Customer Feature: BHB Reptiles

Sometimes at Threadbird we work on a print for a customer and think it’s cool and then find out more about what the company does and it becomes that much cooler. BHB Reptiles definitely surprised us.

Since 1989, Brian Barcyk of BHB Reptiles has kept a wide assortment of reptiles from corn snakes to boas to bearded dragons. Whether someone is looking for a pet snake or is an experienced breeder, BHB’s online store has everything a snake or reptile fan could want.

Barczyk and the rest of the BHB team can also be seen on snakebytes.tv as they share their experience, tips and tricks for keeping a snake or reptile.

We recently chatted with Barczyk about BHB and how he found his way into such a unique career.

When did your interest in reptiles first begin?

My first memory as a child at the age of two years old was of a Ball Python at the local zoo. Not my siblings, not my parents, but a snake! I have been obsessed ever since! I always tell people you can be born with an animal gene and obviously that’s what I have.

How did BHB come to be?

I wanted to work in a zoo and went to college for zoology. I bred some snakes to make a little money to help pay my way through college. But by the time I was 20 years old I was making far more money from breeding snakes than I could at any animal profession. So I thought, let’s give it a try. Here we are 26 years later and life has been amazing!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Everything! I wake up in the morning and get to play with animals all day. I also get to travel the world filming wildlife in some of the coolest places on the planet for my web series named AnimalBytesTV and SnakeBytesTV.

Are the majority of your customers novice hobbyists or more serious investors?

We sell to three types of clients. The beginner or pet trade that are looking to have an awesome reptile as a pet. We wholesale to the pet trade in quantity to supply stores and other dealers and finally investors that will pay $50,000 plus for the rarest of animals.

What’s the largest reptile you guys have dealt with?

I just got back from filming in California with some 22 foot close to 400 pound Reticulated Pythons!

On average, how many reptiles do you guys have at one time?

We have about 30,000 snakes and about 5,000 lizards most of the time.

What’s the most difficult part of keeping such a large inventory of reptiles?

Employees… haha. The animals are always awesome, but having to deal with the keepers can be a challenge. After all we have to make sure that all the animals are cared for to the best we can and its important that everyone does their job! If one person fall short it can throw the entire operation off. Not to mention to 18 hours days! But I love every minute of it!

What’s your favorite reptile?

I can’t choose… It’s like asking a mom of 5 who their favorite child is.

Any crazy stories from the business?

So many…. My life is full of adventure! From travel to meeting amazing people. Not to mention getting the occasional attack from a huge snake to lizard. I have more scars than I would like to admit. Trust me there is never a dull moment when doing what I do for a living.

Thank you for your time, Brian! We loved learning more about BHB.

If you’d like to find out more about some of the other companies we’ve printed for or about our printing styles and options, stop by our site!


Threadbird Apparel Finishing: What are Hem Tags

“What the heck is a hem tag?”

A great way to add an extra branded touch to your shirts is by having custom tags sewn onto the shirt. We can put them in the neck of the shirt, but we can also put a hem tag on the sleeve or at the bottom of the shirt. Threadbird does not manufacture these, but if you supply them we will take care of adding them to your shirts. We recommend ordering your tags from www.clothinglabels4u.com.

“Are there different types of hem tags?”

There are two kinds of hem tags, and it’s really just a matter of preference. Both are great options!

  • Center fold – These labels have a center fold and the edges are heat sealed, to prevent fraying. You would wrap this label around the bottom hem of your t-shirt/beanie and top sew a tad below the top heat sealed part.
  • Manhattan fold – These labels have a top and bottom fold and a center fold as well. So you would wrap this label around the bottom hem of your t-shirt/beanie and top sew along the top folded part. Gives a neat finished look.

“What size does my design need to be?”

Hem tags are commonly created in 1” X 1” (25.4mm X 25.4mm) squares (open label being 1” X 2”). However, most manufacturers can adjust the size to guarantee it works best for your design. NOTE: Be sure to include an extra 1/8 SA on top for sewing when folded.

“What’s all this talk about damask labels?”

When discussing hem tags, you might hear the term damask labels referenced. Damask refers to the size of thread used and there are two kinds – 100 denier damask and 50 denier damask. 50 denier damask yarn will be half the size of the 100 denier damask yarn, resulting in finer detail and a softer feel. Damask is made of polyester yarns and comes in hundreds of colors. Now you know!

“How much longer will my order take?”  

One thing to note when ordering hem tags is that manufacturing the actual tags can take up to a few weeks, so plenty of time needs to be allowed prior to us receiving the tags to add to your garments.

On our end we estimate roughly 2-5 additional days to the turnaround time per finishing on standard orders. Our team can help to offer better timeline estimates once your order has been placed and all approvals have been made.

“So, how much??”

We’ve mapped it all out for you. One thing we recommend, however, is that you send us extra hem tags. If you include a buffer of about 10% extra that allows room for loss, error or manufacturer defects. Again, the pricing below is only for sewing the hem tags on – not the actual manufacturing.

Hem Tag Pricing

We’re big fans of this finishing option for an extra branded touch on garments. Check out the site if you’re interested in placing an order or have any other questions.


Best Printing Styles for Screen Printing

There is an ongoing debate over the best way to screen print. Threadbird Printing has been working to develop an answer so that we can continue to deliver the best possible product to our customers. What we’ve found is that each style has its pros and cons and there is not one perfect process. It also comes down to who is doing the actual printing (there are good printers and bad printers) and what the customer is looking for. Personally, I like my prints to be soft, either no-feel or with a slight hand (barely any feel). However, some customers associate a thicker print with higher quality.

One of the things I love about screen printing is the science behind it. The ink, as well as the shirt itself, have such an effect on the end result. The shirt color and fabric can affect the outcome of the print. An experienced printer knows this and can help you better understand what results you will get. For example, some people believe you can only use discharge on 100% cotton shirts. This is not true; however, discharge does work “best” on 100% Cotton. On tri-blends or 50/50 blends, a discharge print will come out looking faded and vintage which may be the look you are going for. If you are not looking for a vintage print and want to use discharge ink, 100% cotton is the only option.

So, let’s take a look at the 4 most popular print styles today: plastisol, waterbase, discharge and hybrid.

Plastisol

Plastisol screen printing is the traditional style of screen printing that has been around forever. It is the most commonly used ink for screen printing because it is the cheapest and most user-friendly. It works on all types of fabrics, produces bright colors and is perfect for color matching. Like the name implies, plastisol inks are essentially plastic. The major downside to using plastisol inks is that the thickness of the ink can make the final print a bit on the rough side, which can feel heavy and less breathable. Colors can also bleed together when they touch and you do not get as much detail. Very detailed prints with small dots or lines may not print well.
Plastisol

Waterbase

Waterbase inks are as they sound, water-based. This makes them eco-friendly and easy to clean up. The water is mixed with a dye or pigment and then evaporated during the drying stage of printing. You have a slight hand (soft feel) after printing with waterbase inks, but it becomes no-feel after its first wash. Water-based printing allows the ink to blend into the shirt instead of sitting on top of it. One downside of using waterbase inks is that they are less opaque, so the color of the shirt will influence the print itself. For example, a bright red ink on a black shirt will come out as a very dark red. Waterbase delivers the best results on white or very light colored shirts with dark colored inks. When printing lighter colored inks on dark colored shirts, the ink colors will change resulting in a more vintage look. Because of this we can’t guarantee color matching when using waterbase inks.
Waterbase

Discharge

Discharge is waterbase ink with an added bleaching agent. This allows us to print waterbase ink on dark garments by bleaching out the color of the shirt and replacing it with a new color. Discharge inks are also no-feel once washed. Discharge apparel printing produces the best results on 100% cotton shirts because cotton is the “only” fabric that will bleach. You can use discharge on other fabrics, but you will see the texture of the polyester (and other threads) through the print. This could result in a very cool “distressed” looking print. There are exceptions to the rules, for example, if you are printing on a poly-cotton heather shirt and the poly is white, you will see great results using discharge. Unfortunately, certain colors like royal, red, kelly green and purple do not discharge completely. Like waterbase, the ink color will be affected by how well the shirt will discharge, so we cannot guarantee color matching. Print colors are also usually more muted when printing with discharge.
Discharge

Hybrid (Discharge Underbase/Premium Standard)

Premium Standard is a name we created. This is our standard ink which is used on 80% of the jobs we print. It’s a hybrid between discharge printing and plastisol. We use discharge as the underbase (bottom layer) with a soft style plastisol on top. The end result is a really soft print with brighter and more accurate colors – the best of both worlds! You may be thinking, “That sounds great! Why don’t you use it all the time?” Premium Standard may sound like your best option, but it isn’t perfect. As we mentioned above, using discharge requires a garment that discharges well. If we can use the discharge to make the underbase white or as white as possible, the top coat will print much better. If the underbase does not discharge well, the top colors will not look as good, however they will be brighter and more accurate than using discharge alone.
Hybrid

So which printing style is the best? Personally, I would go with the hybrid (Premium Standard), our most popular printing style. There is no additional charge for Premium Standard because the best quality printing is what matters the most. In the end, the best style comes down to personal preference and what will work best with your garments and final design. Each design is different and we are here to make sure yours look amazing! Reach out to one of our printing experts today and lets make something amazing together!


The Threadbird Family Is Growing: Part 2

At Threadbird we’re about quality screen printing and quality people. Recently the team has welcomed on a number of new members. We continue to focus on keeping the culture we love while prioritizing customer service and the final product. We’re really pumped about what our most recent additions bring to the lineup!


Molly Williams Threadbird

Molly Williams – Community Management

When did you join the Threadbird team?

October 2014

Hometown:

Toledo, OH

Hobbies/Interests outside of Threadbird:

Traveling, rock climbing, discovering new music and cooking

Currently listening to:

1×1 by HalfNoise

Favorite apparel blank:

Anvil Women’s Full-Zip Hoodie

What’s your favorite part of working at Threadbird?

Interacting with customers and learning about their businesses/organizations. The Threadbird team isn’t half bad either.

What else should we know about you?

  • I have an obsession with the Pacific Northwest and travel there as often as possible.
  • I am recently the new owner of a lab mix pup named Piper.
  • I love to sing – just not in front of anyone.
  • I geek out over a good game of Settlers of Catan.

Michael Hoss Threadbird

Michael Hoss – Art & Mocks

When did you join the Threadbird team?

November 2014

Hometown:

Springfield, MO

Hobbies/Interests outside of Threadbird:

Freelance design, rock climbing, racquetball, live shows and food

Currently listening to:

Kiev – Tube Orms & Foo Fighters – Subterranean

Favorite Threadbird print:

Snacker by Electric Zombie

Favorite part of your role at Threadbird:

Being a part of something that’s growing and fun. Also seeing the sweet designs that come through.

What else should we know about you?

  • I’ve never broken or fractured anything.
  • I’ve traveled to 46 states.
  • I may be better than you at ping pong. 
  • I used to have Xanga, before Myspace.

Find out more about the rest of the Threadbird team and let us know if we can answer any questions!


The Threadbird Family Is Growing: Part 1

At Threadbird we love two things: quality screen printing and quality people. Over the past few months our team has welcomed on a number of new members. With each addition, we’re focused on keeping the culture we love while prioritizing customer service and the end product. We’re confident that these 3 talented guys will continue to help us do just that!


Austin Cox Threadbird

Austin Cox – Sales & Support

When did you join the Threadbird team?

August 2014

Hometown:

Big Spring, TX

Hobbies/Interests outside of Threadbird:

Music, Classic Typography, Pizza, Hot Rods, Fire Pits

Currently listening to:

Andrew Combs – “Worried Man

Favorite tshirt blank:

I’m still a sucker for American Apparel’s 2001.

What’s your favorite part of working at Threadbird?

Getting to review all of the awesome artwork that we receive on a daily basis. 

Fun Facts:

  • I started designing t-shirts when I was 13 on Microsoft Paint.
  • I got my first screen printing job as an Art Director in 2010.
  • I used to make tees by printing off designs using iron on transfers.
  • I toured for several years as either a guitar player or merch guy.

Landon Ginnings Threadbird

Landon Ginnings – Sales & Support

When did you join the Threadbird team?

July 2014

Hometown:

Kansas City, MO

Hobbies/Interests outside of Threadbird:

Running my online stores, graphic design, scouring antique stores for vintage toys and novelty items, eating chicken strips, creating new nicknames for my animals

Currently listening to:

Harmontown, Comedy Bang Bang, & Superego podcasts

Favorite tshirt blank:

As a tall person who is 90% torso, American Apparel 2001’s are a godsend.

Fun Facts:

  • I have a cat named Turtle, a rabbit named Mayonnaise, a ferret named Nosferretu, and 2 hedgehogs named La Rue and Little Richard.
  • I own and operate 2 online stores flatblackcult.com & artisdumb.com where I sell screen printed & spray painted/stenciled artwork.
  • I almost went to the National Spelling Bee when I was in 4th grade. I missed qualifying by one round when I misspelled “Savagely”, it will haunt me to my grave.
  • I am a die hard fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Alex Nova Threadbird

Alex Nova – Fulfillment

When did you join the Threadbird team?

September 2014

Hometown:

Fort Myers, FL

Hobbies/Interests outside of Threadbird:

Cars, music and percussion

Currently listening to:

Only Love by Ben Howard

Favorite tshirt blank and ink type:

Probably the Next Level 6010, and I love discharge printing.

What’s your favorite part of working at Threadbird?

Honestly, I love everything about Threadbird. Being able to work with people you actually enjoy being around is truly amazing.

Fun Facts:

  • I’ve been playing drums for almost 10 years now.
  • I was a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 13.
  • I attended 2 state-wide chess tournaments in middle school.
  • I’m younger than people think I am.

Find out more about the rest of the Threadbird team and let us know if we can answer any questions!


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