As summer approaches, the need to offer a tank top to your customers is something that comes with the season. Working with tanks and sleeveless garments can be difficult to print on but if you have the proper tools, it can be a breeze.
The biggest issue I have seen at shops is struggling with how to load a tank onto the printer. With deep neck collars and sleeve seams that are sewn completely different from a traditional t-shirt, it can be difficult to position them in a repeatable way and avoid a head strike. In most cases, to keep the collar and seams out of the way of the print head, the platen would need to be lowered so much that it would result in a low-resolution fuzzy print. If the print head is too far from the garment it can actually cause the finished image to look airbrushed instead of the really crisp print quality you are used to seeing.
So, what’s the answer? The easiest is to use the small printer platen and ideally a coordinating heat press lower platen. The 10.5×13 print area that is available on the small platen is perfect for tanks and other sleeveless shirts. Simply load the tank onto the small printer platen as you would a t-shirt, use the collar and shoulder seams to ensure its positioned straight, and print your image using the small platen option in CADlink.
If you don’t have a small printer platen another solution is to raise the area you want to print so that the collar and other seams aren’t in the way of the print head. This takes some trial and error but using some simple coroplast or foamboard under the shirt (taped down to the platen) will allow you to raise up the body of the shirt and adjust the platen height to the proper position without fear of a head strike or a fuzzy print from the shirt being too far away from the print head.
Using either of the techniques above allows you to take full advantage of offering decorated summer apparel to your customers with confidence!