How to Choose the Right Screen Printing Pallet Adhesive?

How to Choose the Right Screen Printing Pallet Adhesive?

If you are in the screen printing industry, you must know just how important it is to have your garments secured in place. To prevent the garment from moving and get a nicely done print, you need to use pallet adhesive, as it keeps the fabric firmly in place on the screen printing pallet during the printing process. Yet, choosing the right one for you can be challenging with the different types of adhesives available in the market. That is why, in this guide, we will explain how to choose the right screen printing pallet adhesive.

How to Choose the Right Screen Printing Pallet Adhesive?

The right pallet adhesive ensures tight registration and quality prints. Pallet adhesives are used to hold the clothes or garments in place during screen printing. Based on your project, personal preferences, and garment type, you can choose from the four basic types of screen printing pallet adhesive.

How to Choose the Right Screen Printing Pallet Adhesive
Source: / Photo Contributor: Karlie Studio

Spray adhesive

Spray adhesives are the most commonly used type of pallet adhesive. They come in aerosol cans and are sprayed directly onto the pallet. Not only are spray adhesives most common but are also effective and easy to use. 

They come in different types, like heat-resistant sprays and web spray adhesives. The heat-resistant spray is needed for projects that will be flash-cured, while web spray adhesives are used for heavier substrates, like fleeces.

Spray adhesives have one disadvantage. The spray can fall onto the adjacent materials, get into the screen printing press, or cause an adhesive build-up on your press platens. So you need to be extra careful where you point the nozzle.

Bulk adhesive

As the name implies, bulk adhesives come in “bulk” packages and are extremely popular with shops that work with a high volume of prints, like wholesale t-shirt printing. Typically, they come in a liquid form, and it’s best to apply them with a plastic spatula or brush, or if you are careful enough, you could spray them onto the pallet.

We must point out that if sprayed improperly, the bulk adhesive can leave residue on the nearby materials or screen printing press parts.

Water-based adhesive

These adhesives are budget-friendly, easy to use, and clean up. As the water-based adhesive comes either in bottles or buckets it is typically applied with a roller, brush, or squeegee. The water-based adhesive can be reactivated with a wet sponge if it loses some of its tackiness. This adhesive can be cleaned with alcohol. Finally, water-based adhesive is not suitable for heavier garments.

Sheet adhesive

Sheet adhesive is like a double-sided tape that sticks to the platen. Sheet adhesives come in rolls or pre-cut sheets ready to be applied to the platen. This adhesive type is usually used for small press runs. Sheet adhesives should not be left in place for too long because it can be difficult to remove them, and they can leave a residue behind.

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Screen Printing Pallet Adhesive?

Screen printing involves using a screen covered with a light-sensitive emulsion to transfer the desired design onto a substrate. While the substrate is usually a fabric, it can be plastic, paper, or other materials. The screen is mounted onto a press platen, and the substrate is placed on top of the screen. Finally, the adhesive keeps the substrate in place.

Consider the pallet type

Each pallet has its own characteristics. So, the adhesive you choose should be suitable for the pallet. For example, if you use a double-sided pallet, we recommend a stronger adhesive to ensure both sides of the substrate are held in place.

Choose the right adhesive for each material

How to choose the right screen printing pallet adhesive for each material? Different materials require different adhesive types for the best results. For instance, fabrics with loose weaves or stretchy materials like spandex may need a stronger adhesive to prevent shifting during printing.

Rigid materials, on the other hand, like plastic or paper, may need a lighter adhesive that allows for easy removal without damaging the substrate. So, it is important to consider the specific characteristics of each material and choose an adhesive that is suitable for it.

Choose the right adhesive for each material
Source: / Photo Contributor: Himoly

Consider the application method

As you already know, pallet adhesives can be applied in several ways. If you are looking for a quick and easy application, go with spray adhesives. They are suitable for most screen printing applications. If you want greater control when applying the pallet adhesive, choose bulk adhesives. They are applied with a brush or roller and are ideal for specific materials that require precise application.


No one wants the garment to shift during printing. So, having your garments secured in place on the printing pallet is crucial. To prevent shifting and movement, you should use adhesive. How to choose the right screen printing pallet adhesive? 

The choice should be based on your personal preferences and your project. This means that you have to consider the pallet type and the application method. Finally, you should decide which adhesive is right for the material you are using.