Apparel and Custom Clothing Information

Tara Zanzig

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Eco-Friendly Apparel Cheat Sheet [Free Download]

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Tue, Mar, 20, 2012 @ 07:03 AM

More and more consumers are opting for products that are less harmful to, even beneficial for our natural world than ever before. In many cases, this choice comes at a higher ticket price. It is no surprise that more and more businesses are evaluating their processes and products to meet this demand.

The most obvious place to start for an apparel decorator is with the clothing itself. We've developed a quick reference guide for distinguishing the difference between sustainable, organic and recycled fabrics along with the leading eco-friendly substrates and their advantages.

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Spring 2012 Clothing Fashion Trends and Colors

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Mar, 15, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

As the seasons change, so do people's fashion needs and desires.  Spring 2012 sees some new directions in clothing trends, especially in the areas of screen printed apparel and all-over prints.  People in fashion-forward industries can use these trends to inform color choices, fit and graphics for their latest designs.


One of the key sources for international clothing trends is New York Fashion Week.  The 2012 installment of this event is not just about gowns and suits.  More casual separates and knitwear show up in nearly every designer's line.  This year saw many designers using floral, flower and petal prints on their separates.  For example, Proenza Schouler had all-over prints of pop art florals in stunning tropical colors of aqua and lemon.  Alexander Wang went Goth with black, white and gray flowers on knitwear. Thakoon's Bollywood-style shirts, vests and pants in abstracted flowers and oversize paisley prints had dazzling color combinations of pink and orange, and gold and turquoise.  Jason Wu's Graffiti-inspired prints of spray painted petals were pure street; while J. Crew went feminine and flirty with tunic T-shirts.  The shirts hugged the torso and flounced at the waist, featuring all-over aqua and indigo Impressionist prints of flowers.  

This year's clothing trends aren't just about flowers. Mod and ethnic color-blocking is huge for Spring 2012.  You can go brilliant with complementary colors such as yellow and blue, or more bohemian chic with bold squares and diamonds in brown, copper, gold, ivory and tangerine.  Fitted T-shirts are still in, so consider a long, bodice-hugging style in retro Beatnik black-and-white stripes, or an all-over animal print such as zebra stripes or giraffe spots.

For something dressier than a crew neck or V-neck T-shirt, consider a polo shirt with an allover print.  Spring 2012 runways have seen all permutations of prints, from old school preppie plaid to abstract shapes.  Larger format images that cover the entire front of the shirt are also popular.  Think wildlife graphics or, for the skater in you, giant skulls and crossbones.  

Another fun look in the Spring clothing trends is nautical prints.  Oceans and waves, abstracted or photo-realistic, show up in all-over prints as well as borders and details.  Bring in the tropics with images of palm leaves, palm trees, coral reefs and vivid flowers.  Bubble skirts may be out, but bubble imagery looks otherworldly on a gauzy top.  It looks like a sunny forecast for Spring fashion.

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Topics: fashion trends, Clothing Fashion Trends

4 Advantages When Working With A Full Service Screen Printer

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Wed, Mar, 14, 2012 @ 13:03 PM

No matter if you are a small business that needs five uniforms a year or a huge promotional company that needs thousands of garments printed every month, its to your advantage to use a full service screen printer.  Apparel decoration is a customization business and every project has a set of unique variables. At the very least, working with a printer that has the capability to fulfill all aspects of the decorated apparel business guarantees that you can rest assured that your printers will be able to properly react to unforeseen issues.

Full service screen printers have the capability to simply print your graphics on your goods or build your project from the ground up, choosing and ordering your goods, designing graphics, running separations, printing, shipping and more.  These businesses are prepared to provide services and products that you might not even know you need for your newest project.  Here are just a few of the advantages of working with a full service printer:

1.  Goods

Suddenly need a few hooded sweatshirts to add onto your order of printed tees?  Don’t scramble. Your full service printer can get them for you and have them delivered right to the production floor.  Have no idea what kind of jackets would be best for your project?  A full service screen print shop can help point you exactly were you need to go.  Full service printers can get you exactly what you need quickly, whether its two purple American Apparel Deep V Necks or 100,000 red polo shirts.


2.  Dedicated Customer Service, a.k.a Insiders

We’ve all got a lot on our plates these days so if you’re using a full service screen printer there’s a lot less to worry about.  Insiders watch over every aspect of your orders.  From making sure that you get the best price on a quote and approving the first print off the line to ensuring that everything gets shipped out on time and checking on each step in between.  Your insider has got it all under control.

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Topics: screen printing, Screen Printer, screen print

Distracted: A Collection of Works Featuring Brent Blanc

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Fri, Mar, 09, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

This Saturday! We're all super excited for Brent's art show. If you're not familiar with his work, this is not to be missed. If you are familiar with his work, you already know that.About the show:

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Choosing Custom Restaurant Uniforms [Infographic]

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Thu, Mar, 08, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Did you know employee uniforms are the single-most impactful element in a customer’s perception of your restaurant? Okay... that’s a huge exaggeration, but employee uniforms actually do play an important part in a customer’s experience.

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Topics: Custom Restaurant Uniforms, Restaurant Apparel, Restaurant Employee Clothing

Restaurant Uniforms Ahead of Garment Technology Trend

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Mon, Feb, 20, 2012 @ 10:02 AM

Advances in fabric technology makes it even easier to meet employer’s and employee’s uniform needs - particularly in the restaurant industry. This new technology allows uniforms to be less constricting, more stain resistant and easier to clean and breathe.

High performance fabrics commonly associated with athletic apparel can wick away sweat and moisture. This is especially beneficial for wait staff serving outdoor tables in summer months or in typically warmer climates. These textiles are known as hydrophilic fabrics. One brand you may be familiar with is Nike’s Dri-FIT.

Hydrophilic fabrics now available for restaurant uniforms are 100% polyester, however, the new knits are very different from the stereotypical 100% polyester garment associated with 1970’s fashion. These textiles use spun yarns for a truly cotton-like feel. Hydrophilic fabric is also soft and breatheable - perfect for active workers. The superior soil release qualities of these fabrics enable them to keep a new look wash after wash. Extremely durable, hydrophilic uniform pieces need to be replaced less frequently. This is an economical plus for employers. Hydrophilic fabrics are similar to 65/35 poly-cotton blends, although way more breathe-able.

A caution when designing a uniform line on polyester or polyester blends is the potential for dye migration. Whenever possible, print dark ink on lighter garment substrates.

Another fabric that can be more comfortable for active workers may be stretch based for flexibility. Many restaurant owners looking for new options are checking out pre-washed stretch denim.

Lycra® has traditionally been incorporated into fabric blends to add stretch. It’s not a perfect option because it’s rather hot to wear - especially if the employees job requires a lot of activity. A unique wicking Lycra® is available to increase comfort.

Flame resistant uniforms enhance safety, but are notoriously warm to wear for extended periods of time. Fabric improvements have made today’s flame resistant apparel more breathable and comfortable than that of the past, however, still not completely ideal for active employees. Nomex® is an example of one of the more advanced and comfortable flame resistant uniform fabric. A flame resistant finish can be added to a fabric that will also increase color retention.

Fabrics for active employee industries such as restaurants have made great advances and will continue to become more functional and comfortable for employees. Stay tuned for updates!

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Topics: garment technology, hydrophilic fabrics, restaurant uniforms

What's the Big Deal About Printed Tees?

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Tue, Nov, 15, 2011 @ 11:11 AM

We crank out t-shirts and apparel all day over here at Sharprint. Everything from give-away tees to high end fashion garments. Each item has an intentionally designed, well thought out purpose - whether it’s to commemorate a charity race or launch a new product. Decorated apparel is huge - no denying that - but what’s the big deal?

Clothing has a very basic function - coverage. Climate and availability are some obvious and relatively uncontrollable factors that influence the clothing we wear. Apparel isn’t just about function, though, so why do we wear what we wear?

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Topics: screen printing, apparel, clothing

Make Your Own T-Shirt!

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Fri, Nov, 04, 2011 @ 10:11 AM

Every one has a great idea for a t-shirt. When some one I’ve recently met finds out I work at a print shop, inevitably the conversation goes like this:

“You know what would make a really great t-shirt? (Insert idea here)”

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Topics: custom t-shirt, t-shirt design, T-Shirt Printing

How T-Shirts Supplied Water, Strength, & Life

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Mon, May, 16, 2011 @ 10:05 AM

A year ago, the students of Brooks Middle School started a group called Students Offering Strength. SOS was formed after the students heard the story of a village far less fortunate than most. The village, Ariang, located in southern Sudan, is the former home of Samuel Garang Mayuol.

What helped make this story touch the hearts of the young boys and girls of Brooks Middle School was that they heard the story from Samuel Garang Mayuol himself.

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Topics: t-shirt fundraiser, Samuel Garang Mayuol, Brooks Middle School

Printing a Vintage Looking T-Shirt

Posted by Tara Zanzig on Tue, Apr, 12, 2011 @ 10:04 AM

Everybody has that lifelong favorite t-shirt with the faded color, slight tear, and small but noticeable ketchup stain. Why do these tees continue to stay in the closet and out of the trash? Well, aside from the ketchup stain, people like the vintage, worn-out look.

Using specialized inks, decorating manufacturers are able to give a brand-spanking-new shirt the look of an old-worn-out tee.

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Topics: screen printing, discharge ink, water-based ink

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