass through the screen.

Printing on a press

Image by Golden Press Studio

CLEANUP

As always, cleaning your screens as soon as possible after a job is important. As the ink hardens over time, it will bond to the mesh. Do yourself a favor and clean all of your supplies used for the job right after you’re finished.

RELATED: BEST PRACTICES FOR CLEANING INK OFF SCREENS

FINISHED PRODUCT

The limited-edition windbreakers come out looking fresh. Because of the epic hugger catalyst, they’ve passed a scratch test and wash test with flying colors.

man wearing windbreaker

Image by Golden Press Studio

Once Golden Press Studio’s windbreakers run out, they’re gone. Get one here while they’re hot!

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