How to Perfect Your Tank Top Prints and Be Ready For The Summer
As summer approaches, the need to offer a tank top to your customers is something that comes with the season. Working with tanks and sleeveless garments can be challenging to print on, but it can be a breeze if you have the proper tools.
The biggest issue I have seen at shops is needing help loading a tank top onto the printer. With deep neck collars and sleeve seams sewn entirely differently from a traditional t-shirt, it can be difficult to position them in a repeatable way and avoid a head strike.
In most cases, to keep the collar and seams out of the way of the print head, you would load the garment onto the platen that keeps the collar and seams hanging off the sides. However, the collar and seams are cut differently on tank tops, so shops tend to lower the platen more to avoid a head strike. In do this, if the print head is too far from the garment, it can cause the finished image to look airbrushed instead of the crisp print quality you are used to seeing.
So, what’s the answer? The easiest is to use the small printer platen and, ideally, a coordinating heat press lower platen. The 10.5×13 print area available on the small platen is perfect for tanks and other sleeveless shirts. Load the tank onto the small printer platen as you would a t-shirt, use the collar and shoulder seams to ensure it is positioned straight, and print your image using the small platen option in CADlink.
If you don’t have a small printer platen, another solution is to raise the area you want to print so that the collar and other seams aren’t in the way of the print head. Doing this technique takes some trial and error, but using some simple Coroplast or foam board under the shirt (taped down to the platen) will allow you to raise the body of the shirt and adjust the platen height to the proper position without fear of a head strike or a fuzzy print from the shirt being too far away from the print head.
Using either of the techniques above allows you to take full advantage of offering decorated summer apparel to your customers with confidence!