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Screen Printing For Tie Dye

Trends are on the rise, and Tie Dye clothing has seemed to make a come back. These garments are usually fun, adds a little bit of spice to your wardrobe and sends a bold message that the person wearing the garment is a pretty chill and laid back person. With all of that said, printing on tie dye can amp up your wardrobe and products offered.

At Bolt Custom Shirt Co., we’ve had the pleasure of printing on multiple tie dye projects for our customers, and each time we just keep getting better! The designs are always so eye-catching and shows off the uniqueness of the projects. Now, the biggest selling point of using tie dye shirts is the one-of-a-kind appeal each shirt has from the rest. However, there are some aspects to keep in mind before choosing to print on just any tie dyed shirt!

The first is going to be the placement of the design.

With tie dye tees, the variation in design can pose a possible risk of complicating the printing process because you need to consider what type of design will look good on a background that changes from shirt to shirt.

Another issue you could run into is the type of ink that is being used on the garment versus the ink used for the dye. The ink could possibly migrate to areas of the shirt unwanted, or it could possibly come out “fuzzy” around the edges.

There are going to be a million and one issues you could face when trying out something new, and as a screen printer you have to be ready to face these issues.

Before getting to this point of tackling printing issues in action, think about your game plan ahead of time and focus on designing around the dye color first. For example, if you plan on doing a light colored dye, it is going to be hard to see a light colored design on top of that. You do not want to lose out on elements from the design because it was printed on a shirt that was not properly prepared for it. Focus on what the end goal is and how you have to accomplish the new project you’ve undertaken.

One of the best things you can do to fix this issue is by adding a color stroke to your design. This is going to help prevent color-blend loss through the screen printing process. It also allows for the design to be switched out through a wide range of dyed tees, which ultimately gives you the ability to get the most out of a design.

There are a few tips that take you along the process to help get the most out of your screen printing experience on tie dye shirts.

Tip #1: You want to avoid printing on a low mesh count because it won’t always prevent dye migration. Ideally you need to start with one mesh grade higher, then lay down the fibers softly with the minimum amount of pressure possible. If you were to do a heavy base, you’d have a heavy print. The goal here isn’t to achieve a bright white base, but rather an even base. You also want to use a mid to high mesh count for any top coats as it is going to help with cure times. By having a light layer of top colors you are going to see the drying time improve, which will help with the overall dye-migration issue.

Tip #2: Quality control is something that needs to be respected. This ensures that the product that had so much time spent on it, will have the same consistent look from beginning to end. After spending a large amount of time perfecting the design, it should maintain a sense of respect throughout the entirety of the printing process. It also ensures that customers will get stellar products from your business.

Tip #3: Have fun and encapsulate your creativity. You are creating something that a person is going to wear time and time again, so you want to help capture that excitement and care into every piece of garment being created. The pieces being created help to mark a significant time in someone’s life, so treat that moment for them with care. The best thing we can hope for is that the garment will turn into their new favorite tee.

Here at BOLT Screen Printing we pride ourselves in creating quality custom apparel that brings your vision to life. We have assembled a team of professionals, who strive to understand your goals and assist you with out of the box advertising and branding techniques. We combine our knowledge of all things apparel with your project goals in order to provide killer gear and a stress-free experience.

With an ambition to create premium quality vintage threads, Bolt was born. From our passion of creating the best clothing for our clothing store Opolis and our customers expressing the desire to see their designs on our high-quality apparel we knew the next step would be to open Bolt. After being in the industry for over 13 years, we've perfected the process of turning amazing ideas into even better results. Contact us today by emailing us at, or giving us a call at 405-493-9557!

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