We get loads of questions about our leggings, so it seemed high time for us to blog about them! We're going to get into the main questions people have when it comes to the design lab, the fabric itself, the printing process, sewing, and the opacity of the final product.
Our design lab allows you to create unique leggings with your artwork. There are design guidelines for you to follow to make your files ready for upload. You must also keep in mind that our design lab template is a size large by default, and an adjustment is done on our end when other sizes are ordered. Within the design lab there are many features to help you design. One of the most important is the text safe area surrounded by a red border on the template.
Below you can see an image on the right leg template that contains words. The words are partially in the red zone, which means there is a risk of them being cut off when we print different sizes and again when we sew the printed fabric.
Now check out the same image, but with the words placed properly so they don't wander off into the red zone. These leggings will not have the words cut off once printed.
You can see a lot of room between the words and the back middle seam in the preview.
Our leggings are made from locally milled performance knit fabric. We worked really closely with the mill to get a fabric of the right thickness, with the right stretch and that would work well with our sublimation printing process. We have a whole blog dedicated to this fabric, so if you want to learn more, check it out!
The Printing Process
We print your artwork on paper and then it is transferred to fabric in a heat press. The designs get pressed on large pieces of fabric, and the pattern is then cut for sewing by our prep team.
We sew your leggings with one of four colours of thread, white, black, grey or dark grey. If you don't choose one in your account, our sewing team will choose the colour they think best matches your art work.
We sew our leggings using a 4 thread overlock which incorporates a safety stitch along the seam for durability and stretch.
Below you can see examples of what the stitching will look like on a solid light colour, a multicolour design and a solid black.
When the seam is stretched on a pair of black leggings you will see the interior fabric (which is white) where the stitches were put through by the sewing needle. We'll talk about fabric opacity next, so you can have a better understanding why this occurs.
Sublimation printing can only be done on synthetic white fabric. You can almost think of the process like that of your home colour inkjet printer. You print on white paper because if you printed on black paper you wouldn't see anything. If you printed on coloured paper, the colours created by the inks would all be different due to the background colour of the paper coming through.
Another similarity to printing at home is that the sublimation print on fabric does not sink through to the other side. You will have one side with the artwork printed, and the back side remains white.
Because we have to print on white fabric, and because sublimation printing is not the same as dye that goes through the whole layer of fabric, a pair of leggings will never be completely opaque. If we look again at the pair of black leggings stretched, you can see that the areas being stretched are less opaque. When you stretch the fabric, you see more of the white interior coming through.
This is the reality for all print on demand companies using the same printing method. We have worked with the mill that makes our fabric to get something that is thick enough to add a bit more opacity while still being super comfortable to wear.
To show you the difference in opacity between multicolour and solid designs, we've taken a mug with black writing on it and put it under both types of designs.
Below can see some of the letters quite clearly under the solid yellow design.
In the multicolour design below, you can't make out any of the letters on the mug. Bold, multicolour patterns work best with sublimation printing, and will help your product in a squat test!
The next two images show you what both designs look like from the inside. The inside is white, but a certain amount of the design comes through.
The Final Product
Once your order has been printed, pressed, prepped, sewn and quality checked, you have a beautiful pair of vibrant, fade resistant, easy to care for leggings!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more leggings questions you'd like us to answer!