Apparel and Custom Clothing Information

How To Make Specialty Printing As Easy As Mac-N-Cheese

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Mar, 24, 2015 @ 15:03 PM

It’s pretty magical when a t-shirt design and specialty ink fall into perfect alignment. With all of the specialty printing we do around here, this occurrence is a lot less common than you might think. In a perfect world, the design allows the specialty ink to exemplify it’s capability while the technical aspects are executed effortlessly, like making a box of mac-n-chesse. When we reach this utopia, we step back, take a deep breath and nod our heads in silent confirmation. Yes. It’s perfect.

Let’s take a little trip on the way back machine to around 2000, when high density printing was big on the t-shirt scene. High density ink is geared for a tall, square stack. It’s a simple as that. Why overcomplicate the beauty of the application with large, heavy complex t-shirt design that isn't very comfortable to wear? The Simple Shirt was born. Sans serif and small, the SIMPLE print stacked high and impressed. In my humble opinion, it’s the best example of high density printing we’ve ever done.


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How Soft-Hand Printing Via Discharge Inks Works

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Mar, 10, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Discharge ink was developed specifically for soft-hand printing on dark garments. Discharge is a water-based ink that bleaches the garment weave while depositing pigment. The look of the final print is quite different from traditional plastisol prints. The end print is more muted, the colors are flatter, and the edges of the screen stencil tend to soften through the production run. Butt-to-butt registration is not guaranteed. Discharge is really great for vintage looking prints with lose designs. Tight logo style graphics aren’t ideal for discharge printing.

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Topics: discharge ink, soft-hand printing

Foil Application: How it Actually Works

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Thu, Feb, 26, 2015 @ 16:02 PM

How it Works

Foil is a post-printing application, which can be applied on a press for certain affects. The means the design is printed first and a sheet of metallic foil is heat pressed during the second step. When the sheet is removed, foil adheres to any area printed in standard plastisol ink or a specially formulated foil adhesive clear ink. 

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Topics: screen printing techniques, foil application

How Fabric Type Affects an Embroidered Design

Posted by Sunil Nehria on Wed, Feb, 18, 2015 @ 13:02 PM

Did you know that the same embroidered logo can look different when sewn on various garments? Fabric weight, thickness, weave and content all effect how the stitches will hold up next to each other. For this reason, it is important to let us know what material we will sew when requesting an embroidery quote or placing an order. We digitize all logos for the best embroidery depending on what fabric we are sewing on.

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Topics: embroidered apparel

4 FAQs About Using A White Under Base when Screen Printing

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Feb, 17, 2015 @ 11:02 AM

When estimating the number of screens needed to produce a custom screen printed order, designers and brokers alike are often unsure whether or not their design will need a preliminary white under base for the best print. The print colors in the design plays a part, but generally it’s the shirt color that determines whether or not an under base is needed.

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4 Order Processing Steps Contract Decorators Need To Follow

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Feb, 03, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

There are numerous variables that go into placing, producing, and delivering a custom decorated textile order. A tight and organized process is key in making sure the decoration order goes off without a hitch and keeping you informed along the way. This process illustration details the key points we focused on back in 2005. And guess what? These key points are executed in 4 simple steps every day, to this very day - to get your order out on time and correctly. 

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The Materials Used For Digital Printing on Fabric

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Thu, Jan, 29, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Few aspects of my job as a Sharprint Sales Insider are as disheartening as having to utter any statement that contains the words "we can't." It goes against the entire credo of this super-positive team of go-getters. However, when it comes to direct to garment printing, one limitation lingers every day -- the garment options for digital printing.

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The Detail Driven Steps to Creating Embroidered Apparel

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Fri, Jan, 23, 2015 @ 15:01 PM

In the decorated apparel industry, it is very important to capture the greatest level of detail possible to leave the customer with the end result that they expect.

With a professional digitizer and the appropriate machinery, it is possible to achieve very detailed and excellent embroidery results.

However, there are limitations to the amount of achievable detail when applying embroidery. When embroidering letters, it is important to follow a few guidelines and understand what will and will not work.

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Facts About Screen Print Fonts, Type, and Text

Posted by Zach Corn on Thu, Jan, 22, 2015 @ 15:01 PM

Typography (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging art to make language visible. So whether you have sighed at the over use of Comic Sans, or admired the subtle architecture of Bodoni Open-face - you spend time with fonts. Here are a few tools to make your life easier. Some may be old news for you, but remember, some people might be behind the “Times”. 

DaFont

Dafont.com is sometimes scoffed at in more formal design atmospheres, but for apparel design it is just what the doctor ordered. Hundreds of fonts that may work perfectly for your job. Some may be cheesy, but others are really great to play with. Try taking a more complex font, creating outlines, and then adjusting it to meet your needs. It will really help you with your vector manipulation skills as well. 

What The FONT?!

“What the font” is for those days that someone sends you a scanned-in business card and has no idea what the font is. Maybe you don’t want to spend the time tracing it, or you like the font and you want to own it. First upload a screenshot* of just a portion of the type that you want to identify. (You may need to straighten it or adjust the contrast). The directions from there are pretty self explanatory. 

Identifont

This starts to get in to the geeky side of typography and that’s why I like it. You can identify fonts based on style of serifs, ascenders, descenders, and what have you. This may not be for the first time “type jockey”, but once you get in to it, you will certainly appreciate how deep the wormhole goes. 

Sometimes, the best tool for type creation, type setting, and type diagnosis is your own ingenuity and the internet. I find myself tooling around looking for inspiration (read: procrastinating) quite a bit. Here are some of the most inspirational links I have found:

So as you can see, there is more to this world than the handful of fonts that your computer comes with. Be inventive, creative, and remember that the rules of type are meant to be broken.

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Topics: Screen Print Fonts, Typography, Text

Turning Art Files Into Embroidery with Digitizing

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, Jan, 14, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Ever wonder how a company logo or cool design goes from a digital art file to a beautifully embroidered shirt? The process is called digitizing and the artists that do it are called - you guessed it - digitizers. Basically, digitizing is redrawing a logo or design as stitches in a special embroidery software program designed to do just that. We use a program called Punto at Sharprint. Digitizers aren’t just digital artists, though, they have to be experts in the craft of embroidery.

The first step in digitizing art for embroidery is trouble shooting the design and considering the fabric to be sew. The digitizer looks for small detail or letters that won’t sew well to inform you or your client if something won’t work. Then the digitizer comes up with a plan to produce the best looking and performing embroidery. This plan is communicated through the software in terms of the type of stitch used, density of the stitch, what type of underlay stitch will be used, thread color, and logo size. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This is the logo we will use on our little visual trip. You can see the vector paths (blue lines) making up the logo on the right.

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