The Challenges of Screen Printing on Two-Ply Garments

13 September, 2015

 

EZ Corporate Clothing

While t-shirts might be the most commonly screen printed garment, we have a lot of options at EZ Corporate Clothing. T-shirts are very straightforward since we work with them everyday, but sometimes other garments require a few tricks to get the printing right. What happens when a garment a customer wants screen printed is constructed with two fabric layers, or two-ply? Sounds like a printing disaster waiting to happen, but luckily we have a solution.

Bayside Pocket Tee-Shirt - EZ Corporate Clothing
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First, let's talk about two-ply garments. This refers to any garment made up of two layers of fabric as can be commonly seen in windbreakers, sweatshirts, or even shirts with a front pocket. The two layers of fabric are typically sewn together at the seams allowing them to move freely against each other. This secondary layer is great for keeping you and your employees warm, but not so great when you're trying to adhere ink.


So what, exactly, is the problem with screen printing on a two-ply garment? First, we'll explain the screen printing process on a regular t-shirt. The garment is placed on a screen printing pallet. A squeegee then comes down and drags the ink across the garment. This works perfectly fine for a garment with just one layer of fabric, but when you add a second layer that can move independently of the bottom layer, this pushing motion can create a problem. This top layer of fabric will stick to the screen and move around making precise application of ink impossible.

What's the solution? We bring in clamps that are placed over the garment once the garment is placed on the pallet. The clamps hold the garment (both layers of fabric) in place so that the squeegee can move effortlessly over the garment. However, as with most workarounds, there is one drawback. Since we have to apply these clamps, the printable area shrinks a bit. However, We can still very easily print an almost full back and a left chest design without issue.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about the screen printing process. Have questions? Want to place an order? Give us a call at 1-877-304-1899.

-Michelle Giuseffi

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