8 Tips to Reduce Rework and Rejections in Garment Printing

Do you need to submit samples multiple times for print approvals? If yes, read on following tips.

We were making Tees, Polo Shirts, Fleece jackets with different types of printing. That time I learnt many things to get printing done correctly.

Most of the things I learnt by doing mistakes. Buyer’s comments and buying house merchants helped me a lot to correct those mistakes. If you are working in merchandising or in pre-production and getting issues to get correct printing done for the first time, the following tips will be helpful to you.

1. Follow Right Print Artwork

When you send print artwork (print design) to your printer to develop screens, always check if you have approved the artwork. Don’t send unapproved print artwork. Ask merchants for approved one and wait until you get signed artwork.

2. Check  Artwork Size and Screen Size

In some styles (articles) print image size varies according to garment size. The buyer normally mentions such a requirement in the artwork or in samples. Check techpack thoroughly for such requirements. In case you need, develop multiple screens for different garment sizes. Otherwise, your production will be got delayed.

3. Check Print Placement

While printing is done on garment panels or on the stitched garments ensure that design is printed on right place. Buyer mentions the print placement in the techpack or on the artwork. Most of the buyers give distance for print placement as print position from top and position from side seam. Communicate the print placement to your printer. Don't assume that printer will do it correctly without your clear and written instruction. For critical images you can even develop pattern and mark print placement on it to avoid mistakes.

4. Check Print Direction

Sometimes you might need to follow direction (fabric grain line or off grain) for printing on fabric. In such cases pattern direction and print direction must be taken in consideration. Consult with pattern master (sampling team) when you print (all over print) on fabric roll. 

5. Cutting of Panels

This point is related to printing on garment panels. Prior to cutting of fabric, check if printing can be done on fixed panels. If you are not sure about it consult with your printer. Sometimes you might need to leave extra margin on garment components to ease printing task and also get print placement on desired location. In such cases cut panels in block instead of fixed shape.

6. Approval on Bulk Print Color

It is expected that printer will print design as per color mentioned on the approved sample. But unfortunately in few cases exact color matching (shade matching) is very difficult where color is made manually. There might be other reasons for not getting exact shade. In such case take approval from buyers/buyer representative for the shade variation prior to proceeding bulk printing.

7. Selecting Right Print type 

There are various types (and methods) of printing to print designs on garments. Selecting right option is depends on the desired outcome and raw materials of fabric (Fibre content). To get better outcome and comparative cost check multiple options.

8. Common Tests for Print 

Having correct shade and look of the print design do not mean that everything will be fine. Prior to starting bulk printing, test few print properties in-house. Like - 
(a) Checking wash effect (fastness to washing) after printing. Take couple of printed garment panels and wash those in the washing machine following washing standards. Check color bleeding or if all color are washed out. In case prints are not fast to washing, immediately intimate printers and ask them to improve printing.

(b) Test Curing Effect: Check fastness to curing/heat. Many times base fabric shade gets changed after curing. For few fabrics shrinkage might happen. Take care of these things and incorporate these in bulk processing.

These are few what I had learned. You might also face some difficulties in getting printing done correctly at the first time. Share your thought and learning.

Tell us your secrets to get printing done the right first time.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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