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!


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).

 


Understanding Discharge Printing & Waterbase Printing

Customers frequently ask us about discharge printing or waterbase printing and why it works on some garments but not others. There’s a lot of information floating around promising that discharge will or will not work, but oftentimes the information lacks insight about the effectiveness or limitations of the ink. When working with discharge ink, there’s a difference between “Will this work?” and “Will this look good?”. We wanted to take a moment to discuss discharge, equipping you to make the distinction between these two questions and enabling you to determine what is best for your project.

The first thing to look at is the ink itself. Let’s start with an important point: all discharge ink is waterbase (water based) but not all waterbase ink is discharge. (You may need to re-read that last one a few times). The distinguishing factor between discharge and waterbase is that discharge contains an additive called ZFS (Zinc Formaldehyde Sulfoxylate for the super technical). ZFS creates a chemical reaction that essentially removes the dyed color of the material, allowing the waterbase ink to re-dye the material at the same time. For this reason, waterbase ink works best on light colored garments and discharge ink works best on dark colored garments.

When considering waterbase or discharge ink, you might try thinking of them as “dyes”. When waterbase ink is applied, the shirt color will affect the ink color, as the waterbase “dye” interacts with the material “dye”. For example, a white waterbase print on a red shirt will appear somewhat pink. Or a yellow waterbase print on a blue shirt will appear green. These results are not bad in and of themselves; in fact, they may act in your favor depending on the vision you have for your project. Some customers are intentional about these results to achieve a faded/vintage effect. Take a look at the following image for reference:

Understanding Discharge Printing & Waterbase Printing

You may already know that discharge ink is primarily used on 100% cotton garments. The ZFS interacts only with Cotton. It does not interact with Polyester or any other materials. To achieve an even color across your print, 100% cotton will create the best results for discharge prints. However, this does not mean that 100% cotton is the only material that you can use with discharge inks.

Threadbird Discharge Printing

In the photo above, the 100% cotton shirt in the middle has a very even and consistent white color, while the tri-blend (50% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 25% Rayon) on the left shows the heathering of the garment through the ink and the 50% Cotton/50% Polyester on the right has a very muted mid-range grey print. Results can be somewhat inconsistent and aren’t guaranteed to have an even texture depending on how the knit in the shirt is blended. If the knit is inconsistent (patches of cotton or poly and not an even heather) the print will look inconsistent. This is not something that printers can account for, nor does it really qualify as a misprint, it’s just the nature of the beast when using these inks.

Discharge Printing on a 50/50 Heather

Now that you’ve committed all of these things to memory, let’s throw another wrench in the system when using discharge and heathered 50/50 material. Some manufacturers blend their garments so that the white “heathering” of the shirt is polyester and the colored portion of the garment is cotton, garnering a better discharge effect. This is a great chance to do something out of the ordinary that usually cannot be accomplished. However, not all heathered 50/50’s discharge well, and it’s largely a case-by-case scenario. If you have a project that you think would be a suitable option for using discharge on a 50/50, just ask us and we’ll be happy to look into it for you. Below is a picture of a print using 4 colors, the white is discharge, the grey, black, and red are waterbase.

Discharge Printing on a 50/50 Heather Shirt

The Question: “When is it ok to use discharge on a tri-blend or a 50/50?”.

The Answer: “Only when you’ve done your research and you know what is best for your project or brand.”

We hope you have learned something after reading this post. If you have any questions please reach out to us. We would love to answer any questions you may have to make sure that you get the best results possible.

printing@threadbird.com / (407) 545-6506


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.


All for Samples, Samples for All

Sometimes the best way to get motivated is to feel the prints for yourself, so we recently launched the Threadbird Sample Store on Storenvy . We’ve printed up some great sample t-shirts and screen printed posters showing off the inks we use, allowing you to make an informed decision before you place your order.

T-Shirts

Our sample t-shirt comes in either Black or Heather Grey. The men’s shirts are printed on Canvas 3001 (4.2oz 100% Ring Spun Cotton). The women’s shirts are printed on Bella 6004 (4.2oz Ring Spun Cotton). Both are great, comfortable and stylish options. The shirts come with a descriptive postcard which explains each ink used on the shirt design.

  • Threadbird Black Sample Tee
  • Threadbird Gray Sample Tee

The best part is, each shirt is only $5 with free shipping. If you like what you see (and we hope you will!), when you get your shirts printed with us, we will give you the $5 back as a credit on your order! Just let us know that you ordered a sample shirt and give us your Storenvy order #, we’ll handle the rest!

Screen Printed Posters

Our sample screen printed poster is a 3-Screen Print. We used white, a silver metallic and a light blue to dark blue split fountain gradient to create these posters. The art is an adaptation of our sample shirts, and a great showing of the things we can do with our screen printed posters. 

Threadbird Screen Printed Poster Samples

The posters are printed on Mr. French 140# Speckletone Kraft and 140# Black Top. Just like the shirts, the posters are only $5 with free shipping, and we offer the same credit when you place your order with us. 

We’re also throwing in some great vinyl sticker samples that we know you’ll love! Place your sample order today


How to pick the right sizes for your t-shirt order

You have spent months working with your artists and designers getting your vision exactly how you want it on a t-shirt. You are all set and about to place your first t-shirt order with your screen printer (hopefully Threadbird ) and then it hits you. What size tees should I order?! I can say from experience there is really nothing worse than losing a potential customer because you do not have their size!

So what size tees should you order?

Unfortunately there is no magic answer, equation or rule to answer this question. Conventional thought is that you should order with a 1-2-2-1 ratio and honestly if you have no clue where to start it is not a bad ratio to follow. A lot of customers will be able or willing to go up a size in a tee and try to shrink it. Weighing everything more towards the middle just makes common sense with the thought that the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle and thus you will be covered most of the time.

There has to be a better way!

Although there is no magic formula and it always seems like you run out of the size you need, knowing your customer base is really the key to getting your tee order right. After several runs and releases of different lines with your company you will and should start to be able to see a pattern of what sizes are selling best. But if this is your first release I recommend trying to stereotype your customers as much as possible. Yes, stereotyping is usually not a good thing, but in this case it could really help you.

Know your customer

Really think about whom your customer is and what type of demographic they fit into. For this I’ll use a first hand example. I run a company called Pong Deck that makes a game that goes along with Beer Pong. Aside from our Pong Deck game we also sell a few t-shirts. When ordering these tees, I literally took into consideration that most beer pong players, like to drink copious amounts of beer and thus not all of them are in the most fit shape and are a bit larger than the Warped Tour emo crowd. So when placing my order I made sure to heavily weigh my ratio towards XL and 2XL shirts. On the other hand if your demographic is the emo crowd whom love skinny jeans and tight shirts you probably aren’t going to be ordering a ton of XL shirts. I know it sounds mean to stereotype your customers, but you have to be honest with who your demographic is, because you are trying to meet their needs!

Bottom line, know your target market to the best of your abilities.
Of course there is no perfect solution when ordering sizes, just try and do your best to put yourself in the shoes of your market and if all else fails resort to the 1-2-2-1 method.

Cheers,
Adam Hendle
adam@threadbird.com
@iamthetrend