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Custom T-Shirts and the Different Types of Printing Techniques

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, Aug, 20, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

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.

Screen Printed T-Shirts

The screen-printing industry is continually growing and changing. Press and equipment companies are developing new machinery and technologies every year. This revolution has led to ground-breaking technology that has led to increased efficiency and quality.

With this advancing technology, the process for t-shirt printing is not only considered an art, but a science. While there are different methods used for screen-printed t-shirts, all-over printing garners the most attention. This printing of the entire surface area of a t-shirt depends on the desired style of art, and can vary in complexity and price. There are 3 main types of all-over printing: One Color, Standard, and All-Over-Plus.

One Color All-Over Printed T-Shirts 

One Color prints can be considered the simplest of the three methods. It consists of a single color of ink, which is passed over the entire surface area. For optimal quality, one shade variation is usually recommended.

Standard All-Over Printed T-Shirts 

With this method, multiple spot colors are used to print over the entire t-shirt. As with One Color, shade variations can be implemented, but remember, simple is better.

All-Over Plus Printed T-Shirts 

If ‘dress to impress’ is your motto, All-Over Plus will definitely get you there. Multi-color designs are used in conjunction with a One Color AOP for this method. Or you can take the route of adding additional print to a Standard AOP.

Overall, there are a number of steps involved before a request for a t-shirt project reaches packaging & shipment. Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Review Art Submission
  • Art Proof
  • Color Separation & Film Output
  • Pre-Press Meeting
  • Screen Exposure
  • Screen Prep for Production
  • Mixing Ink
  • Set Up 
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Achieving the Best Possible Quality When Printing on Polyester

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Jun, 10, 2014 @ 12:06 PM

*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.

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Topics: screen printing, polyester printing

Factors to Consider When Choosing Inside Tags for Your Apparel

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, May, 21, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

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.

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Topics: inside tags, custom t-shirts

Mastering the Design of Embroidery for Apparel Decoration

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, May, 14, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

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.

Understanding File Types

The first step in embroidered custom decorated apparel is receiving and reviewing client art files. All digital files are redrawn as virtual stitches to communicate the design to the embroidery machine. The process for redrawing a design or logo as stitches is called digitizing. The cleanest files produce the most perfect embroidery.

Vector formats produce the cleanest most exact embroidery because the graphics are composed of paths instead of pixels. When a digitizer zooms in to create a stitch pattern using a raster file there is a certain amount of “gray area” where the digitizer must use his or her best judgement regarding where the edge of the graphic is. When zooming in or out of a vector graphic, the edge is very apparent, clean and clear. 

Raster files can be used for digitizing, however, keep in mind that graphics created at higher resolutions will digitize more exactly producing cleaner, nicer finished embroidered garments.

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Tips for Choosing Pantone Colors When Printing Custom Apparel

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, Apr, 30, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

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. 

Finding the right color can be difficult enough, but coming up with perfect pairings is even more challenging. Here are some tips for marketing departments who are choosing promotional pantone colors for the first time.

Channel Seasonal Hues

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5 Elements to Avoid When Designing Art for Screen Print

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Apr, 22, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

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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The Four Main Feels of Screen Printing

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Thu, Apr, 17, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

You've probably seen some of those super thick, plastic-y prints that tend to crack after wearing and washing a few times. You've probably also seen the kind of screen printed t-shirt with a super soft print. Maybe you even own some of both.

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[Quick Tip] How DTG Printing Differs From Light to Dark Garments

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Mon, Mar, 24, 2014 @ 13:03 PM

There’s a lot that is the same about printing light and darks for DTG. Shirts must be 100% cotton. The artwork needs to be submitted in the same way. The ink on the shirts must also be cured whether the tee is a light or dark color, so what’s the difference? The main difference is a step in the process called pre-treating. Only dark t-shirts get pre-treatment.

Pre-treating is spraying a starch like liquid substance on the garment, then heat pressing the tee to dry. The liquid acts as a substrate primer for the white underbase. Without pre-treating the white under base print sinks into the shirt and neither the white or any CMYK print colors on top are visible.

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Screen Printing Process for Same Designs on Different Garments

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Tue, Mar, 04, 2014 @ 15:03 PM

When screen printing a logo or design on apparel, it’s common to order companion garments or accessories. Does a higher volume discount apply when you print different kinds of garments with the same design? If the garments are similar chances are you can have them produced all together. T-shirts and tank tops are a good example of this as long as the design, placement, and size of the design are the same. When you are printing differently types of garments chances are the orders will need to be produced separately. T-shirts and tote bags are a good example of this. Even if the design and size are the same, it's the placement of a logo or design that really determines whether or not different garment types can be produced together.

In this blog, we'll discuss the specifics about screen printing apparel and accessories to illustrate why different garments printing with the same logo must be done as separate orders.

The surface onto which a garment is placed or loaded in order to be printed is called a pallet or table. Pallets come in various sizes to facilitate the best quality and most efficient screen printing. Each set of specialized pallets can be removed and switched out for a different set. For example, sleeve pallets are  6” wide because you can't stretch a sleeve over something meant to accommodate an entire shirt.  This size also lends itself to printing toddler and baby garments, along with tote pockets and other areas that are too small to be loaded on a 16” standard t-shirt pallet.

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Making The Most Out of Your Screen Printing Designs

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press on Wed, Dec, 18, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

Screen printing is a type of printing technique that utilizes woven mesh as a means of supporting ink-blocking stencils. A relatively inexpensive printing technique that results in highly-detailed and very beautiful designs. Using screen printing for t-shirts and other promotional items can help get a business on the proverbial map. Whether researching the best ways to promote your restaurant, retail store, eco-friendly company or other business, screen printing designs are arguably one of the optimal methods for making yourbusiness apparel truly stand out. 

The "Unique" Factor

  • Utilizing these designs to promote your brand gives the business a competitive edge in terms of uniqueness. It is doubtful, after all, that another business will have the exact same design. 
  • Go for one design or multiple designs. A few choice designs for t-shirts or other promotional items can turn into collector's items, plus they provide a conversation piece when explaining the business idea or promotion origins to potential customers.

The Importance Of Branding

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