Full Zip Hoodies have been a strong product in the custom apparel world for a long time.  Printing over the zippers has been a difficult thing for most screen printers.  It definitely comes with it’s challenges and some screen printers are so frustrated by it that they don’t even offer it to their customers.

We think differently.  It certainly is possible to print over a zipper but it is important for our ministry partners to be aware of some key details:

  • You want to look for a zipper that is covered. How the zipper is made & sewn into the garment plays a HUGE factor.  The ideal hoodie has a small lip of fabric on both sides of the zipper that helps to cover it while printing.  But a lot of hoodies have zippers that are completely uncovered.  An uncovered zipper requires much more care in the production process and a higher number of misprints.  When the screen & ink hits that uncovered zipper, the ink will print on the metal of the zipper and can smear on the garment.  The screen can also hit the metal zipper and rip, spilling ink all over the hoodie. 
  • You want to use light colored hoodies for bright ink colors. If you have a design with bright ink colors, you want to look for a light hoodie color.  The benefit is that it doesn’t take a base to make a bright ink color stand out on a light colored hoodie.  If you print a bright ink color on a dark hoodie, you need a base layer of white to make sure that ink color stays bright.  Think of it like you’re painting a room.  If you have a dark wall and you want to paint it white, you have to use a base coat.  And just like when you’re painting a wall with a roller brush, you’ll get a gap in the paint if you hit a bump as large as a zipper on a hoodie.  When you have a base layer of ink, that gap stands out even more.
  • You want to use dull & distressed designs on dark hoodie colors. When you’re creating a design for your dark hoodie color, you want to cut out all the issues above by making the design look natural when it breaks up over the zipper.  Keeping the ink colors dull or faded and adding a distress will make that look as smooth as possible.
  • You want to budget accordingly. Hoodies are expensive.  Printing over a zipper is expensive.  Make sure you’re budgeting for those extra expenses.  Remember all the care that goes into making your hoodies look incredible.  If you look for a low price, you will most likely be looking for lower quality printing and less care for your product.  A lower price might end up costing you far more in quality in the long run.  It’s not something you want to take short cuts on.