Published Feb 20, 2024 ⦁ 20 min read
Optimizing Print Results on High Quality Hoodies

Optimizing Print Results on High Quality Hoodies

Finding the perfect hoodie blank can be a challenge when you want a high-quality garment that also prints well.

In this article, we'll explore what constitutes a high-quality hoodie, from fabric and construction to prep and printing best practices for long-lasting, vibrant designs.

You'll discover key criteria for selecting ideal hoodie blanks, techniques for screen printing, DTG, sublimation, and embroidery on premium sweatshirts, as well as sourcing reputable suppliers of wholesale high-quality hoodies perfect for decoration.

Introduction to High-Quality Hoodies for Printing

Choosing high-quality hoodies is key for achieving optimal and long-lasting print results. This article provides best practices for selecting blank hoodies and preparing garments to ensure your designs stand out with crisp, vibrant colors.

We'll cover how to:

  • Identify hallmarks of a high-quality hoodie blank
  • Choose the right fabric, weight, and construction
  • Prepare garments prior to printing through washing, taping, etc.

Follow these guidelines to create eye-catching prints that bring your visions to life on premium hoodies.

Understanding High-Quality Hoodies for Printing

High-quality hoodies feature fabrics and construction that lend well to printing techniques like screen printing and direct-to-garment (DTG).

Characteristics include:

  • Soft, midweight cotton fabrics (8-10 oz)
  • Pre-shrunk fabrics
  • Tightly-woven construction
  • Boxy, loose fits
  • Tear-away labels for branding

These attributes allow inks to fully saturate fabrics for vivid designs that hold up through washing. Pre-treating also helps inks adhere for lasting vibrancy.

Selecting High Quality Blank Hoodies for Printing

When selecting hoodie blanks, consider:


  • Cotton type - ringspun is best for printing
  • Weight - midweight 8-10 oz balances softness and printability


  • Pre-shrunk
  • Tight knit
  • Double-needle stitching for durability

Garment Details

  • Tear-away labels for branding
  • Boxy, loose fits
  • Ribbed cuffs and waistband

High-quality brands like Independent Trading Co., SOL'S, and Cotton Heritage specialize in hoodies optimized for printing needs.

Preparation for Screen Printing on High-Quality Hoodies

Proper preparation is key for flawless prints:

  • Wash garments prior to printing to eliminate shrinkage
  • Pre-treat with ink bonding solutions
  • Heat press to remove moisture and wrinkles
  • Tape seams and edges to prevent ink bleeds

Test prints allow adjusting pressure, dwell times, etc. for optimal ink saturation on the fabric.

Choosing quality hoodie blanks combined with proper garment pre-treatment leads to stunning prints that make your designs pop.

Which printing is best on hoodie?

When it comes to printing on hoodies and sweatshirts, there are several popular methods to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Here's an overview of the top options:

Screen Printing

Screen printing is one of the most common and affordable ways to print custom designs on hoodies and sweatshirts. It works well for simple designs with block colors and can print large quantities efficiently.


  • Cost-effective, especially for bulk orders
  • Vibrant, opaque colors
  • Durable prints that hold up well to washing


  • Limited color palette
  • Not ideal for photographic or complex designs

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing

DTG printing uses inkjet technology to print full-color designs directly onto the fabric. It excels at photographic imagery and works well for small custom orders.


  • Photographic image quality
  • Unlimited color capabilities
  • Good for small quantity or individual orders


  • More expensive per unit than screen printing
  • Ink can fade faster than other methods

Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer involves printing a design onto special transfer paper, then heat pressing it onto the garment. It allows for full-color printing at low costs.


  • Cost-effective for small orders
  • Full photographic color quality
  • Simple logos to complex designs


  • Can leave box-like outlines on fabric
  • Durability issues with poor application


Embroidery stitches thread directly into the fabric to create custom designs with a 3D textured effect. It works very well for logos and lettering.


  • Premium 3D textured effect
  • Extremely durable stitching
  • Ideal for logos and monograms


  • Limited color options
  • Not suitable for complex designs
  • Higher setup costs

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation dyes polyester fabrics by turning ink into a gas temporarily before it adheres and becomes a permanent print. The results are vibrant and durable.


  • Long-lasting, vibrant colors
  • Great color saturation
  • Cost-effective for bulk orders


  • Only works on polyester fabrics
  • Requires special sublimation inks

Which brands make the best hoodies?

When it comes to finding the best hoodies for screen printing and embroidery, there are a few key brands that stand out for their quality, comfort, and customizability:


Hanes is a popular basic hoodie blank option, as their hoodies are affordable, come in a wide variety of colors, and feature a midweight cotton-polyester blend fabric. The fabric holds screen prints nicely. Just keep in mind that the fabric blend can pill faster than some other options when embroidering.


Champion hoodies are known for their comfort and durability. Made from pre-shrunk cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, Champion hoodies feature heavyweight fabrics that hold screen prints and embroidery designs well. They offer both pullover and zip-up options.


Gildan is one of the bestselling blank hoodie brands due to their affordable prices and variety of fabric blend options. Their classic cotton pullover hoodie features a midweight fabric and a double-lined hood for durability. Gildan also offers hoodies made from cotton/polyester blends, fleece, and recycled fabrics.

Next Level Apparel

Next Level Apparel hoodies are a great choice when you want a lightweight or semi-fitted hoodie option for printing and embroidery. They use soft combed ring-spun cotton fabrics and contemporary fits. The N6210 hoodie is one of their bestselling "tri-blend" hoodie options.

Bella + Canvas

Known for their quality fabrics and fits, Bella + Canvas offers lightweight hoodies that work well for printing. The triblend 3803 hoodie is a popular choice, with a slimmer athletic fit and smooth cotton/polyester/rayon fabric. The fabrics have a soft handfeel even after printing.

No matter which brand you choose, be sure to order a sample first to test the printing and embroidery process before placing a bulk order! Checking fabric quality, print vibrancy, and embroidery stitch counts on a test garment can help ensure you achieve the best results.

What is high-quality hoodie?

A high-quality hoodie is made from comfortable, durable fabrics that hold up well to repeated wear and washings. Some key characteristics of a high-quality hoodie include:

Fabric Composition

  • 100% cotton, cotton-polyester blend, or cotton-fleece blend
  • Weights between 5-9 oz for a substantial, cozy feel
  • Soft, pre-washed fabrics that won't shrink


  • Double-needle stitching on seams for durability
  • Tightly knit fabrics that resist pilling and fraying
  • Well-finished interior seams that won't irritate skin

Design Elements

  • Tapered waist and cuffs that hold their shape
  • Sturdy metal or custom plastic zippers (for zip-up styles)
  • High-stitch density screen printing or dye sublimation printing

The best hoodies for printing use fabrics like 100% cotton, cotton-fleece blends, or French terry cotton. These fabrics have an ideal texture and absorbency for displaying printed designs with vivid colors and crisp edges. Lower quality hoodies tend to use cheaper cotton-poly blends, which can lead to fading, cracking, or bleeding over time.

When sourcing high-quality hoodies for printing, look for reputable brands that specialize in blanks - Independent Trading Co., Bella + Canvas, and Next Level Apparel are a few good options. Pay attention to fabric quality, construction, sizing/fit, and other indicators of overall quality.

How can you tell if a hoodie is high-quality?

When evaluating the quality of a hoodie, there are a few key things to look for:


High-quality hoodies are typically made from materials like:

  • Cotton: Soft, breathable, and durable. Opt for hoodies with a cotton content of at least 80%.
  • Polyester: Adds durability and shape retention. A cotton/polyester blend is ideal.
  • Fleece: Soft, insulating interior fabric. Check that the fleece lining is thick and plush.


  • Examine the stitching on seams and labels. It should be tight, even, and durable.
  • Double-stitched seams are more durable for active wear.
  • Reinforced stitching around stress points indicates better quality.

Brand Reputation

  • Established athletic and fashion brands generally offer better quality assurance.
  • Check online reviews to gauge real customer experiences with hoodie quality and durability.


  • Hoodies $40+ typically use thicker, higher-quality fabrics and reinforcements.
  • Boutique and ethical brands charge more to cover sustainable production costs.

In summary, high-quality hoodies tend to have generous fabric weight, sturdy stitching and reinforcements, and reputable brand standards backing their construction. Checking these indicators can help determine if a hoodie will be durable enough for long-term wear and printing.


Screen Printing Best Practices for Long-Lasting Designs

Ink Selection for Vibrant and Durable Prints

When screen printing on high quality hoodies, it's important to use inks that will create vibrant colors and stand the test of time after repeated washings. Water-based plastisol inks are a great option as they create bright, solid colors on fabric. Plastisol inks bond well to cotton fibers in hoodies, resulting in prints that don't crack or fade over time. Some key benefits of plastisol ink for hoodie printing:

  • Vibrant colors that really pop on fabric
  • Soft hand that maintains the hoodie's comfort
  • Durability to withstand repeated washings without fading or cracking
  • Ability to print fine details and gradients

Other ink options like discharge or water-based inks can work but may not yield the same bright, durable results as plastisol on cotton hoodies. Ultimately plastisol is the best ink for vibrant, long-lasting hoodie prints.

Optimizing Print Orientation for High-Quality Hoodies

Properly orienting prints on hoodies can optimize the visual impact. For left chest logos or small prints, a horizontal orientation tends to look best and use space efficiently. But for large, full front or back prints, a vertical orientation helps the art stand out.

Vertical orientations allow for bigger, bolder designs since hoodies are longer than they are wide. And they make prints more visible when worn open. Horizontal chest prints can get distorted or obscured if hoodies bunch up. So vertical full prints take better advantage of the garment dimensions.

Curing Techniques for Screen Printed Hoodies

To ensure prints are properly fused to hoodie fabrics, adequate curing is essential. Flash curing partially dries inks between print layers, while tunnel curing fully fuses designs after printing.

Flash curing units quickly pass heat over prints for 5-10 seconds between layers. This prevents ink bleed and allows for multi-layer prints.

For tunnel curing, conveyor ovens heat prints for 1-2 minutes at 320°F. This permanently bonds inks to fibers for wash durability. Undercuring can lead to cracking or fading over time.

Maintaining Print Quality with Proper Post-Print Care

To keep screen printed hoodie designs looking crisp after repeated wear and washing, following care instructions is key:

  • Machine wash cold with mild detergent
  • Tumble dry low heat or hang dry
  • Avoid bleach and fabric softeners
  • Print side out for washing
  • Do not iron directly over prints

High quality hoodie fabrics and prints should hold up well over time following these guidelines. Proper curing and care makes designs withstand 50+ commercial wash cycles. So prints stay vibrant whether customers wear hoodies daily or save them for special occasions.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing on Premium Hoodies

DTG printing, also known as direct-to-garment printing, is an innovative method to print full-color designs directly onto textiles. When using high-quality hoodies made with soft cotton or poly-cotton blends, DTG can produce exceptionally vibrant and detailed prints. However, proper pretreatment and print settings are essential for crisp, long-lasting results.

Preparing High-Quality Hoodies for DTG Printing

Applying pretreatment is a critical first step when DTG printing onto hoodies. This clear chemical solution allows ink to bond securely within the fabric fibers. For soft cotton hoodies, use a pretreatment containing an ink bonding agent as well as a bleaching agent to remove dye and whiten the material. This prevents fading and enhances print vibrancy. Apply pretreatment evenly across the entire print area using a manual or automatic sprayer. Allow the pretreatment to dwell for at least 30 minutes before printing.

DTG Print Quality Settings for Crisp Designs

DTG print mode, resolution and ink saturation can be adjusted for optimal print quality onto hoodies. Use a high-quality printer with configurable settings. Generally, bi-directional printing in high-speed mode offers the best balance of speed and quality. Set the print resolution to 600x600 or 600x900 dpi for extra crispness. Adjust ink saturation to high levels, applying multiple passes for solid fill areas and gradients. This prevents visible banding while retaining detail in highlights and shadows. Proper calibration to align print heads is also essential for crisp edges without bleeding or ghosting.

Ensuring Longevity with Proper DTG Post-Print Curing

After printing, correctly curing the inks is vital to set prints and prevent cracking, fading or peeling over time. Use a commercial heat press - set to 375°F with medium pressure for 90 seconds. This heat cures inks into the hoodie fibers rather than simply drying on the surface. Allow prints to fully cool before additional handling to prevent ink reactivation. Proper DTG print curing makes finished prints more durable and long-lasting through repeated wear and washes.

Dye Sublimation on High-Quality Hoodies for Printing Wholesale

Choosing the Right Garment for Dye Sublimation

When selecting hoodies for dye sublimation printing, it's important to choose a fabric blend with a high percentage of polyester. Polyester is the ideal material for sublimation because it readily absorbs and retains dye from the sublimation inks. Look for hoodies made from 60% cotton/40% polyester blends or higher polyester percentages. While 100% polyester hoodies will yield the most vibrant and durable prints, blends can still produce quality results at more affordable price points for high volume blank hoodies for printing wholesale.

Some key factors to consider when selecting blank hoodies for sublimation:

  • Fabric Content: 60-100% polyester
  • Fabric Weight: Lightweight (130-200 gsm) to midweight (200-300 gsm)
  • Construction: Tightly knit fabric without pills or snags
  • Fit: Boxy, loose fits work best to allow ink to penetrate fabric
  • Color: Light colors like white or ash that won't interfere with print vibrancy

Choosing the right hoodie blank is crucial for dye sub success on high quality hoodies for printing. Investing in a quality garment ensures the print will hold fast when washing and wearing.

Mastering Print Transfer for High-Quality Sublimated Hoodies

To achieve stunning, long-lasting sublimation print results on hoodies, it's vital to quickly and securely press transfers. Follow these best practices:

  • Pre-press the fabric for 5-10 seconds to remove creases and moisture
  • Set heat press to 385-400°F and medium-high pressure
  • Use non-stick parchment paper to avoid ink bleeding
  • Keep platens spotlessly clean to prevent print marring
  • Quickly lower heat platen onto fabric and print
  • Firmly clamp down for 30-60 seconds with even pressure
  • Peel back paper while warm - don't tug print from fabric
  • For large prints, tape transfers together to prevent shifting

Properly pressing sublimation transfers allows inks to fully saturate fabric for crisp, vibrant high-quality hoodies designs. Avoid pressing too hot or too long, as scorching can occur.

Caring for Sublimated Hoodies to Preserve Print Vibrancy

To maintain the vibrancy of sublimated hoodie prints, special care is required:

  • Wait 24 hours after pressing before first wash
  • Wash in cold water and tumble dry low
  • Avoid bleach or fabric softeners
  • Turn garment inside out to prevent fading
  • Limit direct sun exposure to preserve colors

With proper washing methods, sublimated hoodies will retain bold, dynamic prints for the life of the garment. Taking steps to lock in dyes preserves designs longer.

Investing in quality high-quality hoodies for printing wholesale and mastering dye sublimation processes enables stunning, custom branding opportunities. Follow these guidelines for eye-catching prints bound to make an impact.

Embroidery Design Techniques for High-Quality Hoodies

Choosing Stabilizers for Embroidery on Stretchy Hoodie Fabrics

When embroidering on stretchy hoodie fabrics like cotton/polyester blends, it's important to use stabilizers to support the stitch integrity. Here are some recommended stabilizer types:

  • Cutaway stabilizer - Provides stability throughout the design and can be trimmed closely after embroidery is complete. Good for text and fine details.

  • Washaway stabilizer - Provides temporary stability that washes out after the embroidery process. Helps prevent fabric distortion.

  • Adhesive stabilizer - Adheres fabric to the stabilizer for stability. Used for knits like hoodies to prevent tunneling or puckering.

Make sure to test different weights of stabilizers on a fabric swatch before embroidering your hoodie design. Heavier weights provide more stability for dense designs.

Proper embroidery placement is key for achieving a professional decorated hoodie. Here are some tips:

  • Pullover hoodies - Utilize the center chest area below the neckline for small logos or designs. Larger designs can go on the back between the shoulders.

  • Zip-up hoodies - Place designs above the zipper on the left chest for maximum visibility. Coordinate design orientation with the garment layout.

  • Pocket hoodies - Embroider around or over pockets carefully to avoid placement issues. Dense designs can go below pocket openings.

  • Full zip hoodies - Use the upper back between the shoulder blades for prominent logo display. Front zipper areas often have multiple fabric layers.

Always preview placements digitally first and ensure adequate design clearance from hoods, seams, drawstrings and zippers.

Embroidery Post-Process Care for High-Quality Hooded Sweatshirts

Finish embroidered hoodies properly so designs remain crisp after washing:

  • Carefully trim excess stabilizer and threads close to stitching without cutting stitches.

  • Before first wash, use a press cloth and steam press the design area to set stitches. Avoid direct iron contact.

  • Wash in cold water, delicate cycle. Air dry only. Do not iron designs after washing.

Following these best practices for pre-treatment and aftercare ensures your custom embroidered hoodies withstand repeated wash and wear while maintaining a high-quality appearance.

Sourcing and Supply of High-Quality Hoodies for Printing

Sourcing high-quality hoodies in bulk can be challenging when preparing for a large printing project. It's important to find a wholesale supplier that provides blank hoodies made of fabric compatible with your preferred printing method, whether screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG), or embroidery. When comparing suppliers, consider factors like fabric types, sizes, colors, branding options, care instructions, and pricing.

Finding Wholesale Suppliers for High Quality Hoodies for Printing

When evaluating wholesale blank hoodie suppliers for a printing project, keep these key factors in mind:

  • Fabric Composition: 100% cotton hoodies work best for screen printing. Blended fabrics like 50/50 cotton/polyester allow for dye sublimation or all-over printing (AOP). Fleece and french terry fabrics suit embroidery.

  • Garment Weights: Lightweight hoodies around 5 oz. work for simple designs. Choose midweight 6-8 oz. or heavyweights 10 oz.+ for complex multicolor prints.

  • Branding Options: Seek hoodies without logos or tags that could interfere with print locations. Some suppliers offer tear-away labels to customize.

  • Size Range: Choose suppliers with standard men's, women's, and unisex sizing for a versatile inventory. Consider extended sizes too.

  • Color Variety: Stock a range of popular colors like black, white, gray, navy, red, to allow customization.

  • Care Instructions: Garments should hold up to commercial wash cycles. Ensure any special care requirements won't impact durability.

  • Pricing: Wholesale rates around $5-$15 per unit are typical for high-quality blank hoodies suitable for printing projects.

  • Delivery Logistics: Suppliers should provide fast fulfillment and transparent tracking. Some offer warehousing services too.

Certain hoodie models have gained recognition as exceptional blank canvases for printing based on their fabric, construction, fit, and affordability:

  • Independent Trading Co. offers midweight hoodies with a smooth cotton exterior ideal for screen printing. The SS4500 and SS4500Z (zip-up) balance softness and durability.

  • Champion reverse weave hoodies, like the Powerblend or Cropped Hoodie, feature a thick 12 oz. cotton blend fabric and signature double-layer construction, making them perfect for complex prints.

  • Gildan provides a budget-friendly basics option. The Heavy BlendTM Hoodie (G18500) has an 8 oz. 50/50 cotton/poly fleece fabric suitable for DTG printing.

  • Bella + Canvas unisex triblend hoodies blend moisture-wicking polyester with cotton and rayon for all-over sublimation printing. The 3085 comes in over 25 colors.

Comparing Men's and Women's Hoodies & Sweatshirts for Printing

When printing hoodies for both men and women, consider key differences:

Fit: Women's hoodies feature narrower shoulders, shorter torsos, fitted waists, and longer sleeve lengths. Order separate size runs for each gender.

Fabrics: Women often prefer softer, lighter fabrics with stretch like french terry or sweater knits. Men tend to opt for thicker, stiffer fabrics.

Graphics: Size, scale down, and adjust print locations on women's hoodies to flatter the feminine frame. Avoid small logos on the chest.

Colors: Include more versatile neutrals and pastels like white, black, gray, blush, or mint in women's inventory. Prioritize bold primaries for men.

Catering print projects for both demographics allows you to maximize sales potential!

The Ultimate Guide to Hoodie Fabric Types and Print Compatibility

With endless fabric options for hoodies, it's crucial to select materials compatible with your printing method. Refer to this breakdown when sourcing blank hoodies:

Screen Printing

  • Cotton: The best fabric for screen printing hoodies. Optimal wash durability and absorption. Choose 100% cotton or cotton-poly blends.

  • Polyester: Challenging for screen printing. Issues with ink adherence and curing. Avoid 100% polyester.

  • Rayon: Very difficult to screen print. Low durability. Skip rayon-blend hoodies.

Dye Sublimation

  • Polyester: The only fabric suitable for sublimation. Ink bonds permanently with the fibers. Aim for at least 60% polyester content.

  • Cotton: Not sublimation-friendly. The ink won't bond with natural fibers. Limit cotton to less than 40% of a sublimatable blend.

  • Rayon: Works well blended with polyester to improve the handfeel. 30% rayon/70% polyester is ideal. Enhances vibrance too.


  • Fleece: Provides insulation and loft for stunning embroidery. 100% polyester fleece offers vivid threads with no puckering.

  • French Terry: The loops and soft texture beautifully highlight embroidery. Often a cotton/poly or rayon/poly blend.

  • Interlock Knits: Smooth, finely knit sweater fabrics allow precision stitch placement. Lean towards blends with spandex for stretch.

Now that you know how to source exceptional blank hoodies and match fabrics to printing methods, you can confidently offer custom decorated hoodies suited to any project! Reach out for guidance selecting the best hoodie models, materials, branding options, and suppliers.

Conclusion: Achieving Excellence in Printed Hoodie Designs

Summarizing the key strategies, proper preparation, technique adjustments, and post-print care are critical for executing quality prints on high quality hoodies across various printing methods.

Final Thoughts on High-Quality Hoodies for Printing

When decorating high quality hoodies, focus on:

  • Proper garment preparation - wash and dry hoodies beforehand, use print-friendly fabric types, ensure blank hoodies are high quality
  • Adjusting techniques for hoodie fabrics - test prints first, use lower temperature heat presses, allow for stretch/recovery
  • Post-print care - turn garments inside-out, wash in cold water, air dry, avoid fabric softeners

Following these best practices for pre-print preparations, adjusting techniques based on fabric types, and proper post-print care allows you to achieve crisp, vibrant, long-lasting prints on high quality hoodies. Investing in high quality blanks pays dividends through better print results and enhanced durability compared to traditional hoodies.

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