2 Undeniable Reasons Custom Clothing Always Comes Out On Top!

“I can’t find ANYTHING I like!” Sound familiar? If you’ve ever spent countless hours looking for new clothes and end up with a whole lot of nothing – it might be time to take things into your own hands. What better way to get something you actually like than to have the resources readily available to create your own custom clothing?

1. Creating Something Of Your Own Just Feels Better

Custom printing gives you the ability to look your best – regardless of what’s trendy at the moment. Want to rock a t-­shirt with your favorite quote, or maybe an image of a bear eating a s’more by a campfire? We can make that happen. Seeing your custom shirts worn by friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances or strangers can be incredibly rewarding because, well, that was all your doing! At Threadbird, we’re confident in our ability to give you the custom clothing you’ve always wanted and help bring your ideas and creativity to life.

  • Threadbird Custom Clothing for Kids
  • Threadbird Custom Clothing Ideas

That being said, it’s not just our ability to print unique designs on a wide range of apparel that makes our custom clothing at Threadbird so great. It’s also our wide variety of sizes. With apparel ranging in size from XS to 6XL, you can rest assured that your apparel will not only look good, but it will fit well too.

2. Work With Actual Human Beings

You heard us right – there’s a reason we have little-to-no automation in our process.  Every customer, every order and every need is unique and we have a deep understanding of that – no amount of automation out there comes close to the personalized, attentive guidance we offer.  Just starting out with your custom clothing idea? We’ll make sure every part of the process is crystal clear and will offer our expert recommendations along the way.

  • Unique Custom Clothing at Threadbird
  • A Unique Custom Clothing Design - Threadbird

Threadbird Custom Clothing

Have a question about how we can help you out with your custom clothing idea? Give us a call, chat with us on the website, or shoot us an e-mail. We’d love to hear from you and are more than happy to help in any way we can!


Stitching It Up With Threadbird Embroidery

Looking to do something a little different with your apparel? Embroidery is a great way to mix things up and looks great on hats, polos, fleece and variety of other options. We’ve put together a few points to help when considering an embroidery order.

embroiderypics

What you need to know:

  • Some details don’t translate well with embroidery. Small details and small lettering don’t come out as accurately, but the Threadbird Art and Mocks team will be happy to work with you to make sure the design turns out the way you want it.
  • Pricing for embroidery is based on the stitch count. If you don’t know what your design will require, feel free to email us for a quote.
  • When factoring the total cost of your order, don’t forget you will need to add the Base Embroidery Price from the stitch count to the item price of the desired garment. You can find those prices here.
  • Never hesitate to contact us with any questions you have along the way!

Thinking you might want some embroidery done? You can submit your order for a quote here.


Threadbird Finishing Options: 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 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. Waterbase ink blends 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 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!


Drawing a Blank? – American Apparel 2001

Hello Threadbirds!

Today is the start of a new series called “Drawing a Blank”. This blog series will hopefully give you an insight into the world of blank shirts. We understand that choosing the perfect brand and style is crucial when setting up an new order for your clothing line, brand, startup, band or personal event. We at Threadbird want to give you an insight on every shirt we have to offer, so that you can make an informed decision on what shirt to choose for your apparel printing needs. Today’s shirts are a standard, in the screen printing industry.

American Apparel 2001 – Made In The USA

These blanks are known for excellent quality. These are very comfortable shirts with just the right amount of cloth thickness, also is soft to the touch and are 100% ring spun cotton, also this shirt take well to different types of screen printing inks (Premium Standard, Plastisol, Waterbase and Discharge Inks). American Apparel shirts are known to be a little bit on the pricier side, but it’s one of those “you get what you pay for” type deals. Many independent clothing lines, look to these as the go-to shirt for their apparel printing needs. *Premium Standard & Discharge ink doesn’t discharge well on these colors (Kelly Green, Red, Royal, Royal Blue, Lapis, Cobalt, Purple, Forest, Teal and Turquoise)

To Fit or Not To Fit:

Personally, the AA2001 is one of my favorite shirts to wear. They are fitted, but don’t have a ridiculously tight form to them. I wear a large shirt, but it isn’t a shirt that I have to bump up in size just to fit. If you go on American Apparel’s website you notice that everyone is a slim fit in that shirt, but don’t let that detour you from trying one on for yourself. They are great shirts for any size.

Size Matters:

The American Apparel 2001 offers sizes ranging from XXS – 3XL. To be sure about what size you would fit in, I would recommend checking out their sizing chart to help choose the correct fitting. Also, they are Unisex shirts.

Colors, Colors, Colors:

The American Apparel 2001 comes in a variety of vibrant colors. Attached to blog post will be a color chart and a few photos of the AA2001 shirts for you to review. Currently they offer 52 stunning colors! So, if you’re looking for something poppy, smooth or even dark, they have many colors to choose from.

If you have any questions about these shirts or would like to talk to a representative about them, please feel free to reach us at printing@threadbird.com.

  • American Apparel 2001 Color Chart
  • American Apparel 2102 Royal Blue
  • American Apparel 2102 Gold
  • American Apparel 2001 Summer Peach
  • American Apparel 2001 Cranberry

Threadbird Printing 101

For anyone new to Threadbird Printing, here’s a basic rundown of how our screen printing ordering process works. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments, and I’ll be sure to answer them. Thanks!

Step 1: Get Acquainted

When you start thinking about placing a print order, take a few minutes to look through the Website. We list our pricing, file prep and provide tons of tips. Reading through this info will make sure you don’t hit any surprises along the way.

If you can’t find something you’re looking for, drop us an email and we can get you a custom quote.

Step 2: Your Design

Next, you’ll need to get your design ready for printing. Your artwork should be sized to print, in either a 300 dpi file or in a vector file format. See our File Prep page for more info on how to prepare your order, including downloadable shirt templates and imprint sizes.

We like to receive your files with colors separated into different layers, but if you’re not able to do that yourself, we can do it for you. If you’re not sure how many colors it will take, feel free to ask in advance.

We would also prefer to set the halftone pattern. If your design has large halftone dots it isn’t a big deal, so just ignore this, but if it is for detail and shading, your print will come out better if you allow us to set them. We have everything calibrated for the dot gain we will get using our inks and it is impossible for us to adjust for dot gain if the half tone is preset. Another issue that can come up is moire pattern, that is where we get an unwanted pattern in the final print caused by the halftone angle being set incorrectly.

It also helps us a lot when you know the Pantone color of the inks you want to use, so if you know those, please include them.

Step 3: Place Your Order and Send Your Art

Using our online order form (Coming Soon), you’ll give us your contact info and specify your print placement, product, sizes and colors. Very important: If you need your order by a certain date, be sure to note it here.

Email all artwork files to printing@threadbird.com. If the files are too big to email, please use YouSendIt.com.

Step 4: Approve Estimate and Pay Invoice

Once you place your order, we’ll use our trusty FreshBooks system to send you an estimate with your final charges, including shipping costs. If you need to make any last changes, this is the time to do it.

Once you accept it, we’ll send you the invoice, which you can pay online by credit card, PayPal or through the mail by check. If you mail a check your order maybe delayed until the check has been received and the money has cleared.

Once your order is paid, we’ll order your blanks and get rolling!

Step 5: Approve Mock

Before we put your items on the press, we’ll send you a digital mock up for final approval. It shows your garment color, print placement, print size, ink colors and final quantity. We do this to make sure everyone is on the same page. Once you approve it, we are smooth sailing.

Step 6: On the Presses

Step 7: Receive It and Love It… and Sell It!

You will get the shirts in 8-12 business days, plus average shipping time, via UPS.