Want to cash in on the huge demand for athleisurewear and comfy work-at-home garments? Dave Roper of Screen Print World runs through how to screen print on jogger legs and hoodie sleeves

With furlough extended until September and going into the office five days a week looking like a quaint idea that is unlikely to be fully reprised, it’s no surprise that comfortable clothes have remained popular, with stylish joggers being particularly coveted.

Hoodies, all-in-ones and loungewear sets were also big sellers in the UK over the past 12 months, according to retail tracking firm Edited.com and brands supplying garment decorators; sporty loungewear sets featuring graphics and/or branding are predicted to carry on being big sellers throughout 2021.

As we noted in our special report on sweatpants in October last year [imagesmag.uk/Oct20-Joggers], the pandemic accelerated the already growing demand for loungewear and athleisurewear, and the trend looks set to continue for many months.

With this growth comes an opportunity to upsell decoration and expand print locations from the traditional left chest and back areas to garment sleeves and legs.

Providing something different will appeal to clients who are striving to stand out and is a great way to increase the visual impact of any creative design or branding. It’s also simple to achieve, as Dave Roper, managing director of Screen Print World, explains in this step-by-step guide.

You already have the screen print skills; simply add the right tools and some clever formatting of the graphics and you’ll be printing sleeves and legs in no time.

www.screenprintworld.co.uk

STEP-BY-STEP: SCREEN PRINTING ON LEGS AND SLEEVES

1. The first step of the process is to use a set square to make sure your artwork is correct; make sure you have top and bottom registration marks to help. The artwork needs to be off-centre to adapt to the leg and sleeve pallet if you’re using a dual pallet like us.

2. Once you have the artwork lining up correctly so as to prevent a wonky offset print, and have made your screen, you can set up your press and pallet as normal. We used an M&R Chameleon six-colour press with side clamps.

3. Place the garment onto the pallet. You can either place through the neck or the sleeve if you are printing onto a hoodie or a sweatshirt, or through the leg or waist if you are printing onto joggers. We used the JH001 hoodie and JH074 joggers from Just Hoods by AWDis.

4. Our new EZ Sleeve Double pallet makes loading and unloading the garment a simple process as the pallets are a slimmer fit. Remember to pre-glue your pallets; we used Amex Spray Tack.

5. To get the best print results, we suggest using a squeegee just bigger than your print to get a cleaner finish. We recommend always using a good quality white plastisol; we used our Spot On Polar Flash White for an opaque finish. It is good practice at this stage to print your garment, flash it using a flash dryer for 7-10 seconds and then print again.

6. Give your garment one last flash so it is touch-dry before you take it off the press as this saves costly mistakes. Many printers have spoiled expensive garments by wrestling sleeves off a press with wet ink. We used a BBC Black Flash for the flash cure process.

7. Cure the garment for one minute at 160°C. If you’re printing both legs or both arms, print one side and flash it dry as above, then print the other side, flash it dry before removing then place in the dryer for the final cure.

8. The printed garments.