The trends in screen printing are always changing. One of the latest and most popular right now is oversized and all over printing. Before these kinds of prints could only be achieved by a belt printer which is an automatic press where the shirt is put on a special pallet and allows to print full coverage multi color designs front and back. One of the many problems with this is there isn’t many belt printers out there to begin with. It’s very expensive, all over designs are a lot harder to work with, and it usually has a 144 pc minimum order. Also most belt printers dont even want to deal with small orders and clients. They give most of their focus to large brandcompanies who order 1000’s at a time. At Four Ambition, we dont have a belt printer, but we do have a method we use to create all over prints on a manual press using waterbased, discharge, and thinned down plastisol inks.
To output the films, we have to tile and splice together our films because most films are only 18 inches wide and then lay out the film on a flat shirt and see how it compares to smalls to extra larges because the design size will stay the same and bleed off the small sized shirts. We then have to special order a 42×48 screen and have specialy made with our print ready films. See below an example of a all over design on a small compared to a extra large
Once the screen is made, its time to print! We lay out the shirt on a special neoprene pad and pallet, from Vastex, so when the print runs over the seams, it will push in and create a nicely even print. We can use waterbased inks that leaves a very soft hand feel that works best when the ink color is darker than the shirt color. Discharge printing is also a type of waterbased printing that actually discharges the color of the shirt and leaves the printed design an off white. Also color pigments can be added to the discharge to create colors within the discharge (works best with 100% cotton tees). We can also use thinned down plastisols that still leave a very soft feel depending on the ink and shirt colors.
This process is generally used for 1 color printing or using it as a background design because once printed and the screen is lifted up, the shirt somewhat sticks to the back of the screen making multi color registration fairly difficult. We can then print another smaller or oversized multi color design right overtop the All Over background design!
Tips and Considerations
When printing areas of solid color, specifically around the seams, armpits, and collars, it can leave misprints in the design due to folds and unevenness in the fabrics. The best way to get around this is do a distressed style design in that area or the whole design so the inconsistencies arent as noticeable. You must also be aware that this method is not a wrap design. The front is printed and if so desired, the back may be printed with same or different design. It is not printed all in one pass or motion. One of the best tips is to know your ink types, ink and shirt colors. Printing black or dark inks on white or light colored shirts is the best and easiest because a less amount of ink is needed to get coverage. Also when doing this, higher mesh screens are used, which means the prints will be a lot sharper and more detail will be achieved! Watch our video below done by Indigo Life Media and see it in action! Dont forget to subscribe to our youtube channel and catch all our future videos.
Hope that helps give some insight on ALL OVER printing and if you have any questions or need a quote, feel free to contact us!