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How To Foil Print T-Shirts

We get a lot of requests from people who want to create shirts that have foil print on them. Foil print shirts are great sellers in some markets. People love them. So what does it take to make a foil print shirt? The process is actually a lot simpler than most people think. When the shirts are finished they look outstanding, and they sell for more money than a normal screen printed shirt. Everybody wants more money. Let’s see what is involved 

The Foil Printing Process Starts With Loading the Shirts

The first thing that happens is that the machines are calibrated for printing. This depends on how the screen printer normally calibrates their machines. Then each shirt that is to be foiled is loaded onto the machine one at a time. This is no different than how a screen printer normally loads a shirt onto the machine. 

Apply Adhesive Ink

An adhesive screen printing ink is applied to a garment. This is applied the exact same way that plastisol ink is normally applied. Use a template for this as you would create for any screen printed shirt. 

Cure the Garment

After the ink has been applied to the garment the ink will need to be cured. This can be done in a conveyor dryer. Check out The Definitive Guide to Curing Ink for more information on curing

Apply the Foil

Once the ink has cured, place the shirt with the design up on the heat press. Apply a sheet of foil onto the area that was prepared. Then lower the lid and heat press the foil to the garment. The heat press should be at a temperature of 350°F. Apply the press for 10 - 20 seconds. 

Peel The Screen Printed Foil

Now comes the big reveal. Make sure that the foil has completely cooled. If the foil is not cooled it is possible for someone to be burned during removal. Slowly peel the foil from the design. What is left is a beautiful shiny foil print. 

The Final Word on Foil Print T Shirts

This method is simple, but it does require a heat press to finish the final step of the process. If a screen printer does not have a heat press then this is something they may want to invest in. Here’s a helpful guide about purchasing a heat press. With the additional profit that can be made from the foil added to the shirt a screen printer will be able to pay off a heat press in no time.

One thing to consider is that there are many different colors of foil. Popular foiled shirts to sell are gold foil t-shirts, silver foil t-shirts, and copper foil t-shirts. Let’s face it, if there is a foil that works then print with it. It adds a little something special to any design and can bring a screen printing business additional money. 

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