Apr 022013
 

When most of us hear the word embroidery we think of a logo or some other design that is placed on clothing or other accessory with thread. There are many aspects to the process that we will explore here. We will cover some of the basic questions you will most certainly run into when placing an order for your own embroidery project. We will explore what this process is, how long it has been around and some of the many fun things that can be done with it.

What is embroidery? There are two basic ways to decorate apparel: Screen Printing is the use of ink to imprint a design and Embroidery is the use of thread to imprint a design. Embroidery will commonly involve something to do with a company, event or sports team. In most cases embroidery is a bit more high end than screen printing is which is why you will see it used in the way it is.

Embroidery is the application of yarn or thread onto a piece of fabric with a needle. It used to all be done by hand but these days almost all embroidery is done by a computerized sewing machine. Of course if you see your grandmother making a quilt or sewing a design onto clothing by hand that is still known as embroidery.

The history of embroidery dates back over 5,000 years ago to China. Tracing its root to that part of the world and then spreading throughout Europe and then the Americas. Early embroidery was very ornate and would often be reserved for the very wealthy or royalty in the form of decorated gowns and robes. Embroidery can involve the sewing of beads, sequins, or other similar items in conjunction with the thread and pattern being sewn. Much like art and music, embroidery techniques and designs can vary greatly from region to region. There are several types of stitching within embroidery such as running stitch, back stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, tailor’s buttonhole stitch, and whip stitching. These are things you will not need to know when you place an order with an embroidery shop.

Getting your order ready. There are a few things you will need to know to get your embroidery order ready to pass along to the shop or business that is going to do the work. It is very important to keep in mind that being prepared with a few basic things can give your embroiderer a head start in giving you good results. When you ask a shop “How much does embroidery cost?” the questions we must ask are how many do you need and how complex is your design or logo? (We will use the term logo and design interchangeably). Embroidery pricing is based on how many items you order and something called stitch count. The stitch count is the total number of stitches in your design. You don’t need to know the stitch count but it is good to know that is one of the drivers behind the price. The stitch count in many ways is related to how large and how complex your logo is. Typically the number of colors of thread does not affect the price. The larger and more complex the logo, the higher the cost. The other factor is the quantity of items in your order. The higher the quantity the lower the per piece price.

Almost everyone will have a product ID for each item available to be sewn. This can be found on a website or in a printed catalog. Having all the product IDs, apparel colors, quantities and sizes will help both you and the shop. Also please have your logo ready to send. Our embroidery operations do not create logos so having a PDF or JPG or similar version of your logo will speed the process along. If you want a simple text only design like “Joe’s Bar and Grill,” we can create that for you. Once the logo is provided we can estimate the stitch count and give you a quote. After you approve the quote, we will give your logo to an expert technician who will “digitize” or “set-up” the logo into a digital format that is used to control the computerized embroidery machines. The digitizing process is critical to a good result and must be done by experts to achieve the desired result. The file they generate is typically a “.dst” (not .jpg or .pdf). If you already have this file we can use that directly and you will not need to pay the set-up fee.

Lastly make sure you communicate everything very clearly to your embroidery shop. This includes specifying the thread colors, the location of your logo (most common location is the wearer’s left chest), size of your logo, as well as the delivery date, and other questions you have. If you have an event it is very important for the shop to know that so they can get things done on time.

A typical modern embroidery machine may consist of a single sewing head or multiple sewing heads that work in unison. The video shows 12 embroidery heads sewing the same logo on 12 caps at one time.

We hope this guide helps you and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or if we have missed anything.

Mar 192013
 

It is inevitable that at some point you will make a mistake on a customer’s order and have a choice; fix the issue and save the customer or dig in your heels and lose that customer. What some decorators (especially newer ones) may miss is that this may be more of an opportunity than anything else. It may cost you a little bit on the front end but fixing a problem can often turn out to be lucrative in the long run. Your customer may have much more buying power than you are aware or be well connected with potential referrals. It also speaks a lot to your integrity, ability to adapt, be agile and show you actually care. Just imagine you are the customer and how you would feel. The best case is to avoid a mistake in the first place.

Here are some things to help in that area:

  • Make sure you have trusted suppliers/vendors for your products that can deliver the correct goods to your shop in a timely fashion.
  • Make sure you have a good understanding of what your customer is looking for.
  • Provide complete and thorough bids/contracts with every order you do no matter how straight forward the job may look.
  • Get all your internal scheduling, work orders and all other details in place to ensure timely deliver. It is best to under-promise and over-deliver on lead times.
  • Provide accurate proofs of each job you do – PDF proof work very well for both screen print and embroidery via email or in person screen or sew out press checks for in-person proofs.

Remember if an issue does come up let your customer have their say and explain their position and no matter who is at fault do your best to rectify the situation. This might mean a full redo of the order at no-cost, partial credit or credit towards a future order.

Mar 112013
 

We occasionally get questions from customers about which products will stain from sweating and which ones will not. The answer to that question is not related to specific products but to a number of other things. This is not caused by defective or low quality apparel, it is usually caused by outside factors such as sunlight, perspiration, and humidity; even lotions and body fragrances. We also forgot to mention that if you spill your food on your shirt, oops but we are not talking about that kind of stain. This type of discoloration is more common in the summer months and especially so for people who work outside and in hotter and more humid areas of the country. I have seen it happen to office workers who live in hot and humid climates as well construction workers in dry heat. Some contributing factors are even the water in the area that it is washed in and the body chemistry, which can even be affected by the food you eat. It has the potential to happen to any color, brand or blend, but generally to darker or red based colors such as burgundy, blueberry and lilac. The general way to avoid this is to choose white or another un-dyed color such as ash or natural or use 100% polyester.

One of the best best you can have if you have concern or have experienced this type of staining is to buy a better t-shirt and anymore the go to option is an perfect moisture wicking t-shirt which in most cases will now have an anti-microbial (no more stink) element to it. These type of fabrics are available in many different styles.

Nov 162010
 

Getting Gift Cards for special occasions is really nothing new. What is new is instead of the gift card being branded for use at a specific store it is increasingly common to get what is known as a cash gift card. This is a gift card that is from Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. This allows you to use these virtually anywhere, and now of course online. When using one of these cash cards online you may run into a small issue, we sort that out.

Upon getting to the checkout of an e-commerce website you will have the opportunity to enter a shipping address and a billing address. The billing address must match the address that the issuing bank has on file for the card or your transaction will be rejected. How will you know what the billing address is for the gift card? The quick answer is you don’t. The best thing to do when you want to use one of these cards online is to call the customer service number on the back of the card and ask them to apply a billing address to the card. It is probably easiest to give them your shipping address. Once the changes take effect you can use the address you have given in the billing address section upon checkout online.

Aug 162010
 

Outlet Shirts is please to announce that as of today, August 16th 2010, we are now accepting Discover card for web and phone orders. If you have any questions please feel free to contact customer service and sales.

-Your dedicated team at outletshirts.com

Apr 152010
 

Over the last few years, the word green has become an all-too-popular buzzword that gets thrown around without much discretion or accountability. Specifically in the world of industry, it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to be considered green while thriving on production and consumption; however, there are some companies, big and small, that are doing great things and taking big strides toward participating in the movement.

1. Bank of America
A bank is typically considered the epitome of Old Business but Bank of America is no doubt doing their part in offering a necessary service while always considering the wellness of the Earth. Even as business increases dramatically, they boast a 32% reduction in paper use and a number of internal practices that earn them a green star; an internal recycling program that recycles 30,000 tons of paper per year, an employee incentive package that gives $3,000 cash back for buying a hybrid car, a new building that uses the heat from the groundwater to heat the building during the winter and other eco-upgrades that will power the facility while using half the electricity of its counterpart.

Bank of America


2. 7 Planet

Spawned in the Great Northwest and centered on the concept of Mindful Commerce, 7 Planet is the first chain of green general stores. Their niche is simple; they believe that one should only consume when they are in need and when pressed, one should purchase the most mindful product available to them. Having done the research and believing in their cause wholeheartedly, they offer a collection of general organic and green products from handpicked suppliers that all follow strict environmental guidelines and ultimately share in the 7 Planet mission for Mindful Commerce.


3. University of Colorado-Boulder

The students at the University of Colorado-Boulder deserve recognition because of their 40-year history as a notable soldier in the green movement. Independently organized, funded and operated by the students alone, the University’s Campus Environmental Center has an abundance of programs in place that aim to reduce the school’s strain on Mother Nature. Between boasting 1 bike for every 3 students, and the fact that their football games are zero-waste events (everything is recycled or composted), it is no wonder they’ve earned the Sierra Club’s top ranking for Cool Schools.

CU Boulder Logo

4. Hewlett-Packard
As one of the major tech companies in the world, it’s a difficult task to balance your role as a supplier, as well as, an environmentally conscious entity. However, Newsweek named Hewlett-Packard the number one ‘green’ company amongst America’s top 500 largest corporations because of its efforts toward a reduction of GHG emissions associated with its supply chain and its elimination of toxic substances from its products. HP’s perfect rating was the cumulative result of their Environmental Impact Score, Green Policies & Performance Score and their Reputation Survey that considered a wide variety of environmental factors.

HP Logo

5. Figlio Restaurant
Although the larger corporations seem to get more praise and/or attention for changing their ways and going green, the owners of Figlio, a restaurant in Ohio, have proven that small businesses can turn green into green. This Danis family restaurant started small with an internal recycling program and installing energy saving light bulbs but eventually grew into a bit more expansive vision by buying local produce to limit their dealings with long-distance suppliers that burn more fuel in their shipping operations. In addition, they’ve purchased clean energy credits that will offset the GHG emissions from their business by transitioning to a wind/solar powered energy program.

Figlio Restaurant

6. Starbucks
You would think that a company vending paper cups on every possible street corner carried little regard for the environment; however, Starbucks Coffee is in surprisingly good graces when it comes to being green. No it’s not a ‘green’ company but it certainly holds itself accountable through its partnerships with many environmental groups such as Conservation International and The Earthwatch Institute that might normally be naysayers toward this type of corporation. Between emphasizing maximum efficiency in its global supply chain to reduce its emissions and the fact that they save roughly 78,000 trees per year by using recycled paper, Starbucks is a corporate giant that is refreshingly mindful of its ecological impact.

Starbucks Logo

7. Nanosolar
There is a lot of talk about companies that are utilizing green technologies but even nobler are the companies that are creating green technologies and services – providing an option that would not exist otherwise. Nanosolar, for example, deserves praise for its progress in making solar power a viable and affordable alternative to electricity produced by coal and natural gas by way of innovation. They are able to apply a microscopic layer of solar cells onto surfaces; avoiding the use of silicon and offering comparable energy output at a fraction of the price.

Nanosolar Logo

8. Harbec Plastics
Owner and founder Robert Bechtold was hip to the green-game before it was ever even brought to the mainstream. Long ago he tried to find investment for his company to transition into more sustainable practices but was continually denied funds because it wasn’t considered necessary. These days, in a more eco-friendly era, Harbec Plastics makes tools and molds in New York in a facility powered by wind and natural gas turbines and humming with hybrid cars and trucks for daily operations. In all, these modern advancements that were originally denied have reduced the company’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 pounds.

Harbec Plastics

9. Ecodrycleaner
Leave it to the folks in Portland, OR to take a rather mundane standard practice and refine it for the environment’s sake. Though you may have thought that the dry cleaning industry had gone as far as it could go, the Ecodryleaner model uses sustainable practices from the ground up as they refuse to use toxic solvents of any kind and employ highly efficient cleaning equipment that recycles solution in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to the eco-friendly chemicals that propel their business, they have also opted to run their facilities with the ultra clean power of the wind.

Eco Drycleaners Logo

This article is brought to you by Outlet Shirts; a company that strives to be green and glorify the movement by offering organic and recycled products and holding their suppliers to a commitment to the environment a wholesale supplier of Port Authority clothing

Oct 072009
 

Outlet Shirts is pleased to offer our Apparel and Accessories catalog with custom covers specifically for use in marketing your business.  We’ll imprint our catalogs with your company logo and contact information for a presentation that’s tailored and professional.  The catalog showcases nearly 1200 Outlet Shirts products.  This includes over 300 new styles in this nearly 600-page, full color catalog.

  • Catalog includes all 1200+ of our products.
  • 1 Case Minimum (12 Catalogs)
  • Year Round Imprinting
  • Unpriced

Catalogs are available for $30 per case.  This includes printing and shipping to anywhere U.S. (Hawaii, AK and Puerto Rico extra).

Steps to get your custom catalogs:

  1. Review the art size requirements below.
  2. Email catalog artwork to orders@outletshirts.com (Artwork must be in .tif or .eps format).
  3. Call customer service at 866-715-8646 to place your order.
  4. We will email you an art proof to approve.
  5. Your custom catalogs will ship in about 4-5 weeks.  We will let you know once they do.
Catalog Front CatalogBackLg
Dec 192008
 

Today we will provide you with some key reseller information to help you understand our pricing and process. Our goal is make it easy to receive a good price. We offer automatic discounts once you register, discounts based on purchase amount and free shipping on all orders over $125. We do not require a reseller license and registration is a simple process with no approval required. Simply click the “Create Account” link at the top of the page or visit: create account and fill out the form.

Discounts

We offer a simple and automatic discount structure on OutletShirts.com. On many products we are not allowed to advertise our low price by the manufacturers. For the this price you must sign in to your account. To setup an account all you need is your billing address and email address. Click here to sign up. On top of this automatic discount we offer discounts based on your purchase amount. We do not require you to purchase by the case or dozen. The discount are automatically taken off your order during checkout or you may call us toll-free to place an order. The discount are as follows:

  • Free shipping to all orders of $125 and up.
  • 5% off order starting at $150 and over.
  • 7.5% off on orders of $250 and over.
  • 10.% off on order of $500 and over.
  • 12.5% off on orders of $1000 and over.
  • Additional discounts for orders over $2000 may apply. Call to inquire about pricing.

Free Shipping

Not only do we offer free shipping on every order* over $125, we will deliver it very quickly. Nearly all orders are delivered in 1-3 days following the day the order was placed. Generally an order will ship the same day. In the event of a stock issue you will be notified first by email then by telephone to make a substitution. We do not ‘short ship’.

With multiple discounts and free shipping our customers have discovered that OutletShirts provides them with the ability to profit from the resale of our products.

*Screen printing and embroidery orders to not qualify for free shipping.

Dec 122008
 

Secure web pages use a transfer protocol named SSL.
Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that’s transferred over the SSL connection. All of the major browsers support SSL including Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Fire Fox (Mozilla) and Safari, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:.

When entering your credit card, or any sensitive information on the web it is recommended that you look for the “https://”. The whole site does not have to be protected, just the pages that ask for confidential information.

You should also look for some sort of 3rd party Digital Certificate
Digital Certificates are used to verify identity and are used in a variety of scenarios, such as e-mail protection and validation, secure web sites, online shopping carts and more. On a secure web site, when you are required to provide your credit card information, you will need to be assured that your confidential information is secure. You also need to know that you are sending information to the company that you think you are, and not to an intruder impersonating this company. Digital Certificates that are issued by a trusted 3rd party provide verification that the current web site does indeed represent this company, thereby verifying the company’s identity.

Outlet Shirts has been verified by Go Daddy. By clicking on the Digital Certificate you should be able to obtain information regarding that company’s certificate.

What do you need?
You need an up to date browser in order to be able to take advantage of this security. How do you know if your browser will handle this type of encryption?

Internet Explorer
In Internet Explorer click on Help and select About Internet Explorer.
The window that pops up should say “Cipher strength: 128-bit”.
If it doesn’t, clicking on “Update Information” will take you to this page with instructions for upgrading IE.
If you’re running Windows 2000 the upgrade is a little different, by going to microsoft.com/ie you will be able to find upgrade instructions.

The upgrade is pretty fast and easy (you do have to restart your computer).

You’ll see similar symptoms if SSL 2 or 3 isn’t enabled (not likely as enable is the default). In IE:

  1. Click on “Tools”
  2. Select menu item “Internet Options”
  3. Click on the “Advanced” tab
  4. Scroll down to the “Security” section
  5. Make sure SSL 2.0 and 2.3 are checked

Any other browser can be updated by visiting their respective websites.