screen ink

How does it fit? - BELLA + CANVAS

We have a few brands that we would consider a "go to" but when it comes to ladies tees in particular, Bella has quite a few styles to choose from. With that, they're our recommendation if you're planning to get away from a unisex fit and have an interest in a women's specific line of products.

This is a handy video highlighting their product lines for women and a brief description of how they fit. Enjoy! Then browse options in more detail by clicking the button below.


What is Water-Based ink and why do you say its "freaking awesome?"

Screen Ink recently upgraded its conveyor dryer (big expensive machine that cures ink on shirts) for many reasons, but one being that we wanted to more frequently print water-based inks on shirts.

Water-based printing isn't for every job, but we would like you to give it a try if it suits your job.  I'll try to keep this brief.

Most shops use exclusively plastisol ink for all their garment printing.  Plastisol ink is basically liquid plastic that stays in liquid form until its heated to 320° and BAM! it turns into a solid.  How 'bout it science! For printers, its easy to use, never dries out on the shelves or in our screens and should last the duration of the shirt as long as it was printed and cured properly.

Water-based ink is a more environmentally safe ink that isn't a whole lot different from the inks you used in Mrs. Smith's art class as a kid to paint that horrible rendition of Van Gogh's "Starry Night."  It also has to be heated, but what makes it stay on the shirt is heating that ink enough to remove all the moisture (water) from the ink.  At the end of the day, if cured properly, the print should also last the duration of the shirt, but some light fading will occur.

So, why choose water-based over plastisol?  All the...not feels?  The best prints are the ones you can barely feel on the shirt.  Its almost as if the color was dyed into the fabric.  If you are layering several layers of plastisol (plastic ink) it can start to get a little bulky, especially with a big print area. 

By now you're probably bored out of your gourd.  If however, you are dying to know more, here's another article to check out from our friends at RYONET.

http://www.screenprinting.com/plastisol-vs-water-based-ink-for-textile-printing-1

Brand Spotlight: American Apparel

American Apparel was the first company to get soooo many things right.  Fashion fit shirts that are super soft.  American made from top to bottom.  Trendy, cool, hip...almost perfect.  However, the CEO was a sleeze.   Then they got rid of him.  Their brand brings the softest and bestest fitting shirts on the market.  The most impressive aspect of American Apparel is how well their garments screen print.  Here's why:


When searching for the best fabrics for screen printing, it’s not necessarily the weight of the fabric that matters, but the knit. Our fabrics are softer and higher in quality than our competitors’ because we use a higher count of longer, more desirable fibers in our thread, which we then weave tighter to produce a finer knit.
— http://www.americanapparel.net/wholesaleresources/screenprinting/

If the price of the screen printed shirts fits your budget, we highly recommend American Apparel.  Stop by the shop to see some samples and you'll see why.

CHECK OUT THE STYLES WE OFFER HERE

Inspiration: DKNG

We've been following the work of DKNG for quite awhile now.  They keep creating work seemingly at ease that on one hand makes us strive to get better at what we do, and on the other hand makes us want to "chuck it all" and give up on life.  Its a love/hate relationship.  Mostly we try and focus on the love.  Seriously though, these guys are fantastic. Thanks DKNG for inspiring us with your beautiful work.  Below are some of our favorites.





Brand Spotlight: Bella + Canvas

Bella + Canvas is another favorite brand of apparel that we promote here at Screen Ink.  With a wide range of styles and multitude of color options, if you are looking for a premium garments at budget prices, look no further.

Also, they are working hard at being a great company.  Their practices demonstrate their care for their employees as well as the environment.   

Here are a couple of links from our online catalogs of a few of our favorite styles.

3001 Unisex Crewneck 100% Cotton

6004 Women's Favorite Tee

3719 Unisex Hoodie

Building a Bicycle Delivery Trailer

We've been wanting a trailer to tow around for local deliveries for a while now. I finally pulled the trigger on a sun-bleached and weathered old In-Step kids trailer for a whopping $25 and stripped it down.

We snapped a couple photos of our process. Have a look!

Here's the frame with a wooden interior frame we created and mounted in place.

Here's the stripped down frame with our wooden interior framework.

Then we cut down some scrap wood strips for the top surface.

After a dry fit, we gave these pieces a light sand and coated and sealed them with a couple coats of Minwax.

Once dry we mounted the top surface and threw a little trim on the end to help hold cargo.

Boom, done. Our next addition is constructing some side walls and we'll be ready for spring!

Inspiration: Sam Larson

One time I screen printed a poster using an illustration from a collection of old Lincoln newspapers that I had collected from the late 1800's.  I had a friend purchase that poster.  She later showed me a picture of my poster hanging between two pieces from Sam Larson.  That moment may have been the pinnacle of my career.  My poster was the meat in a Sam Larson art sandwich.  Trust me, it was an honor.

Sam Larson is humble, never-ceasing, artist that takes the most simple of things and makes them wonders.  His choice of minimal and unique mediums keeps me on the edge of my instagram seat each and every day.  Also, he loves pizza, mountains, his stocking hat, and occasionally drawing things really, really, small.  Thanks Sam for sharing your work.  Find him on instagram.  Follow him forever.

https://www.instagram.com/samlarson/

http://steelbison.com/



Brand Spotlight: Next Level Apparel

It wasn't long ago that American Apparel stood alone in providing shirts and apparel that set them apart in not only softness of fabric, but also a more "fashion" fit.  The problem was that it was hard to justify paying upwards of $5-$10/garment, especially when budgets are tight.

Now, however, there are handful of viable companies that provide superior softness at budget pricing.  Next Level Apparel is one of our favorites and they have certainly taken things to the...wait for it...NEXT LEVEL.  Yes, that just happened.

Next Level Apparel delivers the latest fashions with superb quality incorporating innovative fabrics that are heavenly soft at a value that is second to none. Our outstanding color palette, up to date styles and fit continue to define us as one of the leading suppliers of fashion blanks in the US market.
— http://www.nextlevelapparel.com/40/about-us.htm

How to order custom apparel

Hey. Hi. Let's talk about ordering customized apparel. Walk with me.

At some point in almost everyone's lives, they've likely had to put together an order of custom apparel or at least had the option to participate in such a project. It's a crazy, murky and confusing world. Trust us, we know. All we can do about it is offer our assistance in clearing the air. We're going to break down ordering with Screen Ink in 5 simple steps. 

Step #1

Figure out a budget. We don't need to know what that is but it's still an important factor. Every shirt brand and style has a different price. Every location on a garment takes more time, materials and labor. Every ink  and/or thread color in a design is going to adjust the price of the finished product. With that in mind, prices will vary and so a budget should be your first priority. 

Basically, How much are you willing to spend? This can be a per shirt number or an overall number for the entire order. We’re happy to run through options to get you into the right garment once we have an idea of what can be afforded. 

Step #2

Timeline. Do you have a specific due date? If so, we need to know that right away. We want to be sure we can facilitate the completion of your order. Typically, we strive for a two week turnaround with most standard sized orders of 50-500 pieces. However, in our busy seasons (spring through fall) we often times prefer 3 weeks. Trust us, if we need the extra time it’s for good reason. 

Basically, don’t procrastinate. We’re not changing oil here, we’re applying custom graphics to garments. Every single order we process is different and requires our utmost attention to detail, which takes time.

Step #3

Pick out the garment.  We've grown so tired of showing the absolute lowest priced shirt but we will, every time, if that's what you truly want.  The thing is we'd prefer to find a style of garment that's perfect for your order.  Essentially we're saying let's, at the very least, entertain the option of the perfect garment vs. the "budget" garment.

Things to consider during this step are material (i.e. cotton, polyester, rayon) as well as cut (i.e. dimensions/specifications). Then look at available colors and sizes. If you're working on an epic Abramo family reunion tee you're going to need to cover the gamut and that's infant tees, toddler tees, youth tees, adult tees then possibly some plus or tall tees as well. You may even have to accommodate for a v-neck, long sleeve or "performance" tee for Uncle Nicholas. 

Basically, find a garment that comes in your color, is available in the sizes you need and finally, that you think will actually be worn by the people you're outfitting.

Step #4

Sizing. Is this an order of bulk apparel to inventory in a store, business, fundraising event, etc? If so, we can help try and nail down your demographic and, thus, their appropriate sizes. If it’s an order of specific sizes, you may want to consider the size charts and/or specifications for the garment you just picked out. Most of them are available in our online catalog(s) to view/download/print. 

All of that being said, you can always stop in and try on apparel. We stock quite a few standard styles and have more unique lines of product coming in every week. If you’re desired product isn’t something we have in stock, no worries! We can order samples for you. We simply charge for the blank apparel and when you return them we credit your order. It’s incredibly simple and you can order as many styles, sizes and colors as you like. 

Basically, sizing is complicated. We all have our favorite t-shirt, probably because it fits well and we feel good in it. Then there’s the t-shirt design we love but we didn’t get a size that fits correctly, nobody likes that. There’s no magical math equation to figure out this part of your order. It is, however, a pretty important detail.

Step #5

The design. We work with graphic designers every day. Advertising agencies, In house designers and freelancers alike communicate with us regarding their visions and goals for the project. We take it seriously. They like us for it. This is a situation where we consider the design to be provided, "print ready" art. What is that? Well, it’s a file of high enough resolution for your desired print dimensions OR simply a vector graphic that we can scale to size appropriately ourselves. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, lets talk more.

We also offer our own, in house, graphic design. We’ve worked with schools, businesses, clubs, organizations, non-profits and families to design a piece of apparel that suits their needs. The one caveat is that we don’t start on design work until an order is placed

Basically, let’s get in front of this part of the order. Let us know right away that you’ll need our design assistance. With this in mind, we can better assist with the entire ordering process. 

That’s it. Easy breezy right? Now here’s a link to our catalog page to get you started on your journey.

 

 

 

 

 

How to order custom t-shirts

How to order custom t-shirts

At some point in almost everyone's lives, they've likely had to put together an order of customized apparel or at least had the option to participate in such things. It's a crazy, murky and confusing world. Trust us, we know.