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Cut & Sew Design Guide header image

Coloring (or in this case, designing) inside the lines has been a print-on-demand industry standard for some time now. While it remains a solid option for showcasing your creative talent, amplifying your brand, or making a statement, you’re still limited to thinking inside the “print area” box. But not with cut and sew printing!

Before you go all-in on cut and sew printing, it’s important to fully understand the differences between cut and sew, all-over printing, and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing. Each process has its benefits but also some limitations that you need to be aware of.

DTG printing has been the standard for a while but it limits your design to a specific section on the garment. This is not the case with all-over-prints.

As suggested by the name, all-over printing allows you to expand your design across the entire garment. Cut and sew printing falls into the all-over-print category; however, cut and sew garments are assembled only after your design is printed on the fabric. With all-over printing, the entire design is printed on an already assembled blank garment.

Design Guidelines

We’ve added guiding lines directly to the design tool to help create a final product that prints flawlessly.

Cut & Sew print guidelines
Keep the main components of your design within the blue line.

Blue line: Safe area – Components contained in this area are guaranteed to print.

Yellow line: Actual product size – Use this line to gauge the proportions of your design.

Red line: Print area – This extra margin accommodates any slight printer adjustments. Designs will likely disappear here but covering this area will help ensure a seamless final product.

Failing to abide by these guidelines can result in less-than-ideal products. Here’s a look at good versus bad artwork positioning:

Cut & Sew design guidelines
Examples of bad and good design positioning on mockups

To ensure customer satisfaction, campaigns that fail to cover up the print area or have important design elements outside of the safe area will be taken down.

Pro Tips

  • Keep your main design within the safe area.
  • Fill up the print area with the background design.
  • Avoid designs with borders too close to the cut-and-sew edge.
  • Submit only PNG files at a 100 DPI minimum to ensure your art file is accepted.

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