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How to Print on Polyester Fabrics


    If you own a sports apparel line or deal with sporting events and teams, you know it takes a special printer and production crew who knows how to print on different types of performance poly fabrics. Even though you may not print them yourself, it helps for you to understand the process as you are selecting fabrics, creating artwork and placement of artwork/logo.

    Due to the nature of 100% polyester performance fabrics, special care must be taken throughout the printing process. Here are some tips to effectively decorate polyester fabric products.
    • Use 85–110 screen mesh for best results. Please consult with your ink supplier and their spec sheets on the ink you use.
    • Garment temperature must not exceed 320°F. Exceeding this temperature will cause the fabric to shrink, become wavy or cause dye migration (bleeding).

    • Dryer temperature and belt speeds must be changed accordingly. If flashing these garments, do not exceed 1-2 seconds. Anything longer may damage the fabric as stated above.
    • These garments require the use of poly inks. A Dyno Grey base on all colors and a second white base on all dark colors are recommended. Please consult your ink supplier for more information.
    • Polyester requires a longer cooling time than cotton. Failure to cool the fabric prior to stacking into a printer’s fold may cause the fabric and applied ink to stick together.
    • If you heat press these garments, you must adjust the time, temperature and pressure. Failure to do so may damage the fabric as stated above.
    • A test sample run is recommended, especially if you have a large order or if your printer does not specialize in printing on performance fabrics.

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