How to Decorate Clothing for Warm Weather

When you are customizing apparel, your custom heat transfers and design may have an impact on how the shirt feels when it is worn.

This is especially true for warm weather conditions.

Knowing which fabric type to use is definitely another important factor to consider, which we wrote a few tips in a previous blog post to help you with material types.

In hot weather conditions, we talked about the importance of the breathability of the fabric.

When creating a design for your blank t-shirts, keep this airflow factor in mind. When you heat apply the screen printed transfer to your t-shirt, you are essentially filling in the fabric with plastisol ink. Wherever the ink is, the fabric will have a difficult time venting air.

In normal weather, this is not a problem. However, when it is hot outside, body heat and sweat can be trapped inside the shirt causing it to stick to the skin where the design is.

To help deal with this issue, here are a few tips when designing your next t-shirt that will be worn in hot weather conditions.


1. Keep the design as “open” as possible.

Having show-through areas in the design, will help cut down on how much ink is applied to the t-shirt. This will allow as much airflow through the fabric as possible.

Try to avoid large areas of solid ink.

tee ball open design concept

Layout QBA-220 has a lot of open areas, keeping the amount of ink to a minimum.


2. Try to keep the design to 1 or 2 colors.

When a shirt is being worn in hot weather, the heavier the design is will cause the person wearing it to be even hotter.

When a t-shirt is screen printed, each color is a separate layer of ink being applied to the shirt. In a design with multiple colors, it is multiple layers of plastisol ink being mashed into the shirt, causing the shirt to feel heavier which is even more noticeable and can become uncomfortable when in hot weather.

Keeping the design simple with 1 color will reduce the weight of the design on the shirt.

design using show-through ink technique

In this example of layout QBU-247, we let the shirt show through as the letter color instead of printing it as a color of ink.


3. Minimize the size of the design.

Again, the amount of ink on the shirt will have a direct impact with how comfortable a shirt can be when worn. Sometimes it may be harder to compromise on the size of the design.

However, when talking with customers, you can always suggest to them that a left chest design may be more comfortable for the person wearing it than a full front design if you know the weather will be hot for the event.

shorter shirt design for hot weather

Layout QBA-259 is more of a shorter height design, reducing the amount of printed ink, along with the open style baseball clip art used.


When you are printing custom t-shirts during the hot summer months or for events where people will be exerting a lot of energy and will be sweating a lot, it is good to know these decorating tips for creating the best experience possible for your customers.

Customers will appreciate when you offer tips like this to them and they will come back to you with other orders because of your expertise and customer service. Customer service is a great way you can grow your t-shirt business.


script and tail baseball shirt

Our Script and Tail layouts, like QAL-476 shown here, are great designs for hot weather.