Sep 302009

International Shipping Powered by Bongo Checkout

We have partnered with Bongo International to service our international customers.

On the checkout page simply select your country from the drop-down list.  This will automatically transfer you and your cart contents to Bongo’s Secure International Checkout page where you will be provided with international shipping costs as well as duties and taxes for your shipment.  Note: Orders over $125.00 USD will ship free from us to Bongo and you pay only the international freight and duties through Bongo.  This process saves international customers up to 82% off typical international shipping rates.

Upon completion of your order, Bongo will charge your credit card for the entire purchase and then re-purchase those items from our site on your behalf.  We will ship the goods to Bongo’s Global Distribution Facility and they will be forwarded to your international address.

NOTE: All payment, shipping, or return requests should be submitted to Bongo at

 Posted by at 3:20 pm
Jun 082009

There is a wonderful thing happening in our country these days and no matter which side of the isle you stand, you should care. This wondrous event is related to all the attention and talk about going Green. Whether you agree or disagree with the existence of Global Warming, there is certainly no harm in saving the environment and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. One way to do your part is by no longer using plastic or paper shopping bags. Your alternative is to turn to reusable shopping Totes. There has been quite a lot going on within this debate for the last few years.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine the world consumes 1 Million plastic bags every minute. (Estimated cost to retailers is more than 5 billion). And in 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce nearly 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans in a single year. And both of these items take a very long time, if ever to fully biodegrade.

Many European countries may levy a charge for having your groceries bagged in plastic and some U.S. cities and states are following suit. Click HERE to have a look. Plastic Bag Bans Spreading Across The United States. It is a time to keep paying attention to reusable shopping totes.

Reusable shopping tote bags are still in fairly new for many people and there is a lot you can do with them other than sell them. If you think about it, just as with most decorated apparel and other accessories there are countless groups that love to show their identity with a logo or slogan. So why not do that at the supermarket, where you may already be showing off your favorite teams colors. As a decorator you may even consider approaching the actual stores to address the reasons they should be selling shopping totes. For one they may know of the impending doom to our old way of carrying groceries. Secondly it would seem like a great idea to put their own branding on the totes. This will give them much more exposure than plastic or paper because once you bring a tote home and remove all your items, they are immediately headed for the trash can. With the number of Americans that already love to show off their favorite team, vacation spot, musician, or faith on a t-shirt – why not push the next thing in promotional marketing - Totes?

 Posted by at 6:21 pm
Jun 082009

Terry cloth, also know as terry, is a fabric with loops that can absorb more water than a traditional cloth. There are many types of terry cloth in the market today. These range in size, strength, touch, and fabric used in the cloth. Most terry cloth is used in the form of towels. Some of the best towels come from Turkey. There are seemingly endless products within the terry family. These products may include: Grommeted Golf Towels, Rally Towels, Beach Towels, and Bath Robes.

Towels are a woven fabric made of Cotton or a Cotton-Polyester (Cotton-Poly) blend and are a usually loop or pile pattern. Special looms called Dobby Looms are used to weave the fabric into the finished product. Modern looms are fully computerized and make the job much easier than it was in the past.

Early in the history of Terry cloth nearly everything was made by hand. Due to the time it took to make this cloth towels were usually reserved for the wealthy. Towels were generally smaller and most were hand and facial towels. These were made of natural woven fibers. The make-up of these natural fibers made this early cloth much less comfortable to the touch than what you will find today. By the end of the nineteenth century, weaving became automated and the terry cloth industry was changed forever.

After the mechanizing of looms we started to see a greater variety of materials being used and a greater market for towels because they were less expensive. This also created a large market for Bath Towels for the first time. Like most textile cloth throughout the manufacturing process everything is bleached a bright white before it is dyed its final color. This is almost always done to the fabric in large rolls or yards before any weaving or other alteration takes place. Terry cloth is woven on a dobby loom, which means that it has two steps or processes. The first one is referred to as the ground warp and forms the body of the towel or cloth. The second one is called the pile warp, which forms it forms the terry loop or pile.

Terry cloth of any type does not lend itself well to screen printing. The primary reason for this is due to the rugged and tough surface of the cloth, as well as the repeated punishment from hot machine washing and use. In order to get a good print it is best to work with a fairly flat surface, which terry cloth is not. When we do see printed terry, it is often a single color print for something such as a sporting event. A printed Rally towel works well because they are usually not used for very long and are inexpensive. Embroidery is the solution for decorating any terry cloth. The same reasons that make it unsuitable for screen printing are responsible for making it a great fabric for embroidery or monogramming. The fabric is generally so tough that it does not require an embroidery stabilizer like backing. Furthermore if you are hosting an event in which you would like a nice gift or promotional product, the embroidered towel will be a hit. Not only will you get a long life span from an embroidered terry cloth item, but its cost relative to embroidered shirts makes it an attractive item.

There are many types of terry cloth and many more uses for it. While we mostly think of the terry cloth as a bath towel there are dozens of terry cloth products for all types of uses and you should not have any trouble find your terry solution.

 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Jun 082009

Embroidery Backing, which is also known as Embroidery stabilizer, is one of the most important components to producing a high quality finished product. In this writing I will provide a background for working with Backing. I will outline what Backing is, tips, how it is used, various applications for Backing, and the types of Backing available.

Embroidery backing is a non-woven product that is applied to the back of a garment before a design is sewn onto the other side of the article. It may be made of 100% cotton or a mix of Cotton and Polyester. The basic process to a non-woven is to press the materials together under immense pressure and then force them through rollers until they become a cohesive solid. They will continue to be rolled until they resemble large rolls of paper.

Backing is something that anyone doing embroidery for more than a day is probably using. Backing, being a stabilizer, helps fuse or hold the thread/stitches to the fabric. It is sometimes sold in large rolls to commercial embroidery shops. Backing is also sold as cut squares in bundles.

The first thing that most people will consider when sewing an item is “How well will this fabric sew?” This is also the question you should be asking yourself. Not only should you ask which type of fabric is being sewn, but also thread type, size of the embroidery, stitch density, stitch length, and stitch speed. All of these things are factors to consider when choosing a backing.

The age of your embroidery machine may also play into the stitch speed and would influence your choice of backing. Try different backings until you find what suites your setup. You need to also make sure that the fabric you are sewing on is stretched tight on your hoop and that you are hooping the entire piece of backing. This helps improve the stability of the sewing surface and again contributes to a cleaner and finished embroidery output.

There are more than 15 different types of backings available in rolls and sheets or bundles. Among the different types of backings are: tear away, cutaway, and wash away. Most embroidery backing will be made for industrial or commercial machines, but there are always great alternatives for personal embroidery machines.

Tearaway is the most popular choice of backing due to the fact that jobs can be finished faster and cheaper. With a cutaway you must cut the backing with scissors, which can be tedious at best. Tearaways must be able to withstand being punctured by the embroidery needles several times while the design is being sewn. They must also be able to be torn off the back of the garment without causing damage to the design.

Cutaways are usually considered the second most popular backing. This backing is most commonly used when working with a lightweight or stretchy fabric. Cutaway is sturdier than a traditional tearaway and therefore will provide more stability in your thin or stretchy fabric. This will also help achieve a better output of your design because it will help stabilize the sewing surface. One thing that you must always be aware of with a cutaway is the cutting. Once you are done with your garment and it comes time to cutaway the backing pay attention to what you are doing. It can be very easy to snag or accidentally cut your finished product with your scissors.

The next several backings fall under the Specialty Backings area. There are many different backings that will fall in this area I will discuss a few.

Cap backing are generally tearaways. With a backing like this is a preferable to have a clean tear due to the nature of the caps. The backing is needed to support the crispness and clarity of the design, sound familiar? There’s special consideration needed when working with low profile or unstructured caps. Some may think that a hat is fairly sturdy and therefore does not need backing, do make this mistake. Cap backing also helps keep the caps frames in place and prevents the registration or alignment from slipping.

Fusibles backing is the next one. This is backing that can be permanently applied to the garment with an iron or other heat source. Fusibles are used on items that are hard to hoop such as, fleece, leather, and some athletic wearables. Fusibles can be chemical sprays and are generally less preferred.

Puff backing is a specialized stabilizer that is lofty or puffy but still has some rigidity to it. It is used to create a raised, profiled, or three-dimensional look. It is most commonly found in caps. Many collegiate or professional sports team will employ a puff backing in order to achieve a higher looking and higher priced end product. Puff should be tested with your fabric/surface to ensure that it will hold up to the rigors of repeated thread puncture.

Black Backings are less common but do serve a specialized purpose. If you are applying a logo to a leather jacket, dark sweater, or black sweatshirt this backing is your choice. The black backing will have less show through than a garment with white backing.

Toppings are the last one I will cover. Toppings are a type of spray film that prevents stitching from sinking into the patterns of fabrics like pique knit, yarn knit, terry cloth and others. Topping is not necessarily a traditional backing. It is sprayed on the top of the garment to achieve its affect. One of the many product names given to Toppings is Solvy. Most toppings are water-soluble or polyethylene.

As you can tell by now there are many options for backing that can make your job easier and your product better. Using backing in your embroidery operations is a must. While this article is a very basic overview of backing it is a good idea to use the limitless resources available to gain a better understanding of backings. Attend trade shows, subscribe to the free magazines and online groups, and get in touch with your peers.

 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Jun 082009

The number of websites selling t-shirts can be overwhelming. In this article I will address some of the issues related to buying wholesale t-shirts. Here are some things that you should not do, and things that I would recommend. As well as guidelines that you should use to chose the correct supplier.

First of all I think we need to establish what type of clothing you are looking for.

There are 2 questions that when answered will tell you quite a bit about the type of company you are looking for:

  1. The shirts you are looking for, are they printed or blank? If printed, are you looking for a particular design or are you looking for someone to do the printing for you?
  2. If the shirts are blank, then are you willing to buy in bulk? When starting a clothing company, having shirts printed or outfitting an existing group, you should buy in bulk. This is commonsense but the more you buy the better the price you should get.

Some companies will automatically give better prices according to the dollar amount purchased, or the quantity purchased. In my opinion I believe that a company who allows the dollar amount to affect the discount is the better option. This is because you can reach the discount threshold on a number of different products, and are not forced to buy a large number of one product when it is not needed. OutletShirts discounts are based on the purchase amount not product amount. Either way if the company does not offer discounts then there is no benefit to buying in bulk, and you should keep looking.

There are also the brick and mortar stores that you could buy from. The pros and cons of these stores are about the same for any industry. You can go in and see the product. Feel it, try it on and of course go home with it the same day. The biggest downfall to these stores is that in most cases the overhead associated with a physical showroom prevents them from offering the kind of prices that you can find online. They have to make their lease or mortgage payment, pay their employees and stock their shelves. When you add advertising and utilities, it is almost impossible with them to compete with online stores.

I have heard some people talking about the great price on t-shirts they saw at one of those big-box retailers. They have the same brick and mortar problems — Overhead. The prices were about $5-7 per shirt. This is about $3 more per piece than we charge. If you are trying to outfit a group of 100 the choice is an easy one to make.

What about shipping? In many cases this is the deciding factor, and to a lot of people is a big reason why they will not shop online, second only to security. I would agree with these people. The problem is that many people keep their shipping prices hidden until the checkout process. Look for FREE SHIPPING. It does not have to be free on every order but there should be a breaking point. If I am going to spend $400 with a company I want to get my stuff shipped for free. This is not an unreasonable request. Some clothing suppliers do not offer free shipping ever. The problem is that they get free shipping from the manufacturer or supplier if the order is over a specified dollar value. Why are they not passing that on to you? I will let you answer that question. Offering good prices and then charging OutletShirts offers free shipping on orders over $100. This does not apply to orders that we screen print or embroider. This is because we have to ship the order 2 times. We have to ship it to our custom clothing department, so it can be altered, and then to you when it is done. We will not charge you for both of the shipping charges.

On orders over $100 or orders where expedited shipping has been paid for is on average 2 days for 90% of the United States. Alaska and Hawaii are usually slower and may require an additional charge. Due to import and export laws we have chosen not to offer international shipping.

If you are going to have your clothing screen printed or embroidered, here are some suggestions. We can provide the service for you however we have a two-week turn around period. If you need your apparel before 2 weeks I would recommend buying from an online supplier, and taking the clothing to a local company who has a schedule that is open enough to accommodate your deadline. You can usually get a better price from an online store than a screen printing and embroidery shop. Some of these companies will not allow you to supply your own apparel, but in my experience most do not care. There will not be a delay when buying from us. We can ship directly to the company you have chosen to do the work.

Be careful when ordering. Online wholesalers typically do not operate a traditional store, and even if they do chances are you did not walk in to buy your merchandise. So returns and exchanges and not handled in a brick and mortar fashion. Make sure that you are happy with the size, color, quantity and model before placing your order. Or you will be subjected to a restocking fee and return shipping costs.

In conclusion buying from an online clothing wholesaler will save you money. You may not get to see the actual shirts or try them on. However if you are buying a brand that you are familiar with the only concern is size and color. Shipping time and cost should be carefully considered. Try to get free shipping where you can. Remember to look for SSL (“https://”) so that you know your credit card details are safe. And look for friendly toll free customer support.

 Posted by at 5:54 pm
Jun 082009

1) When purchasing Embroidery equipment of any kind, take advantage of any training offered to you by the supplier of this equipment. Some may also offer free follow-up training courses. While sometimes the classes may seem to cater to the beginner, anyone can benefit from the courses and there are always new things to learn throughout your career.

2) Take advantage of the innumerable resources both offline and online. These resources may include: trade shows, magazines, industry peers, chat rooms, bulletin boards, user groups and e-mail lists. It is quite remarkable how often you will find a fellow embroiderer willing to offer advice and help in this industry. Many believe that competitors don’t help one another, but people do look out for one another.

3) Create a workflow. Having a workflow is critical to most processes in any industry in which something is being produced. This may be construction, software development, filming a movie, or running an embroidery shop. How jobs flow through the production process from order taking to delivery is crucial to your operation. To be more efficient and save time, group jobs by the type of frame or hoop needed. For example, embroider all the caps, then switch to flat garments or vice versa.

4) We must place the next tip near the top of our list because it is a core component to our model, technology. Design and digitizing technology advances at a rapid pace and can make the art process faster and more accurate. You will experience a better output and therefore happier customers. It pays to have the latest embroidery software updates as they become available. Some may even want to consider updating your most important cornerstone, your machines. This would apply to working with machines 20 years or older.

5) The next tip is also related to your workflow. Take a look at the size of hoop or frame required for an order. It makes sense to run similar sew locations in a consecutive order (i.e. left-chest jobs, then full-front embroideries) than it does jumping from one job to the next always changing the position of the logos. Lastly, arrange jobs in a sequence that will limit the number of times you need to change the thread bobbins on your machines.

6) Arrange your work area to limit the amount of physical movement required to complete the job. These days the more we can cut down on repetitive stress and overall movement of any kind, the more efficient we will be. Additionally, you should get an approval from your customer, provide a sew out proof (digital pictures may apply), hoop, sew, finish and pack an order without moving more than two feet in any direction. The less energy you exert, the more you will be to focus on the true task at hand.

7) Your order taking process is critical to getting the job done correctly and is a crucial part of good customer service. If you go back to the customer to ask for missing information, they may question your abilities. To prevent issues you may use an order form. This could be something as simple as a spreadsheet. You should include thread colors, size, location, need date, scheduling details, any special instructions, shipping method, and of course price. Get something that works for you and don’t be afraid to change it if you think something is not working.

8) Using a reference chart of standard variables for working with different garments is key. Doing this will simplify similar orders in the future and serve as a helpful tool for discussing jobs with customers. When it comes to repeat business having notes about thread count, hoop size, location, and other instructions shows organization and professionalism to your customers. This will also save time. In turn using a general reference tools will help you cruise through new orders.

9) Thread tension is an important tip for both the life of your machine and the quality of embroidery you produce. Improper thread tension usually results in poor quality embroidery. Learn how to adjust the tension on your machine, and check that it’s properly set whenever possible. There are several things that may affect thread tension, depending on the machine these include; needle eye size, dye from the thread, humidity, fabric type, backing, and thread path. Watch your sew out for problems (i.e. visibly loose threads). Finally, check the tension every time you change a bobbin or cone of thread or repair a thread/needle break.

10) Take advantage of your machine. Today’s modern machines are technological wonders and many embroiderers use the default settings on their design software. Just like someone using their new computer they way it came in the box, don’t be afraid to make some adjustments. This might seem like a safe approach, but you are not getting all you can out of your machine and are limiting your creativity and visual output. Learn your software’s capabilities, read the owners manuals, and call tech-support. Keep in mind that if you happen to make mistake and change something on your machine, someone will be there to help you.

11) Watch for dull needles. Dull needles can hurt embroidery quality because they don’t pierce the fabric correctly. This will lead to uneven and jagged stitches, especially on heavyweight items. It may also cause the thread to break and cost you valuable time. Commercial embroidery needles should be changed frequently. Changing needles will ultimately be cheaper than trying to stretch a needle beyond its use. Needles are commonly changed once a month. The heavier and tougher the material the more often your needles will dull. It can never hurt to play it safe and check them everyday.

12) Doing regular press checks is a very important step to saving you time and money.
We have all been there; the phone is ringing, you have customers walking in the door, and you realize that you put an embroidery job on your machines and did not check them. This is a key time to look for flaws in your design, make sure the sewing is crisp and clean, and that the design is sewing the way it should. It is always a good idea to check the job on the first run of a new design. If you have help in your shop and cannot get to it ask someone else to take a look. Flaws are usually pretty easy to spot. Less easy to spot are thread tension and correct thread colors. As the owner/operator of the machines this may fall squarely in your lap and is equally important. Doing these check will prevent you from having big problems and are worth the time.

13) Hoop the entire piece of backing. Backing is used to stabilize a fabric and to make sure the thread sews properly to the fabric. By making your backing as big as the hoop or hooping the entire thing you are providing a good smooth surface that will increase the quality of your output and ensure the design sews like it should. (There will be a subsequent article on backing).

14) Create a library or database of designs that you use often. When working with schools and other organization you will find that many logos and lettering may be very similar. In these cases it is a good idea to create and save a template for future use. These days we all are most likely using software that will allow us to do that. This can also apply to monogramming where your names and letters may be used over and over again. This saves time on future job setups and will help produce consistent designs.

15) Many problems can arise when sewing on fabric that has a rough or uneven surface. Among these materials are: terry cloth, sweaters, corduroy, pique knits and fleece. It is a great idea to use a water-soluble topping, usually a spray. This is known as Solvy. Solvy is applied before sewing and helps stabilize your surface. Washing or applying a damp cloth will remove the Solvy.

16) Check your thread paths. Incorrect paths on your thread will most certainly cause your output to be incorrect or at best look very poor. As the thread runs from the cone to the needle it passes through several guides and beneath tension knobs. Check these paths every time you have a thread break.

17) Know your hoop size. The bigger a hoop is the less stable your sewing surface is and this directly affects the quality of your embroidery. This is why it is not only a good idea to use the correct hoop size, but also to invest in many hoops of different sizes. Use the smallest hoop possible for the job.

18) Save yourself the time and effort by getting a hoping aid. This will keep you from having to hoop the garment over and over again and will ensure that you get the hoop aligned properly the first time. There are many hoping aids available and some of them are: The Snappy, Embroiderer’s Buddy, Embroiderer’s Friend, and Embroiderer’s Hoop Mate.

19) As you move along in your career you will certain get the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. This is also your opportunity to document why you made the mistake. Create a system that will allow you to record notes about the difficulty of certain jobs, fabrics, sew locations and difficult logos. Just like creating templates this will save you time and make you more efficient.

20) Modern embroidery machines are quite easy to take care of. It is wise to read any owners manuals and other guides that may have been given to you with your machines. Follow all the recommendations to ensure a long and productive life for your machine. Check the manufacturer’s website for up-to-date materials and if offered buy the cleaners an oils they suggest.

 Posted by at 5:44 pm
Jun 082009

PreciousCargologo2014We are very excited to announce that we now are offering Toddler and Infant clothing. Precious Cargo is the newest product in our line from Port Authority. For those of us not wanting to spend a fortune on something that is going to be out-grown or out-worn, we offer this new high-quality affordable line of clothing. With this selection of infant and toddler tees, Lap-Shoulder Tees, Onesies, Bibs, Receiving Blankets, and Infant Fleece Hats, our children can now be comfortable more comfortably. This brand has no logos so it is a perfect item for embellishment of all types.

If you are in a rush to get Precious Cargo items, most specifically around the holidays it is best to call for a stock check.

 Posted by at 5:42 pm
Jun 082009


Outlet Shirts is happy to announce that we will soon be adding Red House Apparel, a new line of high-end styles inspired by the wine country lifestyle. Our stock will start to arrive within a few weeks and will include Mens and Ladies styles including Woven Shirts, Polos, Sweaters, Outerwear, and Accessories. The initial launch will include 32 different styles that are perfect worn as they are or customized with screen printing or embroidery by our expert staff.

According to the manufacturer Red House grew out of the lush valleys and crisp morning air of the wine country, and the true artisan lifestyle of those who are passionate about their pursuit of the perfect wine.

Adding the Red House line is part of the Outlet Shirts commitment continually respond to requests by our valued customer for new and differ apparel offerings. Red House brings this spirit and dedication to a line of sportswear that represents the highest standard of quality and finish in the industry. We stand behind all of our items and work to seek out the best quality products available.

With styles crafted from exclusive fabrics such as silk, cashmere and mercerized cotton, Red House is a complete collection of luxury apparel and accessories for men and women.

 Posted by at 5:40 pm
Jun 082009

We are often asked for a bid on screen printing hats. Unfortunately, on most headwear this is not possible. There are some work-a-rounds, but for the most part hats have to be embroidered.

Many hats have seams right down the center. This would prevent the screen from making good contact on the hat. In addition the fabric used in hat construction tends to be very textured itself. The bill would be in the way when trying to print. As well as the inability to get the hat to lay flat while passing through the dryer (it's like a pizza oven). In short it cannot be done.

Enter the trucker hat. Trucker Hats do not have the seam down the center. They have much less texture on the printing surface. They are usually lighter, and not as durable as their twill counter parts. However they are extremely popular, and cheaper than other hats.

The trucker hat still cannot be screen printed. I think they would melt in the dryer — I have never tried it. By using a heat press or dye sublimation with a heat press, a similar effect can be reached.

The most popular technique is still embroidery. If done correctly the end-product is very impressive, and durable.

How do you choose between the two? Ask yourself who will be wearing these? If you are producing hats that are going to be sold at a rock concert, I would recommend the trucker hat. If you are looking to give these hats away to your employees, embroidery is the answer.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm
Dec 192008

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.


We offer a simple and automatic discount structure on 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.

 Posted by at 1:46 pm