Screen Printing:

Perfecting Printing on Poly/Cotton T-Shirts

Follow these screen printing and curing tips to execute top-notch designs on today’s popular blended fabrics.

By Rick Davis, Contributing Writer

January 30, 2013

Historically, a majority of the textile screen printers in our industry have strived to print primarily on 100% cotton apparel. Cotton offers fewer challenges, as fabrics containing polyester pose a problem controlling the potential for bleeding that polyester dyes present.

But apparel manufacturers have strived to bring excellent cotton/poly-blended fabrications to the marketplace that — when combined with specific instructions on how to print on blends — result in eye- catching graphics. As the drive for additional styles and fabrics have flooded our industry, the need to perfect the printing on 50/50 blends has become a necessity for every screen printer.

In this Tech Tips Newsletter, we will review the processes needed to print on 50/50 blends. For this demonstration, we will be using American Apparel’s style BB401, a poly/ cotton blend that is made from combed cotton that gives it an ultra-soft, worn-in feel and fashionable drape. The shirts are offered in solids, heathers and neons, which all are ideal for direct screen printing.