How to Screen Print a Tag Inside a T-Shirt

by Wendy Croxford

in Screen Printing

2 Jul 2019  | 0 Comments

There have been many different developments and trends in screen printing, and one of the most popular of these is printing your own tag inside your t-shirts. Printing your own tags is a shirt printing trend that’s not likely to go away anytime soon because it offers a lot benefits. The first being that screen printing your own tags gives you a lot of creative freedom and allows you to be imaginative with your tags and branding. Secondly, it can be a great marketing tool and thirdly, you can ensure that your brand name and other details stay on the shirt if the shirt tag is cut off, which is a common trend these days.

Screen printing tags on the inside back collar area of shirts is no doubt a great idea, but it can be tricky to do because of the position of the print. There are several things you have to consider when printing your own tags, and that includes making sure your screen printing ink doesn’t seep and show through on the other side of the shirt. Screen printing your own tags is also an additional step in your production process so you’ll also have to consider the extra time and effort it might take to do so for all your shirts.

If it’s something you’re determined to do however, know that there are a number of different ways you can do this. Here are a couple of the most efficient ways:

Using a Pocket Pallet

The pocket pallet is a printing attachment commonly used for screen printing on pockets, but can be used to print tags on the inside back of shirts.

Once the pallet has been secured to your working surface, the first thing you need to do is apply a thin layer Permaset Table Adhesive on your pocket pallet. Make sure not to apply the adhesive to any other surface except the pallet. Next, position your shirt properly on the pallet. Do this by folding the shirt crosswise across the armpit area, and then sliding the shirt, fold first under the pocket pallet. You then turn the collar over so that the inside back of it is exposed on top of the pallet, and securely flatten it on the pallet. You may need to mark where it is positioned on the pallet so you’ll know where to position the rest of the shirts you’ll print tags on and have a uniform place for your printed tags.

View this video showing how to apply Permaset Table Adhesive

If your shirt has an attached tag, tack it down on the pallet away from the inside surface of the shirt where you will be printing. Once properly positioned, place your screen down and if you’re satisfied with where the print is positioned, apply your screen printing ink evenly. If you’d like to thicken your print, feel free to flash cure and apply a second even layer of ink.

Once you’re satisfied with your printed tag, flash cure just enough so you can handle the shirt without the print smudging, and place in an oven or iron the print for a few minutes on Medium setting (with brown paper or baking paper over the print) to properly cure your print.

When curing, make sure that the printed tag is well exposed to the heat. You don’t have to turn the shirt inside-out, but you may have to turn the collar out a bit to expose the print.

Using a Sleeve Pallet

The sleeve pallet is another printing attachment used for printing on sleeves and pant legs. When printing shirt tags with a sleeve pallet, all you have to do is take the collar of the shirt and hang it over the edge of the pallet (that’s already been coated in Permaset eco-friendly Table Adhesive) so that the back inner part of the shirt collar is exposed. Make sure that your screen is just as long or long enough to cover your sleeve pallet so you can print your tag in the right location. Again, you can mark where the shirt collar should be placed on the sleeve pallet so you have a uniform position for your printed tag on all the shirts you’ll be printing.

Once the shirt is in position, simply apply a small amount of ink on the screen, print, flash and reapply when necessary, then cure once completed.

Print your garment tags organically using Permaset eco-friendly inks. This reinforces the sustainability message you want to send with eco-conscious and vegan brands.

Printing Organically – Things to Remember

  • To keep the print from seeping through to the other side of the shirt fabric, use a ‘lightweight’ design, one that isn’t so open or lays on a thick layer of ink since this would have a higher chance of soaking through your fabric. You could have a halftone artwork or use fine lines or lettering for this. This is particularly important when using water-based ink.
  • Always do a test print first. Doing a test print enables you to adjust any factors before making your final prints, like how much ink you’ll actually use and if you’ll need to flash cure and print a few times.
  • The knit on the inside of your shirt is often more open or gaping than that of the outside of the shirt, so any fine details might get lost in the gaping holes of the knit. If you’re printing organic clothing choose a water-based eco-friendly ink like Permaset for a more environmentally conscious label. If fine details are important, you can opt to make the tag design or details a little bigger to make them clearer.
  • When using water-based ink, you’ll need to use a screen with a higher mesh count, a little less volume of ink and a harder squeegee. You’ll also want to use the least amount of pressure when applying the ink. This is all to ensure that the ink doesn’t seep through the fabric and will just sit on top of the fabric.
  • Take a good look at your printing setup before proceeding with any printing job. Make sure that your screen, design and shirt are all positioned properly. You don’t want to waste a good shirt by printing the tag upside-down.

Enjoy the satisfaction of screen printing your shirts organically including printing the tag or label inside your t-shirt using Permaset Aqua eco-friendly, and vegan inks.

Make a statement by using your logo on the tag like this one from the Real Thread Pinterest account


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