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Posted by AllDayShirts on to Printing Techniques.
Clothing is a $551.36 billion market and has always been one of the only top industries to thrive entirely upon changing psychological trends. The changes in fashion have always pushed designers to find more innovative ways to increase sales and bring about newer models that are then picked up by the industry.
T-shirts have always been one of the most long-standing and basic apparel items that have been in demand forever. Designers have consistently come up with innovative patterns, and prints that have pivoted the idea of fashion for a while now.
Regular tees are still one of the biggest selling apparel items indeed, but as mentioned it is crucial to move with the trend. And that can be noticed by simply looking at the type of clothes worn by youth or the general public as well. Be it colleges, schools, malls, or restaurants; the young and old have taken a massive liking to fleece.
One of the best ways for designers to set their collections apart is to create designs and prints that are distinct and eye-catching. However, it is a challenge to print on fleece fabrics. Unlike the traditional screen printing that is easily carried out by designers, fleece fabric is a bit tough to work with.
Created as a substitute and competition to the ever-rising demand for wool in the 1970s, fleece is not made out of any plant or by rearing an animal. It is produced by using plastic and is a more comfortable version of wool.
Printing on fleece can be hard, compared to its regular T-shirt counterpart. Certain techniques can be followed by designers to create seamless prints on the fabric using the screen printing method.
It is very important to have a clear picture of what exactly it is that you are looking to achieve in a particular apparel. Several factors need to be considered and taken into notice before the printing procedure even starts.
While printing will be comparatively easier on a normal fleece T-shirt or sweatshirt, certain clothing like hoodies, sweatshirts with a different-than-usual design structure, one that includes zips or extra fabric over the original material, etc will require pre-planning.
Certain areas like the seam, the zip region, and under the pocket area should be excluded from being printed upon. Designs that have minuscule features and detailing must be avoided as the fabric might not be able to actualize the design due to its material.
Shrinking, while usual in many kinds of fabrics, is the most prominent in fleece. The entire design plan will be ruined if the fabric shrinks. This is almost assured to happen while it is exposed to the extreme heat in the flash cure unit.
Even a bit of shrinkage will flaw the registration and end up in the fabric being wasted due to unsatisfactory printing. Several methods can be considered to ensure that this doesn't happen.
Some printers feature a flash cure station before the first color station or dry an entire lot of fleece before the printing process begins. While an underbase ink that is fast curing can also be considered, pre-shrinking the fabric before printing would ensure a smoother, better process.
Choosing an ink is dependent on the kind of print result you are looking to achieve. There are two primary ink types that can be opted for printing, which is water-based and plastisol.
Water-based inks are the eco-friendlier option but are difficult to use efficiently. It might take some practice to get it exactly as one would want it. However, the ink feels smooth and like it is a part of the fabric itself. Plastisol, on the other hand, is used majorly for those materials that require brighter, bolder prints as the result. To get the optimal result, a flash cure in between two passes is advised.
When working with a thick fabric like fleece, the distance between the fabric and screen should be more. This is to achieve the desired crisp print and to capture the entire screen properly. While adjusting accordingly is the best idea, it is a good choice to consider using double the usual off-contact distance while printing heavier apparel like sweatshirts or hoodies.
This is simply caused due to the fabric being a polyester blend. The dyes that seep into the cloth during the heating process can be avoided by simply using a low-bleed ink that is less exposed to dye mitigation while it is being cured.
The moisture in fabrics like fleece is more prominent and takes a longer time to go away due to its dense feature. Slowing down the belt on the dryer will result in an extended curing time that will allow the apparel to dry for a longer time. Once done, it would be a good idea to check the temperature of the ink as soon as it is out of the dryer once cured. Make sure that the temperature set on the dryer is not above the 320-degree threshold as it may risk causing the fabric to overheat or get scorched.
Some of the best choices of fleece apparel can be found at our store itself. Top-quality hoodies and sweatshirts that you can design accordingly. Some of the top choices would be:
Gildan Adult Heavy Blend 8 oz 50-50 Fleece Crew- Made from pill-resistant air jet yarn with double-needle stitching throughout and set-in sleeves, the Gildan G180 is a classic casual that offers durability and comfort you can rely on to get you through your everyday life. Offering 42 color options, including safety orange that is ANSI-ISEA compliant, and sizes ranging from S-5XL, the Gildan G180 wholesale fleece sweatshirts are a solid choice.
Bella Canvas Women's Cropped Fleece Hoodie- For all those girls who are looking to bring a fashion-forward look, this cropped hoodie is definitely the top pic. Available in several attractive shades, it is a heavyweight (7.0 oz) hoodie that is stitched with premium quality soft fabric
Bella Canvas Unisex Sponge Fleece Pullover Hoodie- This unisex sponge fleece pullover is the perfect addition to the wardrobe that both men and women have been looking for. Perfect for daily use due to its comfort and soft feel, this hoodie features ribbed cuffs and cozy kangaroo pockets that one will definitely not want to miss out on.
Catering to consumers and the latest trends is the only sure-shot way of being successful in the industry. At such a point where fleece-based clothing is in high demand, it is necessary for the designers to be skilled at screen printing on fleece. These tips mentioned here are sure to help. So, adhere to them and get that perfect print you desire with no room for error.