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Going Crazy: screen printing imperfections?

2639 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tgraphics
I am new to the forum and am hooked! I have been in the process of starting a new apparel (mostly tshirts) line for over 1 year. My business is still in my house. My product is very cute and very novel (currently geared towards kids), but somewhat complex. My problem is my product has a screen printed logo (6 colors) as well as an embroidered patch applique. Unfortunately in the two last sample batch runs (approx 70 pieces each), atleast 70% have imperfections from the printers end. Borders around applique are inconsistent, appliques not placed on straight, position of logo too low, etc. My printers seem to have a very successful operation and some major clients. I have been affiliated with my printers for a while and feel I am very invested with them. To walk away at this point would probably set me back 2-3months of launching not to mention additional $$$. Here's my question, my designs have a .25" glitter border around a 3.5"X1.0" patch. Most of the discrepancies on the finished product have been in the uniformity of the border (ie: the right side of the border may be .25" and the left is .15"). Even though these measurement differences sound negligible, they make a significant difference for my product. My printer has suggested that that the shirt contents makes a difference on how the print will come out (ie: ribbed vs. cotton). However, some of my ribbed tanks have come out perfect and some look awful. Since this is my first expereince in the tshirt business, and I am not familiar with the in's and out's workings of a printing shop, I can not understand what exactly is going on. I have supplied my printer with EXACT artwork and call out sheets (at the cost of hiring a graphic designer). I am just so frustrated and don't know what to do. Also, my printer has invoiced me for the samples completed and I am not sure how to handle this since a majority of the samples are not saleable or useable. Any suggestions?
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Re: Going Crazy

How are the garments being printed? Automatic or manual. This could be part of the inconsistent prints.

From my understanding essentially the printer is printing the glitter and then the garments are sent to an embroiderer where the applique is sewn over the print? If correct than

#1 How is the art set up?

Is the print just an outline or a complete filled circle for the applique to lay over?

Might need to print a 2 color for placement purposes in order to get the applique placement correct.

How is the applique being applied?
Manually or with industrial multi head embroidery machines?

As far as every item being 100% dead on is not going to happen with the amouth of applicatios being made. Just look at any t-shirt line out there in the Malls. A stack of the same printed shirts after careful examination you will notice all sorts of issues. Placemt variances, pin holes galore & muddy prints. This happens even with the big guys. This is not an excuse just a reminder that the product even with minor issues might still be considered perfect to the end user who does not know exactly what they should look like.
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Re: Going Crazy

Can you post a pic of one of the garments I'm sure someone would be able to advise on seeing the garments in question. From my experience ribbed garments are always difficult when applying different processes to them. Thats not hard to see why the stretch out then go back into their original shape. You set your garment decorator a hard task with this one!
If the garments are being printed first then embroidered second what a nightmare framming them up and positioning the applique. Let's have a look.
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