Selecting a Tank Top for your Next Screen Printing Project

So you have an amazing design that would look awesome screen printed on a tank top but with so many brands available it can be difficult to find the one that best satisfies your needs, especially when you dont know what you need. We’ve observed three different brands throughout the screen printing process, looking for things someone would want to know about a tank top before ordering.

The Brands
Gildan – Ultra Cotton Tank Top – 2200
Anvil – Heavyweight Tank Top – 215
Canvas – Unisex Jersey Tank – 3480.

Initial Impression: Size, Garment Color, Quality

Anvil_215_Measurement_Image
Anvil – Heavyweight Tank top – 215
The width, length and color of the Anvil 215 that was screen printed matched the measurements and color box found on the garment’s product description. The Anvil 215 tank top weighs 5.7 oz. per square yard making it heavy and durable, it’s made of 100% pre-shrunk cotton, it’s soft and comfortable with a slightly tighter fit around the neckline and arm openings than the Gildan 2200.

 

 

 

 
Gildan_2200_Sports_Grey_Measurement_Image
Gildan – Ultra Cotton Tank top – 2200
The width, length and color of the Gildan 2200 that was screen printed matched the measurements and color box found on the garment’s product description. The Gildan 2200 weighs 6.1 oz. per square yard making it the heaviest of the three tank tops, it’s made of 100% pre-shrunk cotton, very soft, feels durable, with a comfortably looser fit around the neckline and arm openings as compared to the Anvil 215.

 

 

 
Canvas_3480_Charcoal_Grey_Measurement_Image
Canvas-  Unisex Jersey Tank – 3480
The width, length and color of the Canvas 3480 that was screen printed matched the measurements and color box found on the garment’s product description. The Canvas 3480 weighs 4.2 oz. per square yard and is made of 100% combed ringspun cotton making it the softest and lightest of the three tank tops. This tank top is very lite and thin compared to the Gildan 2200 and Anvil 215, it simply hangs off your body and provides a very breathable fit.

 

 

 

Post Screen Printing: Print Opacity and Feel

The artwork used for this project was created by C-More Designs and screen printed on dark colored tank tops. In order to achieve a very bright and opaque print, an extra layer of white plastisol ink (under base) was used. The Gildan 2200 and Anvil 215 had very similar results, the print is very vibrant and opaque with a heavier feel but is not noticeable on these two heavy cotton brands.

The Canvas 3480 had a noticeably different print result than the Gildan 2200 and Anvil 215. The print is solid and opaque with the only drawback being that the print feels extra heavy and doesn’t move or flow well due to the tank top’s lite weight.

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Post Wash: Size

After the tank tops were screen printed we threw them in the washer. To help prolong the life of the printed design, we recommend flipping screen printed garments inside out, wash with like colors and adjust the water temperature accordingly. Three mediums tank tops, one from each brand, was put into a dryer and three large tank tops were left to hang dry. After 30 minutes, the medium tank tops had shrunk a considerable amount, while the three large tank tops took longer to dry but shrank a little or not at all.

Heated Dryer – Size: Medium

Brand Starting: W x L Post Dry: W x L
Canvas 3480 20¼” x 28″ 20″ x 26½”
Anvil 215 20″ x 29″ 19¼” x 26½”
Gildan 2200 20″ x 29″ 19¾” x 27¾”
Hang Dry – Size: Large

Brand Starting: W x L Post Dry: W x L
Canvas 3480 22¼” x 29″ 22″ x 28¾”
Anvil 215 22″ x 30″ 22″ x 29½”
Gildan 2200 22″ x 30″ 22″ x 29″

(All measurements in inches)

Final Impressions

All three tank tops were fun to screen print, the design result was vibrant and opaque thanks to an under base. The final print was heavier, which is an expected outcome of printing on dark garments but is hardly noticeable on the Gildan 2200 and Anvil 215. Both are quality tank tops, whether to choose Gildan or Anvil may depend on color availability and the cost of the garment. We did notice the print’s thickness more on the lite weight Canvas 3480, which can be avoided by screen printing plastisol inks on a lighter garment color, where an under base is not needed or by printing with waterbase or discharge inks; services we will be providing soon. We also concluded that letting the tank tops hang dry turned out to be the best option when trying to avoid shrinking! Always good to know.

Do you have a favorite tank top brand that’s worth screen printing? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to C-More Designs for letting us showcase their design for this blog post.

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