The Best Practices for Printing on Tie Dye Blank Clothing

The Best Practices for Printing on Tie Dye Blank Clothing

Tie dye is a trend that has been around for a long time now. Over the years, there has been a fashion love-hate relationship with it. The love quotient, however, is on the rise.  

While tie dye has a psychedelic and fun look on its own, combined with great graphic designs they become really unique and colorful garments. Printed tie dye apparel is an excellent way to attract new customers to your clothing store, while offering them a novel fashion experience. 

Things to consider for tie dye printing and production

Evaluating what your customers are looking for when purchasing tie dye is essential. The kaleidoscopic characteristics of each shirt is the main factor that drives sales for this clothing piece. Your designs can range from premium street-style vibes to cute sleepover prints. However, first you must consider which designs will look good on each piece.

Printing on tie dye does present challenges. Depending on the dye being used, the ink may resettle. Depending on the manufacturing process, the garment may be somewhat furry. Patterns are also unpredictable and inconsistent from garment to garment – all of which can complicate consistent printing. The aim is to achieve high-quality designs like those offered at Bella + Canvas. When deciding how best to approach a tie dye print job, please take these factors into consideration.

Know your palette vision

Think about the color palette of your design, as this is a crucial decision. Are you planning on a dark rainbow or something more ethereal  like delicate pastels? Are you printing for a broad age group, or are the garments just for teenagers or children? Know the audience(s) to which your tie dye apparel will appeal.

Decide on the garment color for the background, before creating your design. If the artwork colors are too light and will be printed on a pastel garment, be prepared to lose large parts of the image. The same result will occur if your design color choices (too light or too dark) and the garment background are incompatible. To help avoid this mishap, keep a reference list of color combinations that work well together, before you actually begin the designing and printing process.

What else? 

Many clothing brands are very pleased that tie dye isn’t dead yet, and that’s because of the scope of appeal that this clothing trend has. A note of caution, though. There is a lot that goes into perfect screen printing on tie dye clothing. Here, are some tips, though, to help you to get the best results out of your work. 

Want a rich print? Go for a heavy base.

To avoid the pitfalls of screen printing on tie dye, a bit of knowledge about how base inks, mesh count and dye migration all interact is helpful.  To get colors to pop with a low mesh count, lay down a whiter base. In principle, you would use a low mesh count to avoid dye migration, but that doesn’t always work. When deciding on the number of stitches, start one stitch level higher. And, make sure the base ink that you use is non-transparent enough to matte down the fabric fibers. Using a heavy base will help you achieve a richer print.

Let the white work the highlight.

When working with a white ink, the goal is to lay a foundation for an even base. Highlighting white can help bring other colors to life. Use a medium to high stitch count for topcoats. This will help with healing time. A light coat of topcoats will significantly increase the drying time, which will help with dye migration issues.

Using water-based inks?

When using water-based ink, wet the screens with water as you start working. This helps the screen react better to the ink and prevents it from drying. Moreover, it gives a more elegant finish to your final design.

Print, flash, highlight, repeat!

Printing with medium- to high-strength water-based inks works well when using the following process: (1) print the base; (2) flash; (3) highlight; (4) print white; (5) flash; (6) print colors without a cooling station, as there is less time for the plate to cool between colors.

Partial curing is the deal.

Heat the palettes for water-based inks that have higher solids content. This will help the ink dry before moving on to the next color. Try to print two to three colors, then flash without cooling. After the palettes are heated, ensure that they are flash cured, as most dye migration occurs during flashing. The goal is not to get a complete cure yet. At this stage, you want the ink to be only partially dry to the touch.

Apply these same principles when working with the sleeve print. Since the sleeve has a smaller coverage area, you can use a foundation with white highlights, and darker colors like black on top to make the design stand out.

Keep it open for customizations.

Customized fashion products are a rising venture. Put your tie dye apparel into the profit lanes, by being open to customized printing. You can create a palette combination and allow your customers to choose their desired picks. Printed tie dye clothing can also make perfect gifts for birthdays, graduations, retirements or as souvenirs for special events. 

Do not discount quality control.

Quality control is key for any successful brand. The relationship between the store owner, designer, printer, and quality control specialist should be an active and collaborative one.  Even though tie dye may seem to be a laid-back and carefree trend, don’t mistake that for customer nonchalance about wanting great quality clothing. It, therefore, becomes essential that the collaborative team spend an adequate amount of time perfecting the garment design from start to finish.  

With these tips in mind, we hope you will be able to create something that makes your customers feel special. From traditional to stylish clothing, tie dye is making a splash in every fashion sector. So take the plunge, go for printed tie-dye garments and give your tie-dye enthusiasts a broader range of choices to shop. 


An original article about The Best Practices for Printing on Tie Dye Blank Clothing by Kokou Adzo · Published in

Published on