The art of screen printing isn't rocket science but there are many variables to take into consideration.
We figured, since we've done the trial and error we'd share some of the tips. If only someone gave us this information when we were starting off, so much saved time and stress! Screen printing has it's physical limitations and the more knowledge and education we bestow upon you, the happier you'll be with the end product. We've taken the liberty to outline a few "Must knows" when it comes to the apparel printing industry. I remember my first day printing...
This section is meant to bring humor to classic questions. After all is said and done its just a garment and there will be imperfections and characteristics but that's what makes them unique and our customers make us unique!
If we are printing the same design and ink color on completely different fabrics, one has to understand the ink color will APPEAR to look different. We as printers receive a job, check in the garments, Mix (1) purple and print a stack of shirts (In some cases the stack may contain multiple styles and fabrics). The ink color migration is out of our control. We would have to stop and mix a different color ink per fabric in this stack of shirts to make them match. Please be aware that different fabrics will take to ink differently, but we can assure you that the ink color is the same.
Printing over collar seams and zippers does give the garment a unique and custom look. This form of printing allows you to have more coverage over a full zip hoodie and utilize larger artwork going over the collar. However, There are physical characteristics you should be aware of and understand. Printing over anything that is not flat will result in “build up” of ink. At times the ink will clump over the seams resulting in a not so clean look. If you must go over the the zipper or seams, discharge ink is recommended. But remember Discharge is only truly effective on 100% cotton garments. Over Seams = build up and clumping, but cool look.
Paying a screen charge does not mean you purchased the physical screen. DUH! Well not really Duh because we get this question all the time. There is so much work that goes into getting your images set up and ready to print. From prepping the DTS (Direct to screen) machine, emoltioning the screens, exposing the image and blasting it out to pre press set up. The cost of the actual screen, is MUCH more that what you are paying of the screen fees. You are paying for the service not the physical screen.
This question is like walking into a random car dealership and asking, I want A car , how much does one cost? There is a lot of detail needed in order to accurately quote you. GIve us these 3 things and you’re on your way to getting a price. Quantity, type of garment, How many colors in the art work. Of course there are services that will alter the price like different ink types and specialty services, but those 3 things will get you a basic quote. Best way to send us this info is to fill out our REQUEST A QUOTE FORM.
Although we wish we had a magic workshop that we could print millions of shirts within a days notice, we understand that things do happen where you need your shirts yesterday. Please understand that there are many moving parts that go into fulfilling a screen print order that take time and attention from our highly trained staff. The correct garment must be sourced, art proofs must be created true to size and color, inks must be mixed, screens must be burned, and finally, shirts must be printed and dried. We have calculated our production window to allow the proper amount of time for your order to be printed the right way. If we have to speed that production process up to fulfill your rush order, that requires special attention. That special attention takes focus away from other orders that we are working on, ultimately requiring our staff to work longer hours in order to maintain our production window. This may sound Cliche, but in this industry, time = money. Therefore, the only way to justify taking our staff's time to focus on your order will be to charge a rush fee. Please understand we want to get your order in your hands as soon as possible. We truly appreciate all of our clients, and will try and avoid charging rush fees when necessary.
In such a fast paced environment, having artwork done and submitted to us truly is key to have faster turnaround times. Although we specialize and pride ourself in all aspects of our trade, quality and speed remains our constant backbone in the art department. A fee to create, or recreate, artwork must be set in place because of the length of time it takes to get it done. Artwork creation can be very intensive as far as time.
Oh how wonderful discharge is! As complex as it may sound, the discharge process is very simple and very innovative. The best alternative to plastisol to get that "soft hand" and "no feel" feel. Basically the way it works is the special chemical process essentially bleaches the dye from a garment and in turn replaces that area with an ink color. Or no ink color depending on artwork and design as well as preference.
When making the choice to use discharge ink please know that CS is not responsible for garments that do not expose. When we receive supplied garments from a customer we have no idea how they are going to discharge or what they are made up of. Every country and manufacturer uses a different fabric and wash. All we can do is follow the exact protocol that our Rutland manufacturer has instructed us on and test best we can. It is also possible that each garment will need to be run through the dryer more than once to gain added time in the heat chamber for moisture removal to fully expose. CS uses all the latest in ink, machinery and technology to deliver quality product each and every time but there are cases where we just dont know what the material is composed up. Discharge is great but does come with some risk....
The best way to describe foil? Exactly what the word implies! A flat, smooth, shiny material. Although it's an extra charge, foil can be a really unique option to spice up a printed design. The process involves printing a special heat activated adhesive based on what the artwork and design calls for. Then a sheet of whatever color foil required is applied to the shirt and placed on a heat press to adhere it to the special adhesive ink. NOTE: Any foil design combined with other non foil printed colors must involve discharge inks. If they are not discharge, the heat press will melt the plastisol and ruin the design/shirts!
Foil can also be a great alternative to metallic or jewel tone style inks. Best way to picture what it looks like is thinking of a flat new piece of aluminum foil. Nice and Shiny! Now take that idea and make it purple, or gold, or blue, etc...!
Saturday is not a business day, but we do run a saturday shift. Sunday is not a business day. Although we run multiple shifts across the whole span of the week, we still follow the standard that Monday through Friday are official business days. This also applies to garments arriving and leaving our facility. If we ship a package on Friday and it is a 3 DAY ship, the weekend DOES NOT count as any of the 3 days to ship. So the package will arrive on WEDNESDAY, not Monday. We must follow and allow for this standard because of shipping methods from distributors as well as UPS/FEDEX/USPS.
With today's new aged technology it is very simple. We have you submit your credit card information to our secure website. Once the information is submitted we place it into our secure server / virtual terminal (authorize.net) where it stays forever.
Seeing two charges for one invoice on your credit card?? Don't fret!! The first charge on your credit card was the 50% deposit put down in order to get your order started. The second charge on your credit card was the remaining balance on the invoice to close it out and get your product in your hands!!! The second charge (to close the invoice out) on your credit card will ALWAYS be followed by a completed invoice for your records.
So you are probably asking yourself, why is it that Culture Studio cannot just print me one piece? As a contract printer our machinery is just not set up to handle anything under our 24 piece minimum. We would love to print every job, however the amount of time and labor that goes into setting our machines up for one piece is significant and unfortunately cannot be looked past. If samples are a must, please contact one of our sales representatives today for a complete sample price breakdown.
So its your first time printing and you decided to supply your own garments. Great, we are happy to do it! However, just as any business Culture Studio charges for the service provided in decorating the garment. Just because you supplied your own garment, doesn’t mean the printing is free.
UPS tracking info will be available on UPS.com on the following business day of when the order was shipped.
Culture Studio does not hold inventory of blank goods. All orders are shipped to Culture Studio once the purchase is made. Your order is subject to shipping charge of the goods being sent from the distributor to Culture Studio. Some exclusions may apply. Ask your CS representative for details.
UPS notifications are used for details of the physical package. The detail style/ size / qty of what was shipped to you will be sent from in a separate email from Culture Studio Shipping department.
Always be sure to view the packing slip on a computer or desktop in order to view all info. The packing slip shows the follow information.
Adding garments is definitely a touchy subject. When orders are placed, they go through a rigorous process of steps. The very first step after an estimate is approved to be an actual order, we tally up garment quantities and order them from various distributors. A common misconception is that we carry a whole stock of garments. Unfortunately that is not the case. The best reason, for the sake of being brief, is that we just cant hold stock because it isn't cost and space effective.
So while adding an additional garment, or multiple extra garments, is definitely possible, here are a few things to remember and consider: Adding 1 or multiple pieces delays the complete order by at least 2-3 days based on where the garment must come from. Also adding less than 12-24 garments from our apparel distributors usually incurs additional cost because of the low quantity being ordered (quite similar to our general minimum quantity policy).
Unfortunately there isn't a way to get around doing the physical work of re-burning and re setting up of screens. Being a contract printer our pricing is so low because we understand that you need to resell the product. Every cost that we apply is more than fair for the amount of work we put into it. Since our price is so competitive, don't beat us up on fees, its all we have to keep the lights on and providing you with quality work.