Can you print on the sleeve of a long sleeve t-shirt?

The sleeves on long sleeve t-shirts are a very common area as a print location. Sometimes you can just run out of room using the front and back of the t-shirts and adding a print to the sleeves can really set off a design. There are a few limitations you should be aware of when it comes to printing on the sleeve of long sleeve t-shirts.

The first limitation is the misconception that you can print all the way from the shoulder to the wrist on a sleeve. This just is not possible with screen printing domestically after the t-shirt is manufactured. But you might ask, how come I have seen this before in retail stores? Nine times out of ten the reason is going to be that the print on the sleeves was done when the fabric was flat before it was sewn together and made into a t-shirt. There are a couple of reasons why this is not possible after the t-shirt has already been sewn.

The main reason why you can't print from the shoulder to the wrist on a sleeve is because the length is well over 20 inches. This size is well beyond the typical printing capabilities of most screen printers. Another big reason is because it would take a custom attachment as a platen to put the sleeve on for the screen to go on top and print. Even if the attachment is long enough, the sleeve may turn slightly causing the print not go down the side properly.

One last limitation to consider when getting print on the sleeves of long sleeve t-shirts is that all sleeve sizes are different for different sized t-shirts. This becomes much more noticeable on a sleeve as opposed to the front or the back of the t-shirt for each size print going on it. What we mean by this is, that all sleeves will get the same size print but with the size of the sleeves being different... you may notice the design lining up on different parts of the sleeve.

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