Professional screen-printing is widely done mainly using machinery, but there are some manual parts in the steps. This means better overall quality versus other methods, but with it come a few things to keep in mind. These 10 common screen printing misconceptions hold true for screen-printers all around the world.
“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.
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.
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!
Part of what makes our job so awesome are the people, businesses and organizations we get to work with. The stories we learn about from day to day are intriguing and always keep us motivated. One organization that has inspired us lately is Unlock Hope. They provide healthcare, better food options and a safe place to live for a group of girls in a hostel in Hoima, Uganda, which enables them to educate the girls. They believe this is the first step in ending a difficult cycle of poverty in Africa.
We recently got to ask Dallas Harris, founder of the organization, some questions while he and part of the Unlock Hope team are on the road selling merch and introducing people to Unlock Hope at music festivals.
How did Unlock Hope come to be?
“Unlock Hope has been around for about 2 years in it’s current form. I have started a couple of other companies with similar missions over the past 8 years until I found a story and product that really connected with people. It all started when I watched the original Invisible Children documentary. I immediately started researching ways to help the people of Uganda and started a company called Feed Just One based on the Mother Teresa quote that says ‘If you can’t feed a hundred people then feed just one.’ We donated a ton of meals through shirt sales but wanted to do even more. After learning more and better understanding the needs of Ugandans I discovered that education – especially for young girls – is the most important thing to them. It gives them hope and a future.”
“The keys have a double meaning. They are in the shape of Africa and symbolize unlocking hope for the girls at the hostel that we support. Also, many kids in Uganda have a little locked box where they store their belongings so they wear keys on strings around their neck and I wanted to create something that people here could wear in solidarity and remind them of the difference they are making in their lives.”
How did you end up partnering with Think Humanity?
“I did lots of research into tons of organizations that work in Uganda both large and small and found that many organizations simply don’t use their donations wisely. It’s pretty unbelieveable how efficient Think Humanity is. They are able to use 99% of all donations for program expenses by utilizing a volunteer staff.”
What is the biggest challenge of your job?
“The biggest challenge is being a small but growing company and trying to manage all aspects of the business. There are so many different tasks that come up that you would never think of and kind of just have to learn as you go. I don’t have any employees aside from people helping out for the summer tour so I do a little bit of everything. I recently started having Threadbird handle the online orders and fulfillment so I’m very thankful for that!”
You’re on the road this summer. What does that tour look like for Unlock Hope?
“It’s very challenging and rewarding! Up until this point all of the sales have been online so it’s been great to get to meet and connect with the customers in person. We are doing 12 music festivals this summer and hope to add more events in the fall. The hours are very long and there’s four of us crammed in a passenger van along with all of the merch and displays but we are having a great time!”
What is your favorite story or experience since starting this adventure with Unlock Hope?
“I love getting notes and cards from the girls at the hostel in Uganda! It’s always great to hear about their lives and learn more about their experience. I also love sharing the story with people and letting them know how easy it is to make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
What would you tell people who are passionate about a cause and want to take a step towards making a difference?
“Just go for it and learn as you go! I started by ordering 36 shirts and selling them on MySpace out of my one bedroom apartment and now it’s grown so much. Pick a cause that you are truly passionate about and it will make the difficult times and hard work so much easier.”
What’s the best way for people to help Unlock Hope?
“Aside from ordering the products and supporting the cause financially it is a huge help when people share it with others!”
We want to give a huge thank you to Dallas for chatting with us. We love learning more about what drives our customers and Unlock Hope is definitely doing big things. Find out more about what they’re up to on their site and Instagram. And be sure to check out their available merch on the online store.
Temperatures are warming up, sunshine and blue skies are making a comeback and we’re getting ready for your summer apparel orders! We know picking the right garment can be half the battle when placing an order, so we thought we’d give you a hand. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 Summer garments. These t-shirts and tanks are lightweight, soft and stylish, and we’ve got plenty more where these came from!
American Apparel 6401 – Unisex Sheer Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt
The classic. This ultralight, sheer jersey version of American Apparel’s legendary (and most popular item) Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt is great for just about any person or design. It results in a great print, too!
American Apparel BB408 – Unisex Poly-Cotton Tank
Lightweight and cool. A unisex tank in 50/50 combed cotton/poly blend. Featuring a durable ribbed neckline, as well as durable ribbed arm openings. The combed cotton/poly blend provides an ultra soft, worn in feel and superior drape. This tank is another solid choice for any design.
Canvas 3005 – Unisex Jersey V-Neck
The classic V. Outfit everyone in this conservative V-neck. Soft, classic unisex fit for all.
Bella 8800 – Women’s Flowy Racerback Tank
Girly and lightweight. Made from Bella’s exquisite flowy poly viscose, this racerback tank’s rich and luxuriously soft fabric is designed to drape perfectly and accentuate your figure.
Bella 8805 – Women’s Flowy V-Neck Tank
Trendy and flowy. Made from the same fabric as the Bella 8800, this v-neck tank is another flattering, flowy option to keep cool in through the summer and great for layering the rest of the year.
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?
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 email@example.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!
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.
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.
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!