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Production: Soft Goods

You Know Your Brand, Now How Do You Make It Known pt. 2

Last time we spoke, we covered the basics of printing on hard goods and how to best showcase your brand. This round, let’s get into the real depths of the promo industry: “soft goods” - which is just an industry term for “apparel”. Soft goods offer a world of opportunities to showcase your brand. You are no longer confined to the stereotypical rough, cotton giveaway tee. Today, there is a whole array of apparel options that is the perfect canvas to showcase your brand.

Now that you have a solution for advertising your brand, how do you go about creating this masterpiece?

First, you need to pick a quality blank. There is a big misconception that you have to blow through your budget to get a great quality blank shirt. This just isn’t true these days. You can get a great quality blank with an amazing hand feel and blend at the same rate of that run-of-the-mill scratchy shirt that you are used to. Take the time to ask questions about your options for blanks. Ask for samples and get to know more unpopular brand names. You may be surprised as to what you find; your next great promo tee could be one of the same brands you find at a large box retailer.

Once the blank search is complete, we now need to determine what type of application is best to convey the message of your brand. There are multiple types of applications that we are able to do! The most popular is screen printing. Screen printing is great for multiple reasons. First, and most importantly, it allows you to take a multi colored logo or piece of artwork and apply it to your garment. It's important to note that costing for screen printing is determined by the amount of colors, not the size of the graphic. With that being said, check over your artwork and see where you can combine colors to make sure that you are really utilizing your color choices and saving on cost. Now that you are able to transform a piece of work onto a blank, how do you want it to look and feel? There are several techniques that we are able to do. The most popular being soft hand plastisol ink. While plastisol ink traditionally tended to have a rough feel, it has evolved to a more soft and smooth application feel. If your brand is going for the “barely-there” feel, an even softer screen printing process is accomplished using water-based inks. While this process only works on 100% cotton shirts that are lighter in color, it is a great option if you are able to stay within those parameters. Fun Fact: Have you ever heard the term “flash”? A flash is a screen printing technique that allows you to obtain much more vibrant colors on your garment. It refers to the white ink that is printed as the first layer before your art gets printed over it, it helps your art pop and reduces bleeding of the ink as well!

If the screen printing option won’t work for your project, never fear, we can do embroidery! If you are working within a budget, it’s important to note that, unlike screen printing, embroidery costing is based on the stitch count as opposed to the number of colors used. If you have a very large graphic that you are trying to embroider onto a garment, you would end up paying more as the price is dependent on the number of stitches. Although you might be paying more, embroidery allows for a variety of applications. The most common application is flat embroidery. This is a flat application that will give you a smooth finish with very little texture and pile on the blank. Another application is puff embroidery, which is a technique that raises the stitches off of your garment to give it a 3-D effect. This is a great route to go depending on the scope of your project.

To help ensure your next product best represents your brand with the look and design you want to portray, let us help you pick the blank and the application method that best meets your project goals.


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