How do you line up T-Shirts for Screen Printing

Sort T-shirts by size for preparation

First of all, the T-shirts should be sorted by size and stacked by size, i.e. from large to small or vice versa. If the shirts are still different colours and you need to use different print colours, then of course we sort by colour and size and not just by size. This is because it is easier to adjust the print position later than to change the screen print colour.

Choose a spot to line up shirts

The stack of T-shirts should be close to the pallet to be loaded so that you can easily reach it without having to take an extra step or even twist when moving it. We used trolleys on wheels to get a good height straight away, because if they are stacked too low you have to bend and that should be avoided. But these trolleys also made it easy to move the stacks of T-shirts without getting tired or lifting too much.

Not a great picture, but it gives the idea.

Position T-shirts on the printing palette

First mark the position on the palette where you want to place the T-shirt. Then adjust the frames for the screens. In general, the distances are about the same. This way you know where in the frame the film will be developed. This will ensure that the screen frames will fit on the pallet.

To pull the T-shirt over the pallet, grab the end of the T-shirt and pull it over the pallet. This means that if you print the front of the T-shirt, the front will be over the pallet and the back will be under the pallet. And if you print the back, it’s the other way round.

When you have pulled the T-shirt over, measure with your fingers the distance from the neck to the edge of the pallet to see if it is in the middle, and do the same on the button of the T-shirt. It will be much easier if your T-shirt has a side to it. If not, you can follow the texture of the knit as it should go straight down. If you see that it runs to the side at the bottom, it means that the shirt has not been pulled straight up.

Print position for left chest Logo Print

The print position for the logo is determined as follows. Take the centre of the T-shirt and measure from there to where the logo starts. This final position depends on the size of the design. but always from the centre, not from the side of the t-shirt. furthermore, the position changes with the size of the t-shirt, the bigger the t-shirt, the more the print moves away from the centre. see the picture below. And the height is always measured from the centre of the neckline.

Print Position for back T-shirt Print

For the design that is usually printed on the back, measure the top centre. Again, take the centre of the shirt and measure from the neckline down, as shown in the picture below. Again, the height changes from where the print starts. XL is always lower than e.g. Small.

We mark the centre of the panel on the pallet. We place the T-shirt on the palette and position the film of the logo in the right place on the T-shirt to be printed. Now we mark the upper edge of the T-shirt for the T-shirt size (see Final Position Marking) and mark the palette there. The same is marked for all T-shirt sizes on the palette, see illustration.

Marking the back design on the palette

Drag the T-shirt onto the palette as you did with the logo, place the design you want to print on the T-shirt (as a film, for example) where you want it, and mark the palette again for all the T-shirt sizes.

Now you should be able to tell your customer what information you need to know to know where to place the print. And you should now understand how to position the print on the screen printing palette. Good luck!

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35 years of screen printing have taught me a lot. I would like others to benefit from this as well. I strive for accuracy, use professional writing aids, and personally review all content. Affiliate links marked with (#) support my work without incurring additional costs. If you have a question or suggestion, please leave a comment. Thank you for your support!

Over the decades, I've had the privilege of printing for a range of clients, from startups to recognized brands like:

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