What Type of Decoration is Best for Your Brand?
Today we are going to talk about the different types of apparel decoration available these days, and boy are there a lot.
Every brand starts off with a design they want to place on a t-shirt, hat or other form of merchandise. So what type of decoration should you use? Let's take a look at three decoration techniques so you can determine which one would be the best for your brand.
1. Screen Printing
Oh screen printing, how I adore you! This is one of the most common types of apparel decoration available and it's seemingly affordable. Most brands will start off with screen printing due to the great quality and low cost.
Screen printing consists of pushing ink through a screen that has an image or design on it. The basic types of inks for screen printing are plastisol and water based. Plastisol is an ink that sits on top of a garment which is then cured (heated to a specific temperature based on ink type). Curing ensures that the image will stand up in the wash and will, more than likely, last the life of the garment.
Water based ink is another route to go. This type of ink is becoming more popular due to the soft hand print. The process for water based ink is the same but instead of the ink sitting on top of the garment it adheres to the fibers of the garment, this is what gives the ink a soft feel. A lot of people like this type of ink because it feels more natural and part of the garment.
The thing to consider when getting screen printing done is that it's more cost effective to do larger runs. Most companies have a minimum of 24 pieces and each color of the logo will incur a one-time setup fee, which should be waived on re-runs of the same image.
2. HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl)
Don't let the name fool you, heat transfer vinyl has been around for a while and has become increasingly popular due to the different types of materials you can choose from. HTV usually comes on rolls that are fed through a plotter, the design is then cut out and heat applied using a heat press.
If you check out Pinterest or a lot of these crafty sites, there are tons of blogs and tutorials on how to create pieces using HTV. The great thing about HTV is that you can create custom or personalized pieces using a variety of materials. You can apply HTV to clothing, cups, hats, bags, etc., the sky is the limit!
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering HTV. The design needs to be simple and not have too many fine details, as they may not cut properly. HTV is a great starting point for companies that want to create mock-ups of their designs before they print larger orders. Also, due to the nature of printing it is easy to order a few pieces with no minimums.
Another type of apparel decoration is embroidery. Embroidery is by far one of the most prestige types of apparel decoration because of the quality that you get from an embroidered piece.
If you have ever seen a hat you may notice that most of them are embroidered. Embroidery can make a hat go from ordinary to classic. The effects of embroidery make an item look higher quality because of the intricate process and stitching that goes into each design.
Some things to consider when deciding on embroidery are the size of the logo and design. Most companies will charge a digitizing fee to convert your design so that they are able to embroider the design. The cost of the design will be dependent on the size of the logo, thread count and how many pieces are being embroidered. The lower the quantity the more expensive each embroidered piece will be.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...
If you are just starting out and money is tight, we would suggest getting a mock-up done with HTV or doing a small run with screen printing. You should keep your cost as low as possible so all the profit you make can be put back into the business. When you start growing, you can order more screen printed shirts, change to a higher quality shirt, or get some embroidery done.
Everything is really dependent on what you, the brand, is trying to perceive. If you just want to stick to screen printed shirts, then go for it!! If you want to order nothing but polo's and get them embroidered, the choice is up to YOU. You are the brand so test things out and see what works for you and get feedback from your customers.
So what kinds of apparel decorations do you prefer and why? What works best for your brand? Let us know.
Much love and happiness to all you entrepreneurs out there!
-Brand Yourself Apparel