How-To Screen Print Hats with Every Order

How-To Screen Print Hats with Every Order

Would You Like Hats With That?

The next time you take a screen printing order add value and increase your sale by simply asking, "Would you like hats with that?" Matching hats are the perfect accessory to any custom shirt order and printing on hats is just as easy if you know how.

Print the Rest First

Start by printing all of the shirts and hoodies in the order to get those out of the way. You'll want to print hats last as you might have to adjust the off-contact and screen position.

Print the Hats!

Once you have your Screen Printing Captain Platen Kit ready to go start by removing the shirt platen and replacing it with the Screen Printing Bracket Master Adaptor--don't worry this comes with your kit. Next, load the Screen Printing Captain Hat Printing Platen. Make sure you are using the correct top plate (the orange part) for the amount of surface area you are going to print. Load a test hat and make sure your artwork is printing in the desired location.

Loading the Hat

Watch and follow our step-by-step instructions to see how easy this is. Pro-Tip: Tuck the sweatband under the top plate--that is 90% of the task right there.

Fine Tuning the Print

If need be, raise the off contact on the hat to get a sharp print. Feel free to move the screens and center the print as well. For trucker hats you are going to have lots of print surface area, but they are thicker than the typical dad hat so watch out for the off-contact. For dad hats you are going to work on a much thinner material so the off contact might be fine--just mind the top plate and you are set. 

Lastly, make sure that the ink you are using is compatible with the hat material.

Curing the Ink

This part can get a little tricky because you do want to cure the ink, but you don't want to burn your hat. We recommend testing your hat + ink combo to dial in the proper settings and temperature. Here are a few other methods to cure the ink: 

1. Use a flash cure unit for a few seconds or in intervals if it's a low-temp cure ink or has a low-temp cure additive like Time Warp.

2. Use a heat gun. Make sure that you keep the heat moving so you don't scorch your hat. 

3. Conveyor dryers work well if you can dial in the speed and temperature for your hats to cure safely. You can also run the hats multiple times to get the proper cure. 

Printing Hats = $$$

Printing on hats is a money maker every time. They're quick and easy to print, they have a smaller print area compared to shirts and they are the PERFECT upsell.

Here are two main ways to make money screen printing on hats:

1. Upsell - Offer them with every order as an add-on and make more money per order

2. Service -  Offer custom screen printed hats as its own service for people who just want custom hats without the higher embroidery prices.

Watch our latest video to see how we easy it is to transition from apparel to hats

Leo Martinez
Print shop owner and founder of Key Print Co.

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