What are the limitations of all-over printing (AOP)?
AOP (also known as dye sublimation) is a printing technique that produces exceptionally vibrant and long-lasting prints. Typically, AOP products are made by printing the fabric first, followed by cutting and sewing the product. However, there are some exceptions, such as socks.
As with any printing technique, there are some limitations that should be kept in mind in order to achieve the best outcome.
Keep in mind that repetitive patterns and solid colors work best for AOP products, although you may still use bigger design elements as long as they are not in the seam or collar/cuff area.
Avoid adding design elements to the collar/cuff area
Due to the manual nature of the cut and sew process, some minor shifting of the design placement may occur. That’s why it is not recommended to place important elements in the collar or cuff area.
Avoid using wrap-around designs
Another limitation to consider is the possibility of wrap-around design elements. Avoid positioning an important design element, such as text, across the seam or zip area, as it won’t be possible to achieve a perfect alignment like in the mockup preview.
Saturated colors might appear muted once printed
Many of the blank items used – such as tees, leggings, hoodies, etc. – are white by default and are then printed on with your colors and designs. As the garment itself is white, putting a saturated color or design on top, such as pitch-black, may sometimes translate to a gray/charcoal gray tone.
This is due to the black ink not being able to fully penetrate white fabric, therefore bringing down the black tone’s opaqueness. In short, the white fabric still shows through the ink and makes for a more translucent tone.
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