Blog Post by Courtney Kubitza
When starting out printing t-shirts, there are a few challenges to overcome. And although using a heat press to print t-shirts is easy to pick up, a couple of mistakes are bound to happen. The most common mishap is how to align or center a graphic. Luckily, there are some simple measures that you can implement in your shop to prevent crooked designs.
Here are my favorite tips for getting graphics straight:
1) Use the Shirt as a Guide
Start out by ensuring the t-shirt is loaded onto the heat press platen straight. One you have the shirt center on the platen, it makes it easier to get the graphic straight.
If you’re threading the t-shirt & printing it upside down (or screen printing style), pull the shirt taut with the bottom platen so the platen is wearing the shirt the way the customer would and make sure the tag is center on the platen.
If you are not treading the shirt, simply line up the tag with the backbone of the heat press.
2) Create Your Own Center Line
Ever pull out a stack of t-shirts from your supplier & notice that they have a nice center crease from the stock fold? A crease down the center makes the perfect alignment tool to find the center of your shirt.
To be sure the crease is in the center of the shirt, consider this technique before lining up your graphic: fold the shirt in half, sleeve to sleeve, and press a center line in the garment using your heat press. This line provides a placement mark for centering designs or positioning them properly for a left or right chest print.
3) Bust Out the Tool Box
When you want complete accuracy, there is no more efficient way to line up graphics then with tools such as a t-square, ruler or laser alignment system. The Laser Alignment System projects up to 4 lasers onto the garment and is perfect for maximum production efficiency and guaranteeing 100% accuracy of the transfer alignment.
Whatever your preference is for lining things up straight, keep it simple and make sure to learn from any crooked transfer mistakes that you make.
Now that you know the top 3 tips for centering a T-shirt graphic, find out the rest by watching the video below.
Have your own favorite tip for centering graphics? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!