We may still be sweating through the summer months, but Fall and Winter are just around the corner. That means, time to pull out your hoodies, jackets, and sweatshirts!
T-shirts are the most common garment that a printer will find themselves printing on. Many printers never stray from the world of t-shirts, so when a sweatshirt finds its way onto their platen, it can be a little confusing.
Garments like sweatshirts, jackets, and hoodies are usually made of a thicker material, and will sometimes have a fleece lined interior lining that you have to contend with. You can handle this pretty easily by adjusting your off-contact, and using the right kind of spray adhesive.
For setting your off contact, there’s lots of ways to do it. You’re looking to get your off contact to about twice what it normally is. There are a lot of printers who will used a piece of cardboard or some stacked coins to set the off-contact. One way to get what you need is to simply double whatever you’re using for measurement, whether its coins, cardboard, or something else. Another method is putting one of the hoodies you’re to print on the platen, then set your off-contact like you usually would. This will give you the extra thickness you need so you can successfully print the thicker garments.
As for the fleecy inside, you’ll have to worry about your hoodie sliding around. If it moves too far out of place, you can get crooked or poorly aligned prints. Try a stronger adhesive such as our Water-Based Pallet Adhesive. It can counteract the soft fleece on the inside, and help keep your shirt in place. As with any adhesive, be careful not to use too much!
One last thing to keep in mind is the physical boundaries of your sweatshirt or hoodie. Does it have a front, low pocket? Are there any zippers to print on or around? From the artwork stage, plan for any of these potential hurdles. And, as with any job, make sure you do an initial test print! This is a perfect place to check your off-contact, see if you’re using the right amount of spray adhesive, and then just to see how the print turns out! After curing, give it a stretch and a wash test to make sure the cure is good, and that you’re happy with the final product. If the printer approves, the customer probably will too!
Check out this video with Josh Wells as he talks a little more about printing on these thicker garments!