7. COLOR
(THINGS DON’T LOOK RIGHT?)

Unfortunately some inks are not as opaque as we would like them to be, especially light colors like white, yellows, and fluorescents. The problem is that if printed on a dark colored shirt the garment color will show through, affecting the print color. This will make the print less vibrant.  A way to fix the issue is to print a layer of white under the color (we call it an under-base). This will prevent the print color from changing, making the print as vibrant as it should be. Make sure you know if the printer does this or not - they may sneak in an extra fee if you’re not careful. 


6. DYE MIGRATION
(STILL DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT?)

Printing on polyester fabrics creates a unique set of issues: Poly fabrics are dyed differently than cotton or natural fiber fabrics; poly fibers are smooth and impermeable; and the dyes are bound to the poly fibers with heat. Why is this a problem? We use heat to cure, or dry, the ink on the garments. The extreme heat from the curing process releases the dye from the fibers which then goes into the ink! This changes the color of the ink. Oh no! Some areas might bleed more than others creating a blotchy discolored look.  


5. CURING
(DESIGN CRACKS AND FLAKES?)

Plastisol ink is used in 99% of printing. It is very durable and flexible. The thing about it is that in order for it to dry and bond to the garments it needs to be cured in and oven at 350° for 60 seconds. Sometimes when printers are overloaded with orders or don’t keep a close eye on the oven, the garments will move through too fast or the temperature might be off. When this happens the ink won’t cure properly causing the print to crack or flake off.

To make sure that the ink on your apparel is cured properly, stretch part of the print. If it cracks the ink is not cured.  Make sure to do this BEFORE the garment goes through the wash. Even washing the apparel properly causes some wear on the print. This may affect the results of the test. 


4. REGISTRATION
(ARE THE COLORS LINED UP?)

4.png

An obvious sign that the printer you are using is bad is if the colors don’t line up on the shirts. It could be bad artwork, bad printing or both, perhaps due to laziness or poor quality control. This will reflect poorly on your business if your customer doesn’t like the way their order turned out. Chances are if the printer allowed that type of product to go out once, they probably don’t care enough to reprint it. And would you really want them to if they did an atrocious job the first time?


3. PROOFS
(TO APPROVE OR NOT TO APPROVE?)

3.png

Proofs are important in this industry. They allow you and your customer to know exactly what you’re getting. Logo placement, sizing, garment styles, and color combos should be presented properly to ensure everything is up to snuff. Are you getting a complete look at your products before they go into production? If not, you may not be getting what you need.


2. CONSISTENCY
(DO THE COLORS MATCH?)

There are lots of different manufacturers of inks out there. Each one has there own hues and shades. If you have an order with embroidery and print decorations how can you be sure that the colors will match? The best way to do this is to get PMS color profiles and make sure your decorator can accommodate. This will ensure the blue thread will look the same as the blue print and the blue heat press vinyl. Consistency and attention to detail will make your customer happy.


1. QUALITY CONTROL
(NOTHING ELSE MATTERS)

If the decorator you use has good quality control nothing else will matter. They will catch the misspelled names, wrong numbers for the players, the off registration, all of it. You shouldn’t have to hope that your order will be okay this time. It should be flawless every time. Don’t settle for anything less. There is no reason your customers should get anything less than what they’ve payed for.