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Custom T-Shirts and the Different Types of Printing Techniques

 
T-Shirt Printing

Whether one chooses a traditional screen-printing process or a modern digital printing process, custom t-shirt printing is easier than ever before. Each technique offers unique advantages, so make sure to consider all elements before choosing screen-print or digital.

3 All-Over Printing Approaches for Custom T-Shirts

 
all over print one color t-shirt

All-over printing does encompass the entire surface area of a shirt, however, the are three different approaches a printer might take based on the desired print and style of art. Each approach varies in complexity and price, so please be sure to consult with a sales insider before you finalize your design.

6 Simple Checks to Ensure Screen Print Perfection

 
screen-printing-must-knows

Screen printed t-shirts are awesome. Most times they look pretty cool, but the medium isn’t all encompassing. Follow this simple checklist of the 7 musts to make sure your art will print perfectly for screen print:

5 Art Elements to Avoid when DTG Printing

 
Avoid Large White Fill Areas With DTG resized 600

Direct to garment printing is great for a lot of reasons, but the big one is the fact that set up is really fast and minimal. There’s no need for separations, burning screens, mixing ink or setting up a press.  While it's not as simple as hitting control+P it is much closer to instant gratification. 

Achieving the Best Possible Quality When Printing on Polyester

 
printing on polyester

*To the right is an example of an instance when dye migration occurred. The color of the design was white, but dye migration caused the red tint.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Inside Tags for Your Apparel

 
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Heat-Transferred or Sewn on Tags?

Aside from being wearable, one of the most common characteristics of apparel is the inside tag. So common in fact, that most people probably don’t think twice about where or how that tag got there. Unlike my gut instinct may have led me to believe, tags do not grow on shirts. Nope, there is actually some labor involved and it all begins with you and/or the designer.

Mastering the Design of Embroidery for Apparel Decoration

 
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Embroidery is a beautiful application for embellishing a garment or adding a branding element to apparel and accessories. Vector graphics on a computer screen often do not translate well to stitches based for a number of reasons including the fabric you wish to apply the logo to. There is a simple set of guidelines to follow that will ensure your art will look as exquisite embroidered as is does in your design software.

Tips for Choosing Pantone Colors When Printing Custom Apparel

 
main image

Flipping through a pantone color book is a popular way to choose hues for print products. When both the customer and the manufacturer are looking at the same pantone color, both parties know that they're on the same page. Simply saying "light blue" isn't nearly specific enough when it comes to promotional products. 

How an Embroidery Sew Out Might Look Different at Final Production

 
embroidery sample

The best way to preview a new logo or design as embroidery is to see an actual sewn example. If you closely compare your sew out sample to a garment from the completed production run, it’s likely you will find some variance. If the same digitized file is used for both the sew out and the production, how is this possible?

An embroidery machine has a number of stations referred to as heads. The number of heads on a machine can range from 1 to twenty. An embroidery operator can sew as many garments as there are heads on the machine. In other words, if the embroidery machine has 10 heads, the operator can sew 10 caps at once. If the order is for 20 caps, the operator will hoop, load, and sew 10 caps first. After unloading the first 10 caps, the operator will hoop load and sew the remaining 10 caps. You with me so far? Let’s take this scenario one step further. If the machine has 10 heads and the order is for 5 caps, 5 of the heads will not be used in the production of the order. This is where the red flag comes up.

In a production environment, such as embroidery manufacturing, efficiency is key in keeping costs down for customers. It doesn’t make sense to take up an entire embroidery machine to sew one sample while the additional heads on the machine are not in use. For this reason, embroidery houses designate a single head machine specifically for sewing samples. Below are pictures of a single head and multiple head embroidery machines.



Once the sew out is approved and the job is set up for production on a multiple head machine there are a number of factors that will differ inevitably. Sewing needles are changed when they dull, but level of sharpness is bound to vary from machine to machine and even from head to head. The amount of tension from the thread spool to the needle can be slightly different from the sample machine to the production machine as well as the the stress level on the bobbin spool. These slight differences will affect the way the embroidery looks, but not much.

Embroidery houses typically have rolls of standard fabrics that can be used for the sew out. The operator does their best to match the color and fabric type, but it’s not likely the exact fabric will be used for a sample. Different fabrics hold thread a little differently depending on the tightness of the weave and quality of the fabric thread. If you would like to see the logo or design sewn on the actual garment for your order, request a pre-production sample. You will approve a sew out first, then the actual sample will be sewn. Keep in mind, a pre-production sample will be sewn on the single head machine and not the machine that sews the full order.

So with all of this variation, why approve a sew out when it does not represent the final product exactly? Because the variance is really not that great. Sew outs and embroidery are meant to be viewed at arms length. Both fabric and thread are soft, flexible materials. By nature the shape will not be tight and perfect. Imperfections detectable at arms length justifies a new sew out.

 











5 Elements to Avoid When Designing Art for Screen Print

 
Illustrator Effects for Screen Print

1. ILLUSTRATOR EFFECTS

Illustrator has some nifty effect options, but you’ve got to be careful when using them.  A good portion of these options apply raster elements to your art, negating vector’s resizing abilities and requiring separations for screens.  The most common are the drop shadow effects.  These often look good (at first glance) and add dimension, but they complicate your file by mixing image types and severely limit the printable size of your art.  If you want shadows, use gradients instead.  It is more time consuming, but will be more cost effective and flexible in the end.  

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