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Screen Printing & Embroidery – Apparel Finishing 101

When it comes to clothing and apparel, there are generally 5 different ways you can finish clothing – Screen Printing, Embroidery, Sublimation, Direct Print to Garment, and Heat Press.  With this blog posting, let’s focus on the two main methods that we recommend – Screen Printing and Embroidery.

Screen printing is a process that uses a metal screen (like a stencil) to layer different colours of ink onto the fabric, which when combined creates the final design.  Each colour requires a separate screen, and if you’re looking to do more than one design then you also need a screen for each design as well.  Screen printing (sometimes called Silk Screening) is the tride-and-true method of printing on fabric.  Due to the amount of time involved in creating the screens, as well as the ink and chemicals involved in the process, all screen printers will have a “minimum” quantity order …at Artals, our minimum is 12.  But, you can mix and match as much as you’d like – so if you want 5 tshirts, 5 hoodies, and 2 jackets, that counts as 12 pieces.  Pricing is determined by the number of screens required, the number of pieces being done, and the number of colours involved.

When it comes to embroidery, there is no ink involved, instead it’s threading – stitches, if you will.  There are no screens involved in embroidery, but the equipment does need a “digitized” file in order to do the stitching.  A digitized file tells the embroidery equipment what colour of thread to stitch, in what direction, in what order.  We do the digitizing here, and once you’ve had it done, it never needs to be done again …unless you’re changing the size of the image being embroidered.  Pricing is determined by the total number of stitches, and number of pieces being done.

With stitching, if you’re familiar with professional sports jerseys (ie. NHL, NBA, and other major sports) a lot of those jerseys use what’s called Tackle Twill lettering.  Tackle Twill is an application where we cut-out each individual letter or number, and then stitch that letter or number to the jersey.

The quality of your screened or embroidered apparel starts with the fabric, and the quality of the fabric starts with the supplier. Here at Artals Promotions we can supply (http://www.imprintableclothes.com/artalspromotions/start.jsp) you with the ideal article of clothing to customize including dress shirts, t-shirts, polos, tank tops, hoodies, shorts, hats, gloves, bags, blankets, aprons…the list goes on. You’ll notice we stock a lot of name brands! If you plan on supplying us with your to-be-customized item please contact us in advance to ensure you get the best quality finished product.

You can customize an item of clothing or other fabric merchandise (e.g. bags and blankets), for any occasion including league sports, instructors, employees, the family reunion, birthdays, tournaments, fundraisers, concerts, and more!

At Artals Promotions we strive to provide you with the best quality customized product and service. What won’t we do is a much smaller list than what we will do. Contact us with your big jobs, your small orders, and your problems projects to get friendly advice based on over 20 years of promotions customization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#artals #whatdontwedo

 

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Engraving 101 – Can I Engrave “This”?

You’d be surprised at the number of times a week we get asked this question, but it gets asked WAY more often at Christmas and wedding season.  We’re happy to say “yes – it’s very likely” but it does depend on the material and size.  Here’s a brief intro to “Can you engrave that?” you will be pleased to know that the answer is usually “Yes”! Here’s a list of materials we can engrave with our laser.

Acrylic & Plastic are super easy to engrave, provided we’re making custom signs, plates, name tags, or engraving a trophy or award.  The trick is, if you’ve got something entirely made out of plastic (ie. a child’s favourite toy, or a full plastic water bottle) that type of product can’t be engraved because the plastic will melt.  Think of a hot knife through butter, that’s what will happen to certain plastics if we’re not careful.

Wood happens to be one of our favourite materials to work with, we’ve engraved canoe paddles, cheese boards, jewellery boxes, photo frames, clocks, coat hangers, speakers, coffee tables, and even 8-foot doors.  The grain, knots, and hardness of the wood changes the finished result every time, so we’re never quite sure what the end result is going to be until we actually run it.

Glass and Crystal engraving is beautiful, which is why it’s used so often at wedding season, and used to create unique corporate awards, sports trophies and personalize keepsakes for rewards and recognition. Be sure to checkout our website for glass and crystal awards.  As far as glassware goes, we carry the full line of Reidel, Libbey and Anchor Hocking and can offer a wide range of glass options that will suit your budget.

Metal is another material we work with often, but it is the trickiest material to work with because lasers don’t cut metal, the beam bounces right off of it.  So, with engraving in general, if you think of an onion, what we’re doing is peeling layers of existing material and with raw metal there’s nothing to peel.  If we’re working with a coloured water bottle we can peel the paint off, but if something like a stainless steel thermal mug we have to use a special coating which literally doubles or triples the cost of engraving.  Our favourite type of metal to engrave is called anodized aluminum, like on your cell phone or laptop.  Checkout our Instagram account for some electronics we’ve engraved.

We can also engrave:

  • Leather – guitar straps, wallets, purses, belts, journals, daytimers, baseball gloves, baseball, footballs, motorcycle seats, to name a few.
  • Paper – which makes for unique wedding invitations, gift cards, or stunning works of art. Our biggest trick, is ensuring the paper doesn’t catch on fire!
  • Film & Foils – which can create beautiful finishes that layer on top of something like a glass wall, photo album cover, phone screens, or window coverings.
  • Stone – we can engrave stone as long as it’s human-made, not something that’s made by mother nature because that type of stone is WAY too hard. If you’ve got a natural stone, the best process for it would be a water jet, or sand blasting.
  • Clothing, Fabrics & Textiles – yes, you can laser engraved these too, but we’re likely to try ans steer you away from it, because we’re really damaging the fabric (making it weaker) in the process. So, let us show you about some embroidery and screen printing options.

With our new high-tech lasers, there isn’t much (product wise) we can’t engrave on, and there’s virtually no limits to the information or vector graphics that we can engrave onto those products.  Everyone thinks of names and dates for engraving, but how about something special  …a poem, your favourite music lyric, a cool design, a funny gesture, or anything that has special meaning to you.

If you haven’t noticed, our tagline is “Artals – What don’t we do?”, so if you’ve got something that you think could be engraved, just ask us and we’ll be happy to help.  If you’d like us to supply you with what you’re thinking, we can do that to.  And, if by chance engraving isn’t the best option, we’re happy to provide you with options that might work better.  Contact us today at Artals Promotions and let us help make your gift one to remember.

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