T-shirt prints come in various designs and are achieved using various techniques. The more common ones include silk screen printing, airbrush, and spray painting. These can be done with some simple materials which can be bought from craft stores. These simple t-shirt printing methods however have single-layer designs and for those looking for more texture, other methods of t-shirt printing may be applicable.
Reverse applique is a method of placing patterns and designs on shirts using two pieces of fabric. Traditionally, the applique is placed underneath the shirt, and the shirt is cut using sharp fabric shears to achieve the desired design. The second layer of fabric which usually has a contrasting color is placed underneath the shirt and they would then be sewn together.
The more modern method of achieving this layered t-shirt design method is by using laser printing machines and high-tech embroidery systems. Unlike traditional reverse applique on t-shirts, the additional layer of garment is placed on top of the shirt and is sewn using a digital embroidery system. The outlines will be sewn by the digital embroidery system and the design—usually letters—would be transferred onto the shirt.
Then comes the laser. This is key when it comes to achieving the finished look for laser and reverse applique on t-shirts. The laser would cut the fabric precisely where it needs to be cut, just a few millimeters away from the sewn edges of the design. For such precise purposes, fabrics which easily get cut by the laser are used. These fabrics include t-shirt fabric, sweatshirt fabric, and most especially thermal fabric. After the laser goes through the outline, the fabric can be given a bit of a pull to help it come off the pattern which would be left behind.
Laser applique shirts are gaining more popularity because of the intricate designs that can be achieved through this printing method. The exceptional accuracy can give shirts more detail and texture which is great for making bold fashion statements.
Reverse Applique Maintenance
Applique, may it be in traditional or modern laser form, may be more sensitive than other T-shirt designs. Usually, the stitches used for laser applique designs are fine and even to help them give better hold to the second layer of fabric. However, some precautionary measures should still be given to your shirts to help keep them in good condition. Try the following tips:
- When handwashing the shirt, use gentle motions to avoid fraying the second fabric which may result in loosening around the edges.
- When you machine wash the shirt, it would be best to avoid having other pieces that may catch onto the layered fabric such as zippered clothing. This may help prevent accidental fraying as well.
- Wring the shirt gently, or as much as possible, do not wring around the design to avoid damage. Squeeze out water without twisting the shirt.
- Iron the shirt in reverse to avoid coming in contact with the probably heat-sensitive fabric directly. This also gives smoother motion for the iron.
Do you like the effect that laser reverse applique has on shirts? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!