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Choosing the Right Shirt for Screen Printing

Survival of the fittest!
So, let's say you need some T-shirts screen printed. The artwork is complete, so you just have to order your go-to red T-shirts, and you are ready to go. Right?
Wrong! There is much more to consider when choosing blanks than simply color. When it comes to screen printing, what matters most is the material.

Some of the most popular material choices for apparel screen printing today include 100% cotton, 100% polyester, cotton/polyester blends, and 50% polyester, 25% cotton and 25% rayon tri-blends. Different materials possess different qualities and may yield different results when screen printed. Some colors and materials may be better suited for specific printing techniques than others or require special inks in order for the artwork to appear correctly after printing.

Naturally, the more pricey the garment, the better quality material it's constructed from. The better the  material is constructed, the better the product it suited for screen printing. For instance, carded open end cotton is cheap to produce and possesses stray fibers that interrupt its ability to be imprinted, whereas combed and ring-spun cotton is more expensive, but stray fibers occur much less. A high thread count and a smooth, uniform knit make it possible to keep fine detail in your design once it is transferred to the fabric.

If working with a tight budget, you may need to sacrifice quality for quantity in order to get the job done. However, just because you are mindful of your money does not mean that you should go for the cheap shirts that no one wants to wear. Quality material not only imprints better, but also feels better and last longer than cheaper alternatives. Regardless of the job, it is best to define your needs, do some research, and know your options. There are many brands out there that offer shirts for screen printing at various prices and qualities.

Another point to consider is the fit or style of the shirt. Does a basic T-shirt work, or do your needs steer you towards a more fashionable, fitted shirt? Think about the artwork as well. Some shirts may be more appropriate for specific designs than others. The weight of the material may also be an important factor in choosing apparel for various reasons, but it alone does not typically affect print quality.

There may be more to making your garment choice than what has been covered. Factors such as preference for name brands, USA made products, and organic options may affect final decisions as well. Some garments may not be readily available during certain periods. Consult with both your customer and your screen printer to produce a rock solid plan for every job. After analyzing your situation, defining your needs, and choosing a product that fits those needs, it's time to get the things printed!

This post first appeared on Screen Graphix, please read the originial post: here

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Choosing the Right Shirt for Screen Printing


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