A Halloween Feature: Fright Rags

Happy Halloween! In honor of the holiday and all things scary and haunting, we’re featuring Fright Rags and their impressive horror-themed designs. We always look forward to new orders and getting a peek at their newest graphics.

Fright Rags is the result of Ben Scrivens’ lifelong love of horror films, wacky shirts and a desire for a new creative outlet for his design talents. Nearly 12 years later, Ben is still loving his job. “I am one of the lucky ones in that I look forward to getting up to go to the office, don’t hate Mondays, and don’t have to punch a clock. While it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked, it’s also the most rewarding.”

From Terminator to Day of the Dead to Halloween, Fright Rags has designs featuring a range of cult classics and obscure films. When asked to pick a favorite, Ben responded with, “The designs are like my children, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. However, our Silver Shamrock and 3D Jason are among my top faves.” Our personal favorites? Ernest Scared Stupid and Cryptkeeper.

cryptkeeper ernest

Ben explained that he always has a list of films to add to the collection and requests from Fright Rags customers and fans. He went on to explain that Fright Rags has an amazing following. “It never ceases to amaze me how many shirts of ours people have. I’ve seen some collections that number over 100 shirts!” These fans keep the Fright Rags team busy year round, with an expected jump in business every October through December.

In honor of Halloween, Fright Rags has released their Halloween collection and is offering a special today-only sale — 13 designs for 31% off! Go check out the rest of their collections.

We had one final question for Ben. What is your favorite horror film? His answer: “John Carpenter’s Halloween. I saw it at age 4 when it first aired on television and it changed me. It’s what set me down a path that got me where I am today.” We’re definitely glad he ventured down that path.

jason silver shamrock


The 5 (well 6) Coolest Shirts I’ve Seen This Week

I have a t-shirt obsession, there are A LOT in my house, its part of the reason that I work for a Printing Company, and one of the many reasons why I love what I do. I’m constantly pursuing t-shirt forums and follow tons of designers and brands on social media. While there are a ton of cool shirts out there, these are the best that I have seen this week.

1. Straw Castle’s – Call of the Wild

Strawcastle's Call of the Wild T-Shirt

I really dig StrawCastle’s style, it’s hand drawn and a bit gritty with classic American influence. You can pick this up, as well as some other great shirts, at his Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/197850327/call-of-the-wild-tshirt? ref=shop_home_feat_3

2. PaleHorse Designs – Out of Body

Palehorse's Out of Body T-Shirt

PaleHorse has been around in the design / t-shirt world for a while and always does amazing stuff. Super bright colors and large prints. You can buy this here: http://palehorse.merchline.com/products/out-of-body-t-shirt

3. AnyForty – AnyForty X Mister Lister for CALM shirt

Anyforty Mister Lister T-Shirt

AnyForty is someone that I have been following for a while and they always work with great artists for great releases. They also do a charity art show once a year to raise money and awareness for various things. You can purchase the shirt here: http://shop.anyforty.co.uk/collections/t-shirts/products/anyforty-x-mister-lister-for-calm-t-shirt and all the proceeds go to charity. Super awesome stuff.

4. 8-Bit Zombie – Rad Dudes

8 Bit Zombie's Rad Dudes T-Shirt

If you follow indie brands then 8-Bit Zombie is not new to you, he constantly does terrific stuff inspired by 80’s video games and movies. This one is a bit of nostalgia for me because I spent countless hours playing the video game. The shirt can be purchased here: http://8bitzombie.bigcartel.com/product/rad-dudes

5 (and 6). Fright Rags – Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Fright Rags Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Shirt 1
fright-rags-tucker-dale-vs-evil-t-shirt-2

Fright Rags makes awesome shirts, everyone knows this, but these 2 are especially awesome. Released on 8/22 for Pre-Order, the latest in the Fright Rags line up is the movie Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. If you haven’t seen the movie do yourself a favor and watch it right now. Fright Rags actually has 5 shirts and one hat up for pre-order right now, all of which are great, but these 2 jumped out at me. All of the designs can be purchased here: http://www.fright-rags.com/collections-tucker-and-dale-vs-evil- c-40_59.html


5 Financial Mistakes For New Clothing Companies

We work with hundreds of different clothing companies every month.  Over the years we have seen lots of people with aspirations of starting their own clothing company have their dreams come crashing down around them, losing thousands of dollars along the way. There are many different reasons why this happens, but oftentimes, it’s a case of unrealistic financial expectations. Here are 5 mistakes I have seen time and time again.

Not Enough Money

So, you got a $300 tax refund? Why not start your own clothing line and  turn $300 into $100,000? While I won’t say it’s impossible, I will say it’s not likely. $300 will barely get you 50 printed t-shirts, which doesn’t leave enough money for a website, marketing, paying designers, etc. Plus, having a single t-shirt design doesn’t make you a clothing company. First, research how much it’s going to cost to launch your brand. How many designs you are going to start with? How many of each design will you print? What other expenses might you have along the way? If you don’t have enough money to do what you want right now, just wait and keep saving. This will give you more time for planning and research.

Spending too much money to start

I have had new clothing lines approach us ready to drop $20,000 to launch their brand. They release 15 designs out the gate, all with finishing’s and custom packaging. They end up spending more money than any new clothing company will ever be able to make back. You will, most likely, make a lot of mistakes starting out and you want to limit the amount of money you are spending while making those mistakes. You don’t want to print a few thousand shirts and decide your designs are not very good and find out that nobody wants them. Find a reasonable place to start (a few thousand dollars will do the trick) and start slow. Try launching your first line with 3-5 designs.

Spending money you don’t have

I have seen some great clothing companies crash and burn by spending money they don’t have. They put everything on a credit card, thinking they will make the money back fast. They print lots of product for a music festival, and it doesn’t sell. Take your profits and use that to reinvest into your business for growth. Don’t try to grow too fast or do too much. Know your limits.

Not spending the money on what matters

This can go two different ways. First, you can go super cheap on everything and put out a bad product that nobody wants. You end up trying to do everything yourself . You design your product instead of hiring a professional. You let your friend screen-print your shirts in his garage. Next thing you know, you’re stuck with a finished product that you aren’t proud of. Presentation is everything, and if you want people to take you seriously as a clothing company, then make sure you do it right. On the other hand, you can spend too much money. You use the most expensive blank t-shirt on the market for quality. You order hem tags, printed tags, hang tags, poly-bagging and custom mailers. You hire an amazing artist that charges $1000 per design and you build a website/online store from scratch. Next thing you know, you have to sell your shirts for $50 each just to make your money back. When starting out, having a quality product is important, but you don’t need to go over the top. Find a good blank that is well-priced. I’m a fan of the Anvil 980 and Canvas 3001. If you want to do custom printed tags, go for it. But, choose one finishing, not all of them. A customer isn’t going to refuse to buy your product because it doesn’t have a hem tag. Find a good designer in a price range that makes sense and choose the right printer that does quality work. Instead of focusing on the price of the printer, look at the type of work they produce. Most printers will send you a sample of their printing (not of your design).  You want to be able to sell your product at a reasonable price and make your money back plus more. Remember, your first line is important, but make sure it’s not also your last.

Starting a clothing company to get rich quick or trying to turn it into a full time job

Want to make some quick money or quit your job to become your own boss? This is probably not the right business for you. It takes lots of time and effort for companies to make a real profit, and for a while the profits they do make end up going back into growing the business. Very few people I know run their clothing company full time. Most of them work a full time job, and operate their brand on the side for fun. Some have a part time job on the side (like being a freelance designer). Avoid paying yourself with your clothing company for as long as possible. Just like any business, it takes time to build awareness and a following. It’s not likely that you will release your product online and sell out in the first few weeks. But, if you work hard and develop a good product, a few years down the road your dreams could become reality.


Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton Comparison Chart

You’ve heard us say it before… not every t-shirt is created equal. When you start brainstorming your next order, you will be confronted with a long list of available garments in each Fabric category. This week, we’ve created a comparison chart to highlight the 6 most popular garments in the “Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton” category. In short, Ring Spun Cotton is a tighter, stronger weave with a softer feel. In the apparel industry, Ring Spun is often referred to as Fashion Fit. These shirts are a nice step up from your Basic Cotton shirt and are often preferred in the Clothing Industry.

In the following chart, we have listed the 6 most popular Ring Spun Cotton Short Sleeve T-Shirts, showing their price per garment based on the number of colors in the print. To help you better understand how to use this chart, let’s take an example:

Acme, Inc. wants to print a 2 color design on the Gildan 64000. Using the following chart, they would find G64000 under the header ’2 Color’. The price per garment is $5.85. Since they are printing 100 shirts, they would multiply $5.85 x 100 shirts to get their total of $585.

Be sure to read the Manufacturer’s description following the chart to find out more about each particular garment. Please email us any time if you have questions about a particular garment or if you would like a recommendation.

Chart Comparing Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton T-Shirts

American Apparel 2001

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.3oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 100% Fine Jersey Cotton (Heather Grey contains 10% Polyester). Durable rib neckband. Made of 100% fine ring-spun combed cotton, this lightweight fine jersey is exceptionally smooth and tight-knit, making it a perfect surface for screen printing.

Anvil 980

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 100% Combed Ring Spun Preshrunk Cotton Jersey. Side seamed with shoulder-to-shoulder tape. Double-needle stitching on sleeve and bottom hem.

Canvas 3001

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.2oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | Comfort and style with a super-soft drape you want to sleep in. 30-single 100% combed and ring-spun cotton 4.2oz shoulder taping.

Gildan 64000

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | Narrower 3/4″ rib knit collar. Deluxe 30′s ring spun softness. Euro style fit in neck/shoulder/sleeves. Seamless double needle collar. Taped neck and shoulders. Double needle sleeves and bottom hem. Quarter-turned to eliminate center crease.

Next Level 3600

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.3oz | 100% RIng Spun Cotton | 100% Combed Ring Spun Jersey Cotton. Set in collar.

Tultex 0202

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 30/1′s fine knit jersey. Tubular construction. Ribbed crew taped neck and shoulders with double needle sleeves and bottom hem. Tear-away tag. Reactive dyed. Dischargeable (Heather – 90% Cotton/10% Polyester).

 


Unisex Shirts… Not Really.

The term Unisex in the garment world means that it will fit most “everyone, male or female. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be flattering. With current trends in fashion, most people are looking for a slim-fitted look. Unisex shirts will be slim and fitted on some, mostly men, but they will not be slim and fitted on women. Let’s face it, men and women are built differently, so doesn’t it make sense that clothing is built differently for men and women? Most people want garments specifically cut for their fit, and most, if not all garment manufacturers know this and make a “Unisex” (or men’s cut) shirt and a Women’s cut shirt.

The 6 most popular Unisex soft style ring spun cotton shirts in the printing world are listed below, along with their women’s equivalent.

American Apparel

American Apparel 2001 – Unisex (Men’s Cut) vs. AA 2102 – Women’s Equivalent

American Apparel 2001
American Apparel 2102

Anvil

Anvil 980 - Unisex or Men’s Cut vs. Anvil 880 (Women’s)

Anvil 980
Anvil 880

Bella/Canvas

Canvas 3001 - Unisex or Men’s Cut

Canvas 3001
Bella 6004

Gildan

Gildan 64000 - Unisex or Men’s Cut vs. Gildan 64000L (Women’s)

Gildan 64000
Gildan 64000L

Next Level

Next Level 3600 - Unisex or Men’s Cut vs. NL 3300L (Women’s)

Next Level 3600
Next Level 3300L

Tultex

Tultex 0202 - Unisex or Men’s Cut vs. Tultex 0213 (Women’s)

Tultex 0202
Tultex 0213

In the current market, especially for up and coming indie brands, people are wanting to appeal to as much of their demographic as possible, so why not print on Men’s and Women’s cut shirts? At Threadbird, this is not a problem. If you are wanting to print a design on both Men’s and Women’s cuts, we will be happy to help you put that together. All you need to do is print at least 12 of each style. Feel free to send us an email at printing@threadbird.com if you have any questions, or if you would like to get an estimate started!


Why Does My New Shirt Look Old? Fibrillation.

There is a simple one-word answer for this question: Fibrillation.  To simplify a complicated issue, fibrillation in screen printing is when the fibers of a garment stick through the print, giving the shirt a post-washed or vintage, faded look. It is often mistakenly assumed to be an ink problem such as wash-out. The difference between wash-out and fibrillation, is that wash-out tends to happen in patches, whereas fibrillation appears as a more even “faded” look to the print. See the gallery of photos below – a real life example of fibrillation:

  • Fibrillation 1
  • Fibrillation 2
  • Fibrillation 3
  • Fibrillation 4
  • Fibrillation 5

The main problem with fibrillation is that it is completely random and fairly difficult to predict, even though there are situations that cause it to occur more often than not. We have found three factors that cause fibrillation most frequently: 

1. Dark on Light: When printing dark colors (with large coverage areas of ink) on light garments (mainly white), or when your design and garment have a high contrast. 

2. Soft Garments: We’ve also noticed that the softer the garment, the more likely fibrillation will occur. Manufacturers are making garments softer, thinner and more comfortable. This can compromise the cotton and sustainability of the garment, and ultimately the print. 

3. Thin Ink: When ink is thinned down to create a soft print, it doesn’t bind all the fibers together and creates a situation where fibrillation is more likely to occur, but this does not necessarily mean it will happen 100% of the time. 

Screen printing has changed over time. In the 80′s and 90′s, screen prints were traditionally thicker and less comfortable, but fibrillation was virtually nonexistent. The general public wanted softer shirts and softer prints, demanding that the screen printing world adjust to their desires. As of late, the ultimate goal in screen printing is to achieve a super soft, bright print. Most printers attempt to achieve this by manipulating inks, adding softeners and other additives to make sure that the print feels like it is part of the shirt and not an annoyance to who is wearing it. However, when you compromise the ink during production (by thinning it) you compromise the print on the end product.

At this point, you’re likely asking yourself, “What can I do to avoid fibrillation on my order?”. While easier asked than answered, we do have a few suggestions to combat fibrillation:

1. Let us know if you’re looking for a “soft black” or a “true black”. Soft black is likely to experience fibrillation where a “true black” will print thicker and will be less susceptible to fibrillation. 

2. Use discharge or waterbase inks. These inks dye the garment instead of covering it with ink. This will dye the fibers, and when they stick up, you won’t be as likely to see them. 

3. Add a clear coat to the top of your print to “seal in” the fibers. This will cost the same as adding a color (e.g. a 3-color print + a clear coat will be charged as a 4-color print). The advantage to a clear coat is that it locks the fibers in, the drawback is the additional cost and thickening of the print. 

4. Plan for fibrillation. If you have a design you think may experience fibrillation, add some distressing to the design and turn the negative into a positive. Use the “faded” look you may get to your advantage and add design effects that imply it is supposed to be that way. 

At the end of the day, it is always our goal to provide our customers with the highest level of quality. That said, Threadbird is constantly trying to better our production by experimenting with and testing things to avoid fibrillation and other issues that can occur. We cannot predict fibrillation, but we take efforts to avoid it and we hope that this article has better educated you on ways that you can become involved and help ensure that you get the product you’re looking for.