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Hello all,

I have been screen printing for about a year and succesfully doing it for about four months. I just have a few things I need to get down in order to be more cost effective. The main one is getting the shirt on the pallet straight. I seem to keep putting them on at an angle and getting a slanted print. It looks good when I put it on, but after I inspect the shirts a good number of them are coming our crooked. I bought new palets with a neck and this helped a lot, but I am still messing up ten percent or more. Is there a trick to this. I was thinking about folding them in half and putting a crease in the center with my heat perss. Is this a good idea?
 

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Maybe if its an issue you could set up a laser to help you align. We got a few off ebay cheap and use them when lining up arkwardly positioned prints.

At least the center line would be visable on top of the shirt giving you a guide.
 

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For the really big shirts, like 4x and 5x, I sometimes lay them on a table first and place an adhesive dot in the center near the bottom. Then when I place it on the pallet I just make sure that I keep the dot on my center line.
 

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Here's our long version:
First, draw a center line on your platen for reference. You can use the center line of the shirt for a guide, but it is not always dead center. Load the shirt onto the platen further into the press than you would print it. Grasp the shirt evenly at the shoulder seams between your thumb and forefinger with your thumbs up. Pull the shirt towards you with a slight elevation while pulling your hands apart making the shirt ever so slightly taut. Drop or place the neckline at the correct location to ensure proper height placement of your image on the shirt. Then, run both index fingers down the side of the platen using the same knuckle on each finger as a guide. With the tip of your index finger, feel for the sleeve seam. If you hit the seam with the same spot on each finger, you are centered. If the seam hits higher or lower on one finger, adjust the shirt to compensate. To adjust, always push the shirt forward and restart the process by grabbing the shoulder seams. if you just grab and pull the shirt to center it, you may be distorting the garment which will result in a wavy or distorted print. Hope this helps.
 

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I have my centerline as two lines and the space between the two as my reference. Some labeled tees have some sort of center within the tag like Gildan
 

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When I got a new press that had larger platens (16" wide) all our slanted prints went away. It is just easier to line up on the larger surface.

Also, I align the shirts by using the armpits where the seams come together to help straighten things out. That seems to help.
 
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