What is all-over print?
It is a term used to describe a special kind of print that covers the entire garment. All-over print reaches places that regular ones don’t, the most obvious being seams and other elements like zippers. Noticing these details is the only way to actually tell if it is all-over or not. This kind of print is achieved by layering the t-shirt on a flat surface and then printing on top of it, which means that any element that is not exposed to the ink, like hems for example, won’t be affected. If a hem or the interior of the garment is printed then the fabric was probably printed before it was sewn, this is the traditional way of printing fabric.
When should I consider it?
This type of printing should be considered when the design you have in mind has got a sense of continuity or infinity. This is what graphic designers call “bleed”, when an element is constructed in such a way that it creates the illusion of existing pass the borders of its canvas. In a t-shirt the artwork tends to be confined to front or back, but with all-over print it can be, for a lack of a better word, all over the place. It is an eye-catching process that should be used to create bold statements.
When should I avoid it?
- If you fancy a repetitive pattern like a polka dot, for example, then it might be easier to just print the fabric before it is cut and sewn. This way you would avoid the inherent problems that come with all-over printing. We’ll go over those later.
- If your intention is to match the front and back of the design on the garment, we’re not suggesting to drop all-over printing, but you should consider talking to a specialized printer. Since front and back are printed by separate, all-over print does not guarantee that they will match or align.
- If you’re not looking to cover sleeves, but just the torso, then all-over print might not even be necessary. Some printers (like us *wink, wink*) own larger than normal screens that might be able to accommodate your specific needs?