All-Over printing can be a great addition to your brands t-shirt collection. Now, small business owners can experiment with various design ideas. Many local and popular online print shops now offer all-over printing and print on demand. Don’t limit yourself to one technique. Have fun, take risks and explore the endless possibilities to help your brand flourish.
Zech from Article Reform breaks down 3 techniques that can be used to apply All-over printing.
Sublimation, sometimes referred to as Dye-sublimation is a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a 100% polyester t-shirt fabric. The sublimation name is applied because the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage. Dye sublimation heat transfer imprinting printers, use special inks to create transfers designed to be imprinted on polyester tee shirts.
Pros: Colors are very vibrant, unlimited colors, you don’t need to use halftones for photo art, images are permanent and do not peel or fade much.
Cons: Limited to 100% Polyester or high Poly blends, printer speed is slow.
Belt Printing, is great for 100% Cotton tee shirts. Belt printing can only be done using water based inks up to 6 colors, and not Plastisol which is customarily used in most spot printing. Water base discharge actually discharges the existing dye in the fabric and replaces it with ink that is embedded directly into the fabric. This creates the soft hand after feel of the print, because it is not a plastic ink that is printed on top of the fabric, rather it is ink that has become a part of the fabric itself. Note that seams, collars, cuffs, ribbed collars, seams and other areas not flat will have areas where ink will not be able to penetrate or overcome. This technique cannot be used on polyester blends.
CUT & SEW PRINTING
Cut and Sew Printing, is a more high-end way of printing. This is done before the garment is assembled. You can do this with Sublimation or Water Base printing. For Water Base you will need a 27″x 35″ inch (69cm x 89cm) over sized screen available for front and back tee shirt panels. This process is a bit more costly but the quality of the final product is far superior. You can control the placement of your artwork better especially on the sleeves. Additionally, cut and sew avoids many of the limitations (creasing, blurring, ink wrinkling from seams) you sometimes get from regular blank tee shirts. Cut and sew process produces higher quality results and provides more options for customization to make tee shirts unique and set them apart from the competition. The cut and sew process takes a bit longer in production and have higher minimums than standard Sublimation or Belt Printing. Production lead time can average turnaround time can take 3-5 weeks done domestically.
Article Reform is a creative design source that offers an array of All-over vector designs that can be purchased and applied to your brands products.
If you have any questions for sourcing good manufactures that specialize in All-over printing you can contact Zech at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Elephant Print Vector example shown in this post is available here.