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Heat Transfer Vinyl

How to Print Sleeves & Leggings with Heat Transfers

PrintPhase Jul 13



Printing down the sleeve of a shirt or on leggings is a little more difficult than printing onto a t-shirt, but it can be mastered with just a little practice. In order to successfully print sleeves and leggings, you will need to use a heat press pillow. This is because the seams in those areas can prevent the press from providing even heat and pressure, which can lead to complications when printing.

Printing sleeves and leggings should be done almost exactly the same way as a crew t-shirt. However, instead of threading the product onto the press, we slide a heat pillow inside the garment to create a smooth and even elevated print surface. Before printing a transfer, it is important to press the garment for 3-5 seconds to remove any moisture or wrinkles that could affect the print.

Most sleeve designs should start 3-4 inches down from the shoulder of the shirt, while leggings are typically printed on down the front of the left leg, around 5 inches down from the waistband. Sleeve prints should be printed over the faint fold line that runs down the side of the sleeve. You will notice at the top of each sleeve there is a point where two seams intersect to form an upside down “T,” and that the faint fold line intersects the point where the seams meet. By printing the design over the faint fold line, you are ensuring that the print will be placed correctly on the outer part of the sleeve.

With special location prints like these, it is extra important to take your time and make sure the transfer is lined up properly before pressing the garment. Just like carpenters have the saying “measure twice, cut once,” you should double check your alignment before pressing, because there is no going back if you have messed up! A poorly printed garment can cost you anywhere from $5 to $20. So it is important that you take the time to master printing on every printable surface of the products that you offer.

If you have any other questions about printing sleeves and leggings, please check out our help videos and our FAQ page, shoot us an email, or give us a call.

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