screen printing

Service Tips, Top Picks, and a Trip Down Memory Lane.

August is our birthday month here at Threds and we are celebrating 25 years of service by sharing a timeline of how far we have come since 1994.

Rooted in humble beginnings, Threds officially launched in August of 1994 as a retail clothing store selling salvaged vintage jeans. Screen printing followed shortly in 1996. To highlight our screen printing origins, here’s a tip on how to brand on a budget utilizing our services.

When planning a custom T-shirt order on a small budget, consider the following:

  1. Select a simple 1-2 color design that will reduce the cost of your overall spend while still being able to successfully portray your logo or message. 

  2. Consider a 1-print location verses multiple print areas on the garment. You can achieve great brand visibility with a single front or left chest print option, like the examples below.

  3. Comfort over brand. Consider going with a cheaper brand of shirt that can provide the same level of comfort. You’ll save on costs, but not at the expense of quality. 

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In 1997, Threds included promotional offerings into our business portfolio. This allowed us to expand our overall custom branding capabilities and garner more corporate business. Check out Threds pick of the top 5 go to promotional items for any occasion:

1.    Drinkware 

2.    Tote bags

3.    Writing instruments

4.    Koozies

5.    Notebooks

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Embroidery joined the family of offerings in 1999 to service clients who wanted a more formal branded apparel look and feel. Check out our list of items that are a best fit for embroidery services:

1.    Polo shirts

2.    Fleece 

3.    Hats

4.    Jackets (non-waterproof)


Finally, in 2003 Threds introduced a fulfillment and e-commerce division, making us a full service branding powerhouse with a national footprint. What does this service do for customers?

  1. It provides an entire team of creative thinkers, committed to developing branded merchandise that resonates with your customers.

  2. We have a dedicated account & design team that understands your brand.

  3. We handle all the customer service needs.

  4. It provides fast, affordable shipping options.

  5. It provides design, production, inventory and order fulfillment all under one roof.

  6. We provide accurate product sales and inventory reports.

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Let Threds be a part of your brand’s story. We’ll do more than produce it; we’ll help you tell it. Start your custom apparel or promotional project today! 

We Don't Do Direct To Garment. Here's Why...

We sometimes get the question, "why do your have a 12 shirt minimum?" Threds has a minimum of 12 garments for screen printing orders because 12 items is the least number of garments that can be efficiently screen printed. With time it takes to prep the artwork, burn in the screens and set up the press, producing under 12 shirts would make the price per shirt astronomical. 

"Well, why don't you print direct to garment?" Direct to garment (DTG) printers offer lots of versatility, but they not up to par with the quality, as illustrated below, you have come to expect from Threds. We only produce the highest quality prints and cannot offer anything less than the best to our customers. 

The top photo is a print using a direct to garment machine. The art is blurry and the negative spaces fill in during the printing process. The screen printed version below creates a crisper and cleaner print that retains a high level of detail.

The top photo is a print using a direct to garment machine. The art is blurry and the negative spaces fill in during the printing process. The screen printed version below creates a crisper and cleaner print that retains a high level of detail.

T Shirt Vocabulary

 

Here are a handful of terms that will help you choose the right garment.

Ring-spun cotton

These shirts are made from smoother and longer yarn compared to open-end yarn. It also goes through a spinning process that softens and straightens each fiber, creating cotton that is softer and more durable.

Combed and ring-spun cotton

Refers to a two-step process that occurs when turning cotton into yarn. First, the staples are combed to remove impurities or inconsistencies in the yarn, creating a softer touch. Next, in the ring-spun process, the yarn is made by continuously twisting and thinning the strands, creating a very fine rope of cotton fibers.

Carded open-end*

This is a cheaper way of turning cotton into yarn in which the fibers are bonded by a wrapped fiber that runs perpendicular to the fiber bundle. In ring-spun cotton, all of the fibers are aligned in the same direction. Up close you can see that carded open end fiber is bulky, fuzzy and creates an uneven knit. These are the hardest to get a quality print on but, we have tips for printing on lower quality cotton.

*A historical side note: The industry standard used to be a carded open-end tee but, as we move into an era where purchase decisions are driven by quality and not just price there has been more demand for combed and ring-spun tees in wholesale space.

Side Seams

These create the tailored structure a tee needs to fit correctly. Although more expensive to make, these are the only type of tees you’ll find in a retail store.

Tubular Tees

Cheaper to construct because they require less sewing. They are made of tubular bodies and don’t really fit right on people—they’re exactly the same on the front and the back, the only difference is the neck drop.

Single

A term that refers to the diameter of a yarn, determined by the number of times you twist the fiber. The smaller the number, the thicker the yarn, and the higher the number the softer the yarn. Think about it the same way you think about sheets—the higher the thread count, the softer the sheets! Most cheap shirts are made from 18 or 20 singles. For a super-soft garment, aim for a single count of 30 or higher.

Weight

When referring to fabric, it is the number of ounces per square yard. Lighter fabrics tend to be made from combed and ring-spun cotton and are typically much softer than the heavyweight, open-end alternatives.

Staple

Another term for a cotton fiber. The fluffy piece of cotton (often called a “boll”) is plucked off the plant, contains about 250 “staples.” The high-quality thread is typically made from longer staples which are easier to spin into a fine piece of thread.

Hand

A Term used to describe how a garment feels. Combed and ring-spun tees have a soft hand, meaning they are super soft to the touch.