How Many EasyWeed® Colors Can I Layer?

When people who are new to the industry first see layered Easyweed® on a shirt, their minds start racing. I’ve seen it at trade shows, they start thinking of all the designs and logos that they’ve come across and didn’t think they could achieve using a cuttable product. The first question is usually “how many colors can I layer”? At face value, this seems like a pretty simple question. Siser® must have some formula for how many microns each layer is, so you multiply that times the number of colors and viola, you have your magic number. The truth is that the answer is much more complex. You might ask yourself these questions first:

1. Can you reduce the colors in the design and have it still look good?
2. Can the color of the shirt be incorporated in the design, eliminating an EasyWeed color?
3. How do you want the shirt to FEEL? The more layers, the heavier the design.
4. How experienced are you at modifying artwork to thin out areas of the design?

Let’s take a look at this Rubik’s Cube design.

EasyWeed Colors

6 EasyWeed Colors layered in a design

Right off the bat, we can see that there are 6 EasyWeed colors. Someone new to the industry or someone from a print background would probably start with a solid black background and layer the colors on top. For desktop printing purposes, this would be perfectly acceptable. But when layering physical materials is concerned, you want to have as few EasyWeed colors in layers as possible. This helps the design move with the shirt and keeps the shirt from feeling too heavy.

Let’s take a different approach to layering.

First off, what color is the shirt you’re using? If it’s one of the colors in the design, then we can eliminate that color FROM the design! Let’s say we’re putting this design on a white T-shirt. Now we don’t have to cut and apply the white material! We instantly took this from a 6 color to a 5 color design. What if we didn’t use a solid black shape as the background? What if the black was used as the FOREGROUND… or top color? The black cut piece would look like this:

EasyWeed Colors

5 EasyWeed Colors layered – but only 1 layer thick!

Having all the color squares cut from the black piece, now we can have essentially a 6 color design using only 5 colors… and the design is only 1 layer thick! Every color is making full contact with the shirt. This makes the design more durable and gives it a lighter weight, making it move better with the shirt and makes it wear better on the body. We’ll thicken up the lines on the black by a small amount so that if there’s any shrinkage in the colors, the black will still cover and the shirt won’t show through any gaps. This is all possible because of EasyWeed’s 1 Second Tack – you tack each color to the garment for 1 second and the final color for 10 seconds. This helps minimize shrinkage. If the garment shrinks, the registration will be off.
So by thinking about the design from a “layering EasyWeed colors” point of view beforehand, you can potentially save time, material, weight, and MONEY!

Interested in trying the file for yourself? Download an EPS and a CDR (Corel) file here. Have Fun!