Try These 2021 Decoration Trends That Will Set You Apart From the Rest

We just launched a new collection of videos about 2021 decoration trends within our Design Innovation Series. In the next three videos in this series, we will be revealing the latest decoration trends for 2021 using our new styles and colors from our BELLA+CANVAS collection. Curious to know what’s in store? You can expect to see head turning design inspiration on new hemlines, pops of color and on trend street-style fleece.  

Retail Inspired Print Placements

Our resident apparel decoration specialist, Tom Davenport, visited Stoked On Printing in Las Vegas to produce two oversized print designs on our 3003 Men’s Curved Hem Tee and the 7505 Women’s Raglan Pullover Fleece. Let’s take a look at how Tom leveraged the expanded printable area of these two new silhouettes. 

All-over Back Print 

2021 decoration trends: retail inspired print placements 2021 decoration trends: retail inspired print placements

Behind the Decoration 

For this design, the idea was to accentuate the distinctive curved bottom hem on the 3003 tee. We started by printing an oversized graphic which consumes the printable area of the backside of the shirt, extending all the way down to the curved hem. The oversized graphic measures 27” in length which is well beyond the maximum print dimensions achievable by most print shops. So the approach here was to create a single image out of two separate graphic placements.

The first placement covers the upper and mid backside region of the tee. Four distinct colors are printed with soft-hand ink and the shirt is then off-loaded from the press and placed onto the dryer conveyor belt for curing.

The second graphic placement will cover the lower curved portion of the backside of the tee. To do this requires precision loading by the press operator, aided by a laser guide. Additionally, in the design stage, consideration is taken with respect to the contours of the two graphics and the space tolerance between them, to allow for normal variances in operator loading.

Our design is completed by a third graphic placement on the front left chest of the shirt. Total production cost is estimated at anywhere from $3 – $6 per unit, depending on quantity and would wholesale for around $15 – $20.  At retail this is a $30 – $40 piece. The final product, inspired from streetwear trends, is definitely a print within the grasp of virtually any printer willing to push beyond perceived limitations.

Full Sleeve Print

2021 decoration trends: retail inspired print placements 2021 decoration trends: retail inspired print placements

Behind The Decoration

The silhouette of the 7505 pullover fleece creates the perfect opportunity for oversized decoration. We begin with the first of three placements, a 2-color print designed to cover the front side of the garment.  At over 21” wide, this exceeds the maximum print width achievable by most printers, so to overcome this limitation, the image on the screen is rotated by 90˚, thus leveraging the maximum length rather than being limited by width.

On press, the operator employs a nontraditional technique as the garment is side-loaded onto printing platen. Special care is taken here to minimize the stretching of the fabric. The inherent challenge with this technique is the necessity of printing across the grain of the fabric, which leads to difficulty in achieving proper ink coverage.  This challenge is mitigated in design with the application of a heavy distressing filter and by utilizing low viscosity soft-hand inks which are able to penetrate the grain.

With the two colors printing in sequence, the wet ink is then flashed to dry prior to off-loading. This last step in the sequence is highly recommended to avoid unintended wet ink transfer in off-loading.

The design is finished with oversized graphics on both sleeves, taking advantage of the expanded print area created by the raglan sleeves.

The end result, achievable by both beginners and advanced printers, is a nod to Japanese street style: bold yet playful and slightly subdued through color scheme and technique. Depending on quantity, production costs are estimated at $6 – $12 per unit. The finished piece would wholesale for around $30 – $40, retailing at $60 – $80 per.

The Wrap Up

These designs offered a fresh take on print placement that is sure to set you apart. Have you ever printed on the sleeves before? Or what about trying a full back print like we did on the 3003? We know a lot of you out there are talented decorators so we’d love to hear from you about this trend! Drop your thoughts in the comments below so we can start chatting. 
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There’s more to come in this series so check back to this blog article for updates as the other two videos in there series launch.

Featured Print Shop

Major thanks to Kevin Oakley and the whole crew at Stoked on Printing for opening their shop to us and helping to execute these designs. For more information on Stoked On Printing, check them out on Instagram @stokedonprinting

Learn more

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