Process + Techniques

Machine Embroidery Needles 101

March 29, 2024

Understanding the differences between machine embroidery needles and knowing which needle to use for each project will go a long way in developing your skills as a proficient commercial embroiderer.

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Secrets of Top-Selling T-shirts

March 13, 2024

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a secret formula for designing a best-selling T-shirt for a sports team, a business or for your own pre-print line?

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Crafting A Better Embroidery Business

March 1, 2024

Whether you’re running a small boutique embroidery shop or managing a large-scale decorated-apparel operation, attracting more customers to your business is crucial for growth and sustainability.

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All Together Now!

January 26, 2024

So, your customer returned again this year asking you to reprint their usual spirit-wear design for the upcoming football game. That’s great. But why stop there? Think of all the potential that exists for increasing your sales by taking that one design and using it to create an entire collection.

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Excerpt: T-shirt Screen-Printing Odds and Ends

January 25, 2024

As is the case with any craft, when it comes to screen-printing T-shirts and other apparel the devil is in the details. The best art, the best press in the world will inevitably come up short if you don’t take care of the little things as well.

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Selecting the Correct Embroidery Backing

August 10, 2023

Choosing the correct backing is a vital part of the commercial machine embroidery process. Unfortunately, it can also create a fair amount of anxiety and confusion for embroiderers.

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Picking the Best Decorating Method

August 2, 2023

Many apparel decorators have decided to diversify their businesses, and with newer technologies being simpler to adopt, there are now more shops with more decorating choices available than ever.

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Excerpt: Ensuring High-quality Screen Printing

July 2, 2023

Quality control is an essential part of growing any manufacturing business and maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. Screen printing has its challenges, but that’s what separates the good from the excellent.

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Decorating Methods Up Top

February 22, 2023

My career started in the imprinted sportswear industry selling both screen-print and heat-transfer equipment for embellishing caps.

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Remove, Replace and Recycle Your Emblems

January 17, 2023

Whether it has been sewn on or heat sealed, it is both cost effective and makes all the sense in the world to remove an old emblem and replace or adhere it to another article of clothing.

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Designing for DTF Transfers

April 15, 2022

Direct-to-film (DTF) transfers provide a new, fast-growing garment-decoration method that’s ideal for designing layouts for sports apparel. From team and practice uniforms to fan wear, DTF transfers allow you to easily and inexpensively incorporate full color into layouts.

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Embroidery Basics for Hooping Caps

April 10, 2022

Embroidering caps on commercial embroidery machines can cause struggles and stress. Most cap styles are unique in their shape and the way they are made. Here, let’s consider different cap styles and ways to hoop them, as well as different types of cap frames that are available.

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Embroidery on Bulky Items

October 7, 2021

Embroidery is a creative, fun and expressive way to personalize bulky items, including bags and luggage, to create a one-of-a-kind, timeless piece.

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Headwear-Stitching Solutions

April 17, 2021

Embroidering on headwear typically presents challenges that can scare away some embroiderers, even those who have years of experience.

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Creating Raster Print/Cut Designs

April 1, 2021

The print/cut process is not only a great way to create designs for heat-printing wearables, but you also can create decals for cups, windows, walls and all kinds of hard surfaces.

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The Nuts & Bolts of Hybrid Printing

January 28, 2021

As you may have heard by now, hybrid printing is rising in popularity. New screen-printing chemistry is available; decoration on more specialty products is being attempted and achieved; and more new users are adopting this technology into their workflows.

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Arabesque Artiste

January 28, 2020

Impressions gives apparel decorators from around the world an opportunity to submit their most impressive work, compete alongside their peers and show off their talents to the industry in its annual Impressions Awards decorating competition.

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Pros and Cons of Screen Printing With Plastisols

October 17, 2019

Plastisol inks have been a mainstay of the textile screen-printing industry for the past 40-plus years. Although new technologies are popular in some applications such as high-solids acrylic (HSA), silicones, discharge and new water-based inks, plastisols still are the go-to product for most of the imprinted sportswear market.

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Printing on Tie-Dye

August 27, 2019

Clothing trends are cyclical; the popularity of certain concepts ebbs and flows all the time. Such is the current situation with tie-dye. People usually have a love-hate relationship with the tackiness of it, but the tie-dye trend currently is on the rise.

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Tips for Choosing an ‘Eco-Friendly’ Textile Screen-Printing Ink

June 3, 2019

Not all inks are created equal. Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz regarding “eco-friendly” inks. Without going into too much detail on the make-up of these screen printing inks, I’d like to give a brief guideline of what to look for when switching to or using “eco-friendly” inks.

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What is a Reducer?

February 11, 2019

Reducers reduce the Viscosity or thickness of an ink when you feel the need to make an ink creamier or easier to print.

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Basics for Hooping Caps

October 4, 2018

Embroidering caps on commercial embroidery machines can cause struggles and stress. Most cap styles are unique in their shape and the way they are made.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Conveyor Dryer

August 29, 2018

Depending on your screen-printing production and business goals, there are a lot of different conveyor dryer options out there. Since a dryer is often one of the largest investments a shop makes, it is important to analyze all of your choices.

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Printing on Polyester Fabrics

May 7, 2018

The process for printing on T-shirts has fundamentally remained the same for decades because it mostly was done on 50/50 blended and 100% cotton T-shirts.

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Printing on Heavyweight Fleece

February 20, 2018

Screen printing on fleece is by no means a new process; fleece is only second to T-shirts among garments in terms of printing popularity. This installment of the Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter will feature printing on the American Apparel® Mason Fleece Drop Shoulder Sweatshirt (style HVF496W).

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Sheer Impact

January 10, 2018

Each year, Impressions invites decorators from around the world to enter their most impressive work, compete alongside their peers and show off their talents to the industry in the Impressions Awards decorating competition.

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Decorating on Tri-Blends

October 25, 2017

During the past decade, there has been a new revolution in garment-manufacturing technology. Consumer demands have necessitated new fabric and style development using a wide variety of different organic and synthetic fibers.

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High-Flying Outerwear Embroidery

October 3, 2017

When a vintage style meets an innovative performance fabric, the possibilities for the garment can soar. When tasked with embroidering a design on such a garment, imaginations can be difficult to contain.

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Printing on Garment-Dyed Apparel

April 27, 2017

In this Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter, sponsored by Comfort Colors®, we will explore the possibilities available to decorate two kinds of dyed shirts.

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Pointers for Appliqué

October 3, 2016

Appliqué may be a fancy-sounding word complete with an accent mark, but the process is nothing more than simply sewing a piece of fabric on top of another and adding a neat border of stitches. 

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The Best Practices of Screen Printing

September 7, 2016

Countless small-shop owners, garage-based operations, hometown printers and startup decorators make a living via the manual screen-printing process, as it remains the heart of most garment printing.

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DTG Printing on Fine Jersey

March 31, 2016

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is unique among garment decorating techniques because the garments will, in part, determine the quality of the final image.

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Monogramming on Fleece

December 10, 2015

Monogramming has surged in popularity during the past few years and now has become a fashion statement similar to the way it was in the 1950s…

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Start The Presses

October 22, 2015

Performance T-shirts, compression apparel and other garments that include stretchy or synthetic fibers can be difficult to screen print and properly cure.

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Mega Multimedia

October 19, 2015

The secret to making money with multi-media starts with a great design concept and artwork. Then, to make it profitable and production friendly, you need to purchase the right “toys” so the process flows smoothly and is not so time consuming.

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The True Cost Of Digital Printing

September 22, 2015

In the world of digital printing (direct-to-garment, transfers, sublimation) there is a lot of emphasis placed on ink costs, yet they account for a very small percentage of production costs.

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The Lowdown on Logos

September 22, 2015

What’s in a logo? That depends upon whom you ask. An apparel decorator, trained in a specific process, sees a logo through production process lenses. A vinyl cutter operator sees details and layers…

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Sublimation Rising

September 22, 2015

So you really think you want to offer cut-and-sew services? You have seen the demand for customized sublimation growing all around you. You have maximized your traditional spot hit and all-over-print business and you still want more?

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How to Profile Dryer Temperature Output

August 10, 2015

The dryer preforms a very important job in a screen-printing shop. If it’s not working properly it can result in the ink that cracks, or falls off after a garment is washed. 

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Edgy Cap Embellishment

August 5, 2015

Caps are a staple of the embroidery business, so it makes sense to take the time to learn how to sew them well.

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Stretchy Puff Printing

July 2, 2015

Puff is back in style. But instead of the stiff puff prints of yesterday, here is an instructional how-to video on screen printing a stretchy puff design.

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Beyond the DTG Printer

May 20, 2015

“There’s something wrong with the ink.” “There’s something wrong with the printer.” “There’s something wrong with…” a hundred of other reasons direct-to-garment (DTG) prints look dull, stiff or otherwise imperfect.

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Sublimation Rising: The Super Spot

May 20, 2015

Sublimation continues to grow in all types of markets. From athletics and streetwear to outdoor and coastal retailers, increasing demand for sublimation is evident.

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Printing on the Ultra Wash Tee

April 20, 2015

In this installment of the Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter, sponsored by American Apparel, we will showcase the ladies’ Ultra Wash tee (style RSA6320).

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Screen-Making Techniques

April 16, 2015

I wholeheartedly believe that if our industry held one philosophy above all others, scrape rates (misprints) would drastically decrease and profits would subsequently increase.

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Success with Stock Designs

April 15, 2015

Creating stock designs gives you the freedom to express yourself and the process can be rewarding. However, there are restrictions to that freedom.

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March 20, 2015

Did you know that Instagram has more than 100 million users? That’s a lot of potential customers that you may not be speaking to about your products and services if you offer sublimated hard goods.

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Halftone Printing on Textiles

March 13, 2015

Screen printing halftones on textiles is not as daunting of a process as some people make it out to be. However, there are steps that must be followed to ensure success.

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Tips for Easy Jacket Back Embroidery

March 5, 2015

Now that it’s evident that jackets can be as profitable — if not more so — than the “normal” stuff most embroiderers sew, let’s look at the challenges of working with jackets. 

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How to Maximize Product Margins

March 5, 2015

Sales are the backbone of a successful apparel decoration business, and a well-orchestrated sample kit is the key to turning sales opportunities into real profits.

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Printing on Nylon Spandex Performancewear

January 6, 2015

As a departure from the typical step-by-step review of decorating one particular garment, let’s review the challenges and processes for printing on two new garments from American Apparel.

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Screen Printing on Fleece

December 23, 2014

Follow these expert guidelines for producing brilliant fleece prints while avoiding the pitfalls of this lint-producing fabric. 

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Printing on Suede Fabric

October 1, 2014

In this installment of the Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter, we will review the optimum printing techniques for embellishing the new suede fabric from Next Level Apparel 

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Screen Printing on 100% Polyester Mesh

August 20, 2014

In this Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter, we will look at the American Apparel unisex polyester mesh athletic tank (style H458) and T-shirt, and the different means of embellishing these garments. 

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Riley Hopkins: Racing Toward a Dream

August 11, 2014

“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.”

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Printing on Baby Rib Knits

May 8, 2014

Follow the advice in this Impressions Tech Tips Newsletter, sponsored by American Apparel, and rib knits will be coming off your presses in no time.


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Adding Digital Garment Printing to Your Shop

March 10, 2014

If you’ve added a process such as embroidery to your screen printing business, then you’re probably a good candidate for adding direct-to-garment printing. That’s because you’re already looking at yourself as someone who offers decorating services, not someone who only does screen printing. The only question, then, is how to add the process to your shop.

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Printing on Cotton/Spandex Blends

February 20, 2014

With the expanded gamut of garment configurations entering the market today, screen printers must constantly remain aware of printing techniques and procedures required to print on these specialty fabrics. 

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Appliqué the Easy Way

November 21, 2013

Are you looking for ways to save stitches but still produce top-notch embroidery with a good profit margin? Then appliqué may be the answer to your challenge.  

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How to Embroider on Denim

October 29, 2013

In this Tech Tips Newsletter, we will be working with an array of new denim products from American Apparel to create embroidered looks your customers will love.

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Minimizing Sublimation Dye Migration

October 22, 2013

In this technical bulletin and video, we‘ll be using the JERZEES NuBlend 50/50 cotton/polyester fleece to demonstrate an effective method of optimizing printing on blended fleece.

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Controlling Variables, Part 1

August 27, 2013

In this installment, we will review the primary variables that require controlling or standardization in order to maximize the desired quality results to maintain your primary client base. 

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Mastering Four-Color Process Printing

June 12, 2013

In this technical newsletter and accompanying video, you’ll learn how to achieve excellent color and tone range on your next true four-color process job (also known as 4CP or process color).

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Screen Printing on Nylon Bags

April 30, 2013

This article will review the variables involved with printing on nylon and the correct procedures needed to ensure a winning product each time. 

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Simple Sublimation Solutions

March 28, 2013

As the popularity of poly-performance apparel grows, so does the interest in sublimation, since it’s the ideal choice for decorating anything made of polyester. 

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How to Screen Print Stickers

September 11, 2012

Many screen printers initially focus on printing T-shirts, but you also can think outside the box and print fun items like stickers

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How to Applique on Fleece

August 28, 2012

Appliqué on fleece, like any appliqué, is a fairly straightforward process. The two variances when compared to “normal” embroidery are the placement line in the design and getting the fabric cutout to fit inside that placement line.

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How to Set Bobbin Tension

August 3, 2012

Bobbin tension is very important to an efficient embroidery operation. This video shows how to set bobbin tension on an L sized bobbin.

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