The Advantages of Technology

Technology has had a tremendous impact on almost every sector in our economy and custom T-shirt printing is no exception to that rule. Because of new artwork programs such as Photoshop and llustrator, people are rendering intricate artwork like never before. The St. Louis custom screen printing industry has been challenged with the most complex graphics. The common everyday person is now able to access these particular software programs and incorporate them into their apparel requirements. This would have presented a problem for the old-school shops of 10 to 15 years ago. I remember back in the day when the amount of colors that the image was composed of was the biggest part of the equation regarding how complicated the image was going to be to screen print as well as the quantities that the job required. It used to take the same amount of time and effort to set up a job, whether it was for one piece or whether it was for 500 pieces and would also involve the same amount of time to break the press down and clean up after yourself. We used to have to start with color separations which meant all the colors had to be pulled out from one another in order to generate individual films. For example, if an image was made up of five different colors it would require five different screens. Nowadays an up-to-date state-of-the-art shop is capable of digital T-shirt printing which does not require any color separations or films at all. It significantly cuts down on the time as well as labor involved for setting up a job. A typical screen is composed of nylon mesh surrounded by a wooden frame. The size of the mesh will determine how much ink will pass through. The smaller opening the finer detail you were able to hold. Digital T-shirt printing does away with all that. Think of a typical ink jet printer. But instead of feeding it paper, you feed it textiles and of course it uses a different type of ink. It is capable of replicating the most complicated graphics within a matter of minutes. Quantity does not play as significant of a role either, so that customers who were not looking for high volumes can still be able to acquire a small run reasonably.

Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that we would be where we’re at today when it comes to efficiency. It makes me scratch my head and wonder where we will be at 15 years down the line? Remember the old cliché it’s a small world? Well with the advances in technology that the internet provides it truly is. Artwork can travel halfway around the world in seconds. We outsource our graphics to a company in Thailand and it is usually produced within a 24-hour turnaround. People would rather get on a major search engine and perform a relevant search such as St. Louis screen printing company then get in their car and drive 5 miles down the road and back home. The whole process from start to finish can be performed via website including payment. The finished product can then be shipped anywhere in the country. My point is that someone in California can find someone in St. Louis to process the order and still be working from their kitchen table and never have to leave the house.

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The Custom Headwear Industry

What is popular in the headwear industry nowadays? Knit caps and beanies have been and still are popular. Accents of reflective or safety are important add-ons for the knit category. These are a trending category, especially when added to color. Cap fabric also follows retail trends, such as dark denims.

Trucker caps continue to show growth in the industry. These caps are used for outdoor use, different lifestyles, and of course, athletic. Baseball style caps are always in style and popular.

Who is the typical headwear customer? This question can most accurately be answered with a question. That question is “Who isn’t?”. There are so many reasons for a cap. Many employers have their employees wear a cap that has custom embroidery on it as a part of the employees’ uniform. The custom embroidery or custom screen printing on a cap identifies that person with a company, organization, or team. The logo usually has the name of the organization and their logo.

Another reason for a custom embroidered or custom screen printed cap would be for warmth. A knit cap or beanie would supply warmth to the person wearing it. Many employees work outdoors so they need a head covering to keep them warm.

Are you looking for a great looking hat with your company’s logo on it? We have been in business for almost 20 years and we can make that happen. Give us a call if you are in the St. Louis area, then we can discuss the many options to supply you with custom embroidery or custom screen printing on your caps and hats.

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Wide-Format Sublimation Technology

New technology has affected every business, including the screen printing business in St. Louis, MO. Wide-format printers are one of those things. Not every silk screening shop has one of these, but there is a place for them.

When you have a wide-format printer, you open yourself to receiving new business from customers that you did not have before because you can supply their needs for shirts that need to be printed on this type of printer.

What are the obstacles in getting into this type of business? Well, the first one is, of course, the cost. When all is said and done, you may have an investment of $10,000 to $20,000 depending on your needs. This would include the printer itself and ink for the sublimation process. It is possible that you may need to purchase a new heat press in addition to the printer. You may consider leasing the equipment with a buy-out option.

You will want to do a feasibility study in order to see if you can recoup these costs in a certain period of time with the increased business from this type of screen printing. With this technology comes an improved production speed. The greatest part about the digital capabilities of sublimation is that you can print different images, sizes, and types of products at the same time.

By purchasing or leasing this type of equipment, you can increase your business and offer services to your customers that you previously could not. More and more customers are requesting this type of printing for their t-shirts and other apparel in the St. Louis, MO area.

Good luck in your endeavors.

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Styles In The Work Place

Nothing really sets apart your employees like a uniform. This uniform could be something as simple as a custom screen printed t-shirt with your logo on it, to a jacket that has a custom embroidery logo with the employee’s name on it. I am surprised by the number of retail places that I go into that do not have employee uniforms. When I walk into a store or restaurant, I want to know who is working there and not have to guess and maybe be embarrassed when I ask someone which table do I sit at when they do not work there. When an employee wears a uniform of some sort, the result is good promotion for the company and a polished, professional look. When someone walks into a business, whether a retail store or restaurant, one of the first things that makes a huge impression on them are your employees. What image are you trying to portray? Is it one of professionalism? For just a relatively small investment, you can put your employees in uniforms.

Give us a call, whether you are looking for custom silk screened t-shirts or possibly custom embroidered golf shirts. I am confident that we will give you a quality product for a fair, competitive price. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

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Change of Seasons

Well, here it is – October already! The leaves are changing. There are fewer hours of daylight. (I hate that one!) The evenings are cooler. There is crispness in the air. It is autumn now. As the change of seasons occurs, a change in our wardrobe happens. We transition from shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops to jeans, long sleeve shirts, and jackets.

Perhaps you, your company, or your organization is in need of cold weather garment. We can supply you with quality custom screen printing and custom embroidery here in the St. Louis area. Whether you are looking for custom long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, or jackets, we are confident that we can do a great job for you. We have been in business for almost 2 decades. We will supply you with a fair, competitive price and superior customer service.

Please contact us for all your custom silk screening and custom embroidery needs in St. Louis.

Enjoy the cooler weather!!!

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Fashions for Fall and Winter in Outerwear

Well, the change of seasons is coming upon us again. We know that there is actually another month or so of summer to go, but all the retailers are clearing out of their summer clothes and bringing in the new fall line. The same goes for custom screen printing and custom embroidery. As the cold months are coming soon, companies are putting in their orders for their employees for their outerwear.

Outerwear encompasses jackets, fleece, hoodies, and the like. There are so many options as far as fashion and styling that were not available in recent times. Moisture wicking or Dri-fit materials are among the materials that are being incorporated in outerwear. For example, the moisture wicking material may be in the armpits of a jacket. Also, a heat retaining type of material may be in the chest area. There have been so many advances in technology in the garment industry. The consumer’s desires and demands have driven this.

Our custom screen printing customers and embroidery customers are placing their orders now for their needs in the fall and winter. They are ordering long sleeve t-shirts and outerwear garments, such as jackets, hoodies, and fleece. We would love to talk with you concerning your needs for silk screen printing and embroidery on all your garments. We have very knowledgeable sales people that are ready to receive your call and help you through the entire process of ordering. We could give you wonderful suggestions and advice. If you are in the St. Louis, MO area, please do not hesitate to call. We answer our phones seven days a week.

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Made in America

In America’s history, U.S. used to be a manufacturing super power, imbedded in textile manufacturing. However, with the increasing interest in higher paying, more skilled jobs by American workers, along with a variety of international factors, this has led to a steady decline in domestic manufacturing. American made textiles are making a come-back with a growing number of companies focused on bringing production, and the jobs that come with it, back home.

The main motivation for outsourcing goods has long been cost – cost for the manufacturer and ultimately, the cost for the consumer. Just go to Walmart and you will see the cost for a tee shirt that is made in China versus a t-shirt that is American-made. However, sometimes there is a sacrifice of quality for the lower price tag, but not always. Companies want to bring back production of textiles to the United States. In fact, the production of textiles has grown over the past four years in the States as the price of imported goods has steadily climbed, approximately 25 percent per year. In effect, the incentive to make and buy “homemade” goods continues to rise.

Why has the price of imported goods increased steadily over the past 4 years? According to experts, it is because of a growing middle Asian middle class and a shrinking labor force in China.

What will we see in the future as far as U.S. made textiles? Many believe that more and more companies will get on the bandwagon and start manufacturing again here in the States. Typically, with U.S. textiles such as t shirts, you can expect better quality and know that there are Americans who have jobs here.

Give us a call if you are in St. Louis. We have many options for custom screen printed and custom embroidery t-shirts and polos. We have available many brands of shirts, including Made in America shirts. We would love to give you a quote on your needs for screen printing and embroidery.

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Performance Wear in Today’s World

Today’s athletes demand the best out of themselves – from their bodies, their diets, and their training. It is not surprising that they want the best out of their performance wear. It is imperative that the t-shirts not only be well constructed, but they must be stylish and feel good. We all know the big names in athletic wear, such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. These tee shirts will have a big price tag on them simply because of the logo recognition. However, they have proven themselves in the industry as the leaders because of the quality and styles of their apparel. In our line of business in St. Louis, MO, custom silk screening and custom embroidery, we apply our customers’ images to many brands of T shirts and polos, including the ones previously mentioned. However, Gildan is a top player in the apparel business and they have many choices for performance wear. The main concern for function of a t-shirt is moisture wicking. Does the shirt wick moisture or sweat from your body? If it doesn’t, then it is not a good performing shirt. The material that manufacturers are using today is very high tech. Athletes require not only function, but good style. Everyone is wearing performance tee shirts and polos. This market has gone way beyond the athletic community. What used to be worn only in the gym is now worn for leisure and everyday wear. Many corporations are now using custom embroidery and screen printing on dry fit golf shirts and t-shirts. It is the trend. Many will purchase their custom silk screening with this high tech material. It is all about function and style. If you are in the market in St. Louis, MO for custom screen printing or embroidery on moisture wicking apparel, please give us a call. We would love to tell you about all the advances of materials in apparel.

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The Start of My Custom Screen Printing Business

Wow, how time flies! In the blink of an eye, it is 18 years later. 18 years ago I started my own custom screen printing business. I did not know anything about the business, but what I did have was drive, ambition, and passion. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I have had a number of businesses before I started my present business. Back when I started the company, I was married with a daughter. I needed to find a career that wasn’t seasonal. Before the screen printing and embroidery business, I had an asphalt company. I worked extremely hard for seven or eight months and then, business would come to an abrupt end with the hard winters in St. Louis. How did I think of starting the custom screen printing t-shirt business? One day I was people-watching at one of the local St. Louis, MO shopping malls. I often study people’s behavior by doing this. I was there because it was the off season for the asphalt business. Suddenly, my eye caught something that it never did before…the vast majority of people that I observed were wearing some type of custom screen printed garment or embroidered baseball cap. I thought to myself, “I can do this. I can make these shirts and caps.” There started my quest. I bought a cheap, broken down press and put it in my garage. I didn’t have the faintest idea what it took to produce a quality product, but I was committed to giving it my best effort. I knew that I could sell the tee shirts; I just needed to figure out the production of the t-shirts. Many shirts were ruined in the process, but I did not let that stop me. Along the way, with the help of some experienced screen printers, I learned and today I have a thriving custom screen printing and embroidery business. If you are in the market for quality custom screen printed t shirts and embroidered polos or caps, please give us a call. Good luck in your ventures!

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The Art of T-shirt Printing

When it comes to St. Louis T-shirt printing, there is a tremendous difference between one screen printing company and another. They are not all created equal. We will give them all the benefit of the doubt that they can all produce a simple one or two color image. What separates the men from the boys in the silk screening industry is a company’s ability to replicate the most complex of artwork. It all starts with the person generating good artwork that is conducive to applying it on a T-shirt. There are a lot of accomplished graphic artists out there who know how to make an image jump off of a computer monitor, but that in no way lends itself to the screen printing process. For example, an image that is 70 dots per square inch resolution can look good from a monitor, but that will in no way lend itself to a good clean silkscreen application. We would consider 300 dots per inch to be optimal. Applying an image to a 100 percent cotton or a 50 percent cotton 50 percent polyester substrate through a fine mesh and using a plastic ink is a completely different type of application. If the artist who is composing the image has no firsthand experience when it comes to tee shirt printing then you are much better off leaving it in the hands of somebody who has. With today’s technology we have the advantages of being able to outsource our artwork to any graphic designer in the world. Therefore, it is not necessary that they are located in St. Louis. With the advantage of being able to e-mail information at the speed of light halfway around the world, one has a whole lot of options when deciding where they are going to get the best overall value on their artwork and logo development. We are a St. Louis T-shirt printing company who prides ourselves in our ability to provide you with a great finished product and still work within the confines of what your budget will allow. We believe that we have the right strategies to offset your limited resources and get our customer the very best overall value for their money. We live and die on the repeat order as well as the referral and it is our mission to create a scenario where you were going to be as comfortable using us to supply you with your custom screen printing as we are providing it for you. In this way, the referrals and repeat orders will simply take care of themselves. By the way, we also provide custom embroidery.

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