T-Shirt Printing Blog

T-Shirt Printing information, news and advise from Shirtworks.

The latest garments to reach us for printing and embroidery of promotion items, sportswear, club gear and corporate clothing

Arron Harnden

Summer 'sizzlin' T shirt printing and embroidery products

There is a rumor that England did once experience a great summer. I have the vaguest memory of the tarmac melting on the road outside my house when I was about 6 yrs old, since then I am pretty sure I have spent most of the following 35 yrs in a sort of grey 'half light'.

Ever the optimist however, I am planning my summer wardrobe overhaul.

Here are some of my suggestions for some 'summer cool' clobber.

Lightweight summer sweatshirts

Sweatshirts have made a comeback on the high street and there are now some highly desirable 'fashionable styles to chose from the AWD range.

The JH040 and JH045 are light enough to wear in the summer at 220gsm but still retain the sweatshirt look.

They come in a number of fashion colours, are 50% cotton 50% polyester, great to print or embroider, all for less than £5 ex vat.


Lightweight summer hoods

AWD lead the way with these funky numbers.


225gsm means that you don't cook up a sweat in those warm summer evenings in the pub garden.

Fantastic surface for print or embroidery and comes in a range of summer colours every metrosexual would kill for.

Basic price without printing starts at ££7.25 each ex vat but as always, volume attracts discounts.


What about this foxy getup? The JH005 Girlie Longline Hoody.

Fashion fit summer T shirts

Gildan have slowly built a loyal following with their GD01 style of T shirt and this year they have added some 'heather' colours to ensure they stay on trend.

This model needs to get down the gym a bit though.

The GD01 comes in the female equivalent called a GD72.

The base price of £2.10 ex vat makes this one of the best value t shirts around with further discounts for high volumes.

100% ringspun cotton means a smooth surface for excellent printing.


Sporty T shirts for summer 'sweatin'

Once again, the AWD brand are leading the way on price and value for money with the JC001 Neoteric sports T shirt.

This garments comes in a massive array of colours across a mens, ladies and kids fit.

The 'wicking' properties of the Neoteric fabric ensure that moisture can evaporate quickly from the body through the garment and the quick drying properties of this T shirt means a more comfortable experience.

Crazy T shirt ideas for this summer

Continental clothing pioneered the 'fashion' look into the volume print and embroidery market some years ago and are one of the most forward thinking garment manufacturers catering for our market.

The N89 speckled T shirt is one of the wackiest things we have seen to possibly be the next big thing. Opinion is divided in the office but that is probably a good indicator of the garments future success.

Womes Speckled t-ShirtPRODUCT IMAGE

The garment has tiny 'speckles' woven into the fabric which add a interesting effect to spice up the overall look.

The garment has a small polyester mix to prevent the garment from shrinking in the wash and is a mid weight making it ideal for screen printing.


'Cool' polo shirts

Seems like I am talking a lot about the AWD brand but they seem to have some of the coolest products at the moment.

If your business or organisation needs to balance practicality with smartness then the polo shirt provides you with that option.

AWD have gone one step further and produced a polo shirt in their trade mark technical fiber called Neoteric to create a 'sporty' polo shirt in a massive array of summer colours.

These garments are great for anyone who is fairly active during their work such as sports club uniforms and outdoor landscaping type work.

The 140gsm mid weight ensures the wearer is kept cool in the summer but the 'wind block' effect of the Neoteric fabric ensures a paradoxical warmth in the winter. Great for printing or embroidery.


Many of our customers are unaware of the massive range of products available for screen printing and embroidery.

Get your pins out this summer with a pair of shorts. Printed or embroidered at the hemline.

Kariban Trekker KB777 Henbury Ladies Chionos H607 Craghoppers Cargo CR075 Craghoppers NosiLife CR029

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Arron Harnden

The power of branded clothing.....

You work in the Marketing department or you run a small business.

In the current economic climate you are experiencing a squeeze on your advertising budget. You know that you simply cannot cease all marketing activity but you need to make sure you get the biggest 'bang for you buck'.

It is not easy. You know that print media is in it's 'death throws', you know that the audience is sourcing its information online, you know that the average person is exposed to more than 3000 commercial messages in a typical week and is totally 'zoning out' where standard visual advertising is concerned. Digital advertising represents one part of the future of where your advertising budget will be spent as the 'real world' slowly disappears in favor of the virtual.But hold your horses, cool your jets and realise the power of branded clothing in the 'real world'!

There are at least three ways your company can use branded clothing.

1 Uniform for your staff

It's a no-brainer. Your staff need to be working hard to promote your business wherever and whenever they can.

Remember that they are your walking bill boards. Why not print a massive 'call to action' on the back of the garment in the same way you would on your print or digital advertising. 'Ask me about XYZ' or 'call 0800 123456 to book your appointment' is a far better use of space than just your company logo.

Why not print a massive QR code with a teaser at the bottom saying, 'scan here to see me naked'. That would get my attention, make me laugh and might even compel me to act.

The website landing page can simply follow through with the joke but not actually put your staff through the embarrassment of having to expose themselves for the good of the company. super-impose their body on a gorillas body for example and ask them to take part in a competition where you harvest their contact info for further marketing or just use the contact point as a 'brand building' opportunity.Bingo!!!

2 Promotional giveaways to existing customers

There are over 650 000 promotional products available to chose from but a study in 2004 by Carlton and Blaise revealed that those that are 'wearable's' are by far the most popular at 29% of the total market.

Film distributors who launch straight to DVD use T shirts as a low-cost value add giveaway which gets bundled with the DVD in a special box. Their aim is to have the buying audience propagate awareness of the release amongst their peers and in public by wearing the T-shirt. This reduces marketing costs and creates a 'slow burn' effect as your customers proudly wear their T shirt to the pub and then the disco and then the clinic.Bingo!!


3 Promotional giveaways to prospects

So, you are at that trade show,your prospect has a bag full of freebies they have harvested from all the other stands they have visited.They are staring at you while you do your best to describe how your product is going to revolutionise the way they do business. You feel forlorn as you see there gaze start to de-focus and you realise you are losing them. Don't worry!; you have that t shirt with your augmented reality print ready to pull them back into focus. You tell the customer to whip out their mobile phone, quickly scan a QR code you have to hand and then point their phone camera at the T shirt.

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Your prospect is gobsmacked at the resulting performance and cannot wait to get home to show his missus (or mister) and the kids. You have created such delight and wonder that your prospect talks about your T shirt to his colleague. You have created an impression,a chance at front of mind recall and just quadrupled your chances of selling your product to that prospect.Bingo!!!

Shirtworks is currently developing a way to offer augmented reality to its customers. AR is the future and your brand needs to be represented in that space.contact us to find out more.

Some clever examples of how a t-shirt can be used creatively....

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Remember; that T shirts and clothing offer your audience so much more of an experience than print or digital communications/advertising. Long after your print campaign has ceased to be noticed and your digital campaign has cost you £'s in costs per click, your T shirts are being washed and worn by your new 'advocates' time and time again, spreading influence through their networks.

Isn't is time you realised the power of branded clothing for your business or message?

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Arron Harnden

Not all T-Shirts are equal

In today's highly competitive world of T-Shirt printing everyone wants to get the cheapest possible product but are you getting the best value for money?
Often a customer will see the weight of a t-shirt and think that they are getting the best t-shirt because it heavier than the more expensive one. WRONG
Weight isn't everything. Cheaper promotional t-shirts tend to be made from carded cotton which is a mixture of ragged fibers that are shorter and thicker than combed or ring spun cotton. This produces a t-shirt with a looser knit and is courser to touch than ring spun cotton.
Combed or ring spun cotton takes out the weak fibres, but means that to get the same weight in cotton as carded you need to use more cotton as the weaker cotton is discarded. This process also is more time consuming and is the reason why you expect to pay a little more.
The quality of the cotton can also have a massive effect on the quality of the print or embroidery that goes onto the shirt, especially with detailed prints. When we screen print your designs we print onto the surface of the shirt so the smoother the surface is the better detail we can get onto the shirt. You wouldn't paint wood without first sanding it down, well using a ringspun or combed cotton t-shirt is like having the wood sanded instead of painting directly onto unto unprepared surface. No where is this more apparent than digital printing. The quality of the shirt will be the difference between a great looking print and a dull one.
The other process in the making of the t-shirt that effects quality is how the garment is dyed. Cheaper T-Shirts tend to be sulphur dyed which produces less vibrant colours and tends not to be as colourfast, whereas more expensive shirt will be reactive dyed which gives great vibrancy colourfastness.
There are some exceptional value for money T-Shirt out there and if you stick to the main brands then you shouldn't be disappointed with your choice, but quite often it is worth spending that little bit extra to get a t-shirt that your customers want to keep on wearing and keep on showing off your brand.
Bella Canvas have compared their cotton under the microscope in this diagram and it shows that sometimes it's worth paying that little bit more. Image Source

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Andy Timmins

10 Spectacularly Misspelled T-Shirts

.. or should that be 10 Spectacularly Misspelt T-Shirts? Happily, we've double-checked and both those words are correct. If only someone had double-checked these t-shirts before they went to print. Or, in some cases, before someone took them off a hangar, put them on and wore them out in public¦

1. Shakespearean

What do you do when you're a high street retailer and you've just made an almighty spelling mistake on a huge batch of t-shirts? Especially when that mistake is the spelling of The Bard's name? That was the dilemma faced by Top shop bosses when the t-shirt on the left went on sale. The solution? Chop off the mistake and put them on sale again (see the garment on the right.) Good job cropped tees were in that season.

2. Foward

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In the lead-up to the American Presidential Election, some dedicated Obama supporters produced these home-made t-shirts. Apparently, the arrow on the top of the o points to a previous r, which makes this OK. Trouble is, that small detail wasn't noticeable when they appeared in the background on TV. Cue plenty of sniping from Romney supporters and a #foward hashtag on Twitter. Oops.

3. Chrystal Palace

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In 2004, Crystal Palace football club spelt their own name wrong on their replica shirts. This sparked a new chant from the terraces: There's only one h in palace Crikey.

4. Andesron

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More footy: When Manchester United player Anderson was called on to the pitch as a substitute at a 2012 game against Everton, no one seemed to have noticed this gaffe on the back of his shirt. Either that or they were keeping it quiet. Needless to say, the fans were quick to spot it.

5. Sntchinng

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Someone needs to snitch on the person who designed this t-shirt¦ to the spelling police.

6. West Virgina

In 2007, West Virginia won the NIT basketball championships. Their celebratory shirts weren't so victorious.

7. Natinals


In 2009, Washington Nationals sent not one but two of their baseball players out on to the pitch in these misprinted shirts. Fail? Perhaps not: the error was spotted and the shirts changed midway through the game. Shortly afterwards, one of the offending garments fetched $8,000 at a charity auction.

8. Put on You're Big Girl Pants¦

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We're not sure exactly what Big Girl Pants are but we're too busy getting our knickers in a twist about that you're / your blunder to care. And the capital Y at the front of it is wrong too, if we're going to be extra finicky.

9. Pityful

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A clever clogs supporter of the University of Kentucky basketball team decided to poke fun at rivals Louisville with this shirt. The fact that the rest of the text even mentions the word gives this one an extra layer of wrongness. What a pity.

10. Tnrash likg Gramnaster Flaun

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Alright, sometimes slogans get lost in translation, but this one's really quite something. We think it's about rock and roll. And hip hop. And museums. We could be wrong though. Anyway, it certainly deserves its place on this list.

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Arron Harnden
Great Collection, I'm sure there are many more out there!
Saturday, 09 February 2013 21:47
Arron Harnden

Cotton or polyester?

Cotton or polyester?

Hmmmm, polyester. That 'oh so' smooooth feel against your skin, the slight static electricity that you experience as you pull it over your head, the retro '70's' connotations. Doesn't sound that appealing does it? Wait a minute!!! The world is changing, and as we all become more health conscious we are looking for better products that perform when we turn into that sweaty, gasping, and hunched over example of someone who has just overdone it.

Polyester has returned like we knew it always would but it has been sexed up!

Restyled for the 'naughties' generation, it offers natural 'wicking' properties to move perspiration away from the body and has natural 'antiseptic' qualities which mean you can stuff it into your sports bag after a workout and not worry that it will grow its own arms and legs from the bacteria you have just soaked it in.

The Army have know about polyester for years and kit their infantrymen out with close fitting base layers to protect against the cold while offering that 'quick drying' capability which is essential if you are working hard outdoors.

The great news is that there is now an enormous range of polyester garments ready to go for screen printing and embroidery.

There are a couple of things to consider when choosing polyester.

1 Polyester will not take multi-colour screenprints and are better for single colour work.

2 Embroidery needs a relatively heavy weight to grip to and some polyester garments will be too thin, Check the weight.

Other than that, it is pretty simple.

If you are working outdoors and looking for wind protection, moisture management, a sporty tailoring and something lighter to reduce drag, then consider polyester.

Hmmmm, polyester....

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