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FAQs about Ordering

Question: How do you print t-shirts
Answer: Depending on the quantity, complexity and number of colors in the design, I can print your order using indirect screen printing, vinyl, Direct to Garment, or laser. If you have a preference for one, please let me know when you request a quote.


Question: What is indirect screen printing?
Answer:

DK 20S

DK 20S

Also called plastisol transfers, these are created with a standard textile screen printer and dryer. Screen printing can be very messy (with the inks) and time-consuming (burning the image, washing the screens, drying the screens, etc.).

With indirect screen printing, the design is printed onto a special kind of transfer paper. The design is then transferred onto the garment by using a heat press, usually set for 320-400 degrees and pressed for 5 – 20 seconds.

 

Pros:

  • Good for 20 – 100+ items.
  • Colors are strong.
  • Open designs (using the color of the garment as part of the design) are very soft.
  • A wide range of effects — puff, glitter, glow-in-the-dark, etc. — are available.

Cons:

  • Small quantities (under 10) can be expensive, especially with more colors in the design.
  • Since the ink “sits” on the garment, a design that covers a large area (with few or no open areas) can feel stiffer. This is more noticeable on a tee than on a sweatshirt.
  • You cannot mix effects (glitter and puff, for instance). The whole design would have to be glow-in-the-dark, for example.


Question: How do you print with vinyl?
Answer:

GCC Expert 24LX

GCC Expert 24LX

One of my newer purchases is the GCC Expert 24 LX vinyl cutter. After designing the image on my computer, I load a roll of vinyl into the Expert 24 LX and press a button. The vinyl cutter goes to work, feeding the roll back and forth and cutting the design. I then “weed the design,” pulling all the excess vinyl away from the design.

I am left with the design on a sticky piece of clear liner. I put the shirt on my heat press, lay the design on the tee, press for the the desired time, temperature, and pressure. When it’s done, I peel the liner away and am left with the finished product.

Pros:

  • This technique is good for smaller quantities, from a single item to 30.
  • The designs are soft, especially with open desings.
  • A wide range of effects — puff, glitter, metallic, gloss, hologram, reflective, etc. — are available.
  • You can mix effects to get a really unique design. Adding a small area of puff or glitter can make it stand out.
  • Because I am creating and printing the designs in-house, I have a quicker turn-around with this method.

Cons:

  • Higher quantities (more than 40 items) can be very labor-intensive.
  • Designs have to be solid colors. Shadings or fading cannot be done with vinyl.


Question: What is Direct to Garment?
Answer: When was the last time you printed a color document from your computer? Now, imagine that, instead of printing on a sheet of paper, you printed directly onto a t shirt. That’s Direct to Garment (DTG) — the t-shirt is run through a special printer which prints the ink directly onto the shirt.

DTG typically feels very soft on the shirt and the colors can stay vivid through many washes.

Pros:

  • DTG is very soft. The ink becomes part of the tee, rather than having the design “sit” on the tee. You often cannot even feel the design.
  • You can get lots of colors, shadings, and fading with DTG. In fact, a design with 20 colors is the same cost to you as a design with 1 color.
  • You can get as few as a one item, although there are prices breaks with more.

Cons:

  • I contract through a Print on Demand company for my DTG shirts; this way, I can offer you no minimum orders. Direct to Garment tees are more expensive than shirts that are screen printed.
  • There are no special effects (glitter, gloss, etc.) possible with DTG.
  • The design should use darker colors than the color of the tee. Because the ink gets in the fibers, there is a lot less opacity. A yellow design on a blue tee with appear green.
  • Printing on black tees and sweats is possible. Be aware that printing Direct to Garment on dark clothing is a little more expensive than printing on white or light-colored clothing. When you print DTG on a dark shirt, a layer of white ink has to go underneath the artwork, which allows for bright vibrant colors even on black shirts.


Question: What about laser transfers?
Answer:

ImageClip self-weeding paper

ImageClip self-weeding paper

Some people have tried to print tees with paper they get from a craft store that they print on their home printer and apply with a hand iron. They are disappointed by the still feel of the design, by the white polymer window and when their designs crack and peel after even one wash.

Printing tees with a laser printer has come a long way from this cheap paper. I use a revolutionary two-step paper that I print with a laser printer and apply with a commercial heat press. This paper is high-quality, eliminating the background polymer window, transferring sharp colors and having a very soft touch. The commercial press applies a constant heat and pressure (400 degrees for 20+ seconds) which eliminates peeling and cracking in the wash.

Pros:

  • This method is best for short runs (fewer than 20 shirts) and strong colors; it performs best with images that have bold, solid colors, as well as logos and icons.
  • Because I am creating and printing the designs in-house, I have a quicker turn-around with this method.

Cons:

  • The design size is limited to a normal peice of paper — 8.5″ x 11″.
  • I do not offer printing on dark garments with this method. While opaque paper is available, I am not satisfied with the feel and look of the final product. (I will continue to experiment. If I ever become satisfied with the result, I will update this page.)
  • This method can be labor-intensive and takes a bit of playing with the design and papers to get a good final product.


Question: Do you have a minimum order?
Answer: The minimum order for screen printed items is 10; this can be a combination of tees and sweats but it has to be the same design on all items.

If your design can be made using vinyl or if you are interested in DTG or laser printed shirts or sweats, there is no minimum; you can order a single item.


Question: What is your turnaround time?
Answer: I can generally get your order shipped to you within 10 – 14 days. Since I only do custom work, I order my supplies after you have approved your order. I usually get my supplies within 3 – 5 days.

If you are interested in Direct to Garment prints, I can have your tees and sweats ready to order within 2 – 3 days. I will e-mail you a link directly to your items, where you can pay by credit card or debit card.


Question: Do you only sell t-shirts?
Answer: No. I primarily print tees, sweatshirts and sweatpants but I can print anything that can fit in my commercial heat press. I have made rally towels and can print tote bags, swim towels, hoodies, zippered sweatshirts, and lots of other garments.

Through my on-line Direct to Garment shop, I can print tees, sweats, cotton hats, coffee mugs, steins, can coolers, aluminum water bottles, bbq aprons, cork bottom coasters, mousepads, laptop sleeves, iPad sleeves and cutting boards.


Question:
What brand(s) of tees (or sweats or sports shirts or…) do you use?
Answer: I prefer Port and Company apparel for their price and softness. I have also used Jerzees, Fruit of the Loom and Anvil products.

However, if you have a brand that you want me to use and you can find it in my apparel catalog, let me know.


Question: How will I get my order of tees?
Answer: I primarily serve Southern Maryland (Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties). If you are inside a 20 mile radius of me, I will hand-deliver your order, free of charge.

If you are further away, I will mail your order to you, using your preference for the USPS, UPS or FedEx. Shipping charges will apply.

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