Every year we get tons of requests for Full Zip Hoodies.  I love a good hoodie and I love it even more when it’s got a great print.  But printing over zippers is a tricky process.  Our production crew has been perfecting the process and I wanted to send you a few tips to help your Hoodies turn out just as you imagined they would.

To give you a little background on the process of screen printing, it is a lot like painting a wall with a roller brush.  There is a large squeegee that runs across the T and pushes the ink through the screen onto the garment.  Just like when you’re painting a wall with a roller, if you roll over a bump then you’ll have a gap in the roller’s paint stroke.  When printing over a zipper, pocket, or seam of any kind, the squeegee hits that bump and creates a gap just like the roller on the wall.  There are ways to minimize or even eliminate that gap completely, but everything has to be in just the right place. 

Here are 3 details to keep in mind when thinking about Hoodies:

1) It’s always best to use a White or Light garment color if you’re going to print over a seam and especially if you’re printing over a zipper.  This allows the print to run as smoothly as possible over the zipper.  Here’s an example of a smooth print over a zipper on a white Hoodie:

2) If you want to use a dark Hoodie color with light/bright inks, plan the design so that it can break up over the zipper and still look natural.  Going back to the idea of painting a wall, if you start with a dark wall color and want to cover it with a light paint color then you have to use multiple layers of paint.  In screen printing on dark garment colors, you have to use base coat underneath light/bright ink colors to keep them their true Ink color.  If you hit a zipper with a thick coat of ink, the gap is bigger and much more noticeable.  But if the art is designed in a way to make the gap look natural, it will not take away from the integrity of the design.  Here’s an example of breaking up the design to make that break look natural on the dark hoodie:


3) Picking the right hoodie is important.  Manufacturers make their hoodies with different types and sizes of zippers.  Some cover their zippers with seam flaps while others leave their zippers open and visible.  All of these things factor into whether a design will print well on the hoodie.  Your MOTC rep can send you a breakdown of the options that our production crew recommends and that have had the most success.

If you’re thinking about a Hoodie, contact your MOTC rep for more info or visit our CONTACT PAGE to send us an email.  We’re here to help!