How To: Have A Smoother Ordering Process

Sometimes in life there are opportunities to make things a whole lot easier on yourself (and others). Placing an order with us is no exception to that rule.

When you are ready, there are few simple steps you can take to guarantee a smooth and pain-free order process. Your Customer Service Rep may also want to hug you.

1. Details, Details, Details.

The more details you provide when you submit your quote request, the faster you’ll get your prints! Give us any and all details you have. There’s rarely such a thing as too much information in this case. The more we have the easier it is for our Customer Service Reps to quickly and accurately build your estimate with minimal back and forth and revisions.

What kind of details are we talking about?
  • Print location – Where do you want your design printed (Front, Back, Sleeve, etc)? Will you have more than one print location on the same shirt?

front1

 

back

  • Pantone colors – If you have any specific colors that you would like to print, you will need to provide us with a color from the Pantone Coated Swatch Book. If you don’t have a book, we will do our best to match the color we see on our screen to the one in your artwork, but be aware that oftentimes colors can appear differently from monitor to monitor.
  • Any special printing details – Does your print need to be a specific size? Does it need to be off-center? Remember, be specific if you need to!
  • Ink type – This will largely depend on the garment type you are using, however, let us know if you have a preference and we can tell you if it will work. You can learn more about your options here. You can also check out more about our ink printing styles in this blog post

2. Give Us the Breakdown.

We also need to know all the details about the garments you would like to print on. Which garments? Which garment colors? What is the size breakdown?  The more details, the merrier. Not sure which garments to print on? Don’t worry, just ask! One of our CSR’s can help you determine which garment(s) will be best for your particular project. You can also browse our garments here.

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When you’re figuring your number of garments, make sure you keep our minimums in mind! For example, all 1-2 color prints require a minimum of 24 pieces. You can get all the details about our minimums here.

3. Not Just Any File Type…

To create a mock that will result in the best end result for your print job, our Art & Mocks team will need a high resolution vector file. Not sure if your file is what we need? Check out our File Prep page or this blog post for more details about what we’re looking for.

Before submitting your artwork, make sure your file is:
  • High Resolution
  • 300 dpi (dots per inch)
  • The desired size you want it printed
  • NOT: a photo, sketch, Paint or Word file, etc.

It’s as simple as that! Once you’ve submitted your Quote Request Form, one of our lovely Customer Sales Reps will build your estimate and before you know it your order and mocks will be approved, we’ll work our printing magic and your order will be on it’s way to your door.

Have questions? We’ll gladly answer them! Just shoot us an email at printing@threadbird.com.


Your Threadbird Order is Being Processed: What Now?

When you place an order with Threadbird, our team immediately begins moving it through the system. You can help that process go smoothly and as quickly as possible by making sure your customer service rep has all artwork, sizing, due date (if specific) and shipping address with your order. We’ll handle the rest!

What exactly do we mean by “your order is being processed“? We’re glad you asked!

Once you’ve accepted and paid your invoice, here’s what’s next:

Your digital mocks are created. You should receive the mock for approval within 48 hours (usually faster).

  • Once you get the mock, double (maybe even triple) check the following:
    • Your Ship To address – This might seem obvious, but it prevents headaches down the road.
    • Finishing Options (printed tags, hang tags, fold and bag, etc.) – Do you have any? Are they shown on the mock?
    • Garment count for each size – Are all sizes and counts accurate?

blog mock final

Our Purchasing department orders your blank garments.

  • We order your blanks right away to speed up your turnaround time. If you want to change your blanks, please let your customer service rep know as soon as possible to prevent additional delays and/or fees.

Your order goes into production.

  • Average production time after mock approval is 5-7 business days.
  • Any finishings and/or complex jobs may require additional time. Turnaround time is an estimate and not guaranteed.
  • If you have a specific due date, please be sure to let your customer service rep know when placing your order.
  • Questions or concerns about your order in the meantime? Contact printing@threadbird.com.

Your order is on the way!

  • You can expect an email with tracking information as soon as your order has shipped.
  • As much as we cross our fingers that it won’t be an issue, we can’t be held responsible for any shipping exceptions, i.e. inclement weather, lost packages, etc.

We understand you’re excited to get your order, so you can count on us doing everything we can to make that happen as soon as possible while delivering the best quality!


How To: Getting the Best Screen Print from Your Design Files

So you’re ready to place a garment order. What’s next, you ask? There will be a number of steps to make sure we have everything you need, one being “high resolution or vectorized artwork”. What the heck does that mean? Well, allow us to explain.

High quality artwork is crucial in the screen printing process. The design you print is a major selling point for any clothing brand, band or retail company. It’s the reason your customers want to buy it from you, and we want all of our customers to succeed. Below we’ll answer some of the top questions that our customers have about artwork files.

“What’s a vector file?”

A vector file is a scalable art format that is most commonly associated with Adobe Illustrator. It’s a file that can be sized small enough to print on a baby onesie or large enough to fit on a billboard without any degradation or loss of clarity. It’s the favored file format of screen printers because it can be easily resized should the artwork require it.

“What does ‘high resolution artwork’ mean?”

It means that when zoomed in at 100% on an image, it has well defined, crisp lines. The two images below help illustrate that. On the top you see two seemingly identical images, but when you zoom in on the two images you’ll see the contrast between the two. The left image is muddy and not well defined. The image on the right, however, is clean without any blurriness or distortion.

  • Low Resolution Artwork File
  • High Resolution Artwork File

In order for a design to be printable it absolutely has to have sharp, clean edges. If it is even a little blurry the screen that the image is burned onto won’t pick up on the fine details and the final product won’t look right. For more information on the process of screen printing and more specifically burning a screen read our previous blog.

All vector artwork is high resolution, which we covered. But let’s say you created your artwork in Photoshop, Gimp or another design program. What then? What steps can you take to prevent your artwork created in those programs from being unusable?

  • Design everything in 300dpi. Dots Per Inch, or dpi, is literally a measurement of how many dots of color are in every square inch of a design. It’s the industry standard for almost any kind of graphic art as it produces a very crisp edge and is easily translated to print.
  • Create your project at the desired size you want it printed. When creating a new photoshop document with the intention of designing a new shirt, always favor a larger canvas than a small one. You can always shrink it down to work on the garment but you can’t ever stretch it out to make it larger without pixelating the artwork.

setup

These rules definitely are not common practice for even graphic designers, but when dealing with screen printing they make all the difference. Taking these steps will help to not only make your artwork printable, but the best quality you can get. They will make everybody’s job easier and guarantee the best final product!

Ready to order? You can go here or contact us at printing@threadbird.com with any additional questions! You can also find answers to some other file prep questions here.


Turnaround Time: What’s Really Happening?

So you’ve placed an order with us and are wondering, “What’s next?” or “How long is all this production stuff going to take?” Well, we can assure you that the Threadbird team is hard at work to keep your order moving and to get the best final product possible to your door.

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Here’s what happens once you submit and pay for your order.

Your digital mocks are created. Our Art & Mocks team immediately starts working to put together your designs and all necessary details for your approval before handing the final mock off to the printing team. You should receive it within 24 hours and the faster you approve the faster we can keep your order moving.

Our purchasing department orders your blank garments. We order your blanks right away to speed up your turnaround time. If you want to change your blanks, please let your customer service rep know as soon as possible to prevent additional delays and/or fees.

Your order goes into production. The average production time from mock approval is 5-7 business days. Any finishings or complex jobs may require additional time, which means turnaround time is an estimate and not guaranteed. If you have a specific due date, please be sure to let your customer service rep know when placing your order. If you have any questions or concerns about your order in the meantime, please contact us at printing@threadbird.com.

 And finally, your order is on the way! We’re big fans of this part. We love when our customers finally get to see their finished product in person. Once you receive your order let us know what you think! Share some pictures and tag us on Twitter or Instagram or let us know if we can do anything else. We want to know how your experience was.

And that’s it! Not too bad, huh? If you’re ready to start the process, you can go here, or you can contact us at printing@threadbird.com.


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.


12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Continues

12 Days of Christmas

We’re halfway through our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways and there’s no shortage of holiday cheer for the last six days!

In addition to the regular daily posts, you can earn one entry towards the final giveaway on Dec. 23rd for every 50 apparel prints ordered from Dec. 16-23. For example, order 1,000 shirts and you will earn 20 entries towards the final giveaway – $500 in Threadbird Printing credit!

And don’t forget about all of the awesome giveaways left:

  • Dec. 16th – 1000 Business Cards (14 pt (Gloss or Uncoated)
  • Dec. 17th – 250 1” Buttons (up to 5 different designs)
  • Dec. 18th – $25 Amazon gift card
  • Dec. 19th – 250 Vinyl Stickers (up to 5×3)
  • Dec. 22nd – Apple TV
  • Dec. 23rd – $500 in Threadbird Printing Credit

So go ahead, FOLLOW US and LIKE US for your shot at all the final giveaways! 

We hope everybody has a safe and joyful holiday!