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In the garment industry there are many ways to embellish your items. Most common is silk screen printing, embroidery, heat transfer, dyeing or printing patterns or designs with various inks or dyes as well as full color direct to garment applications. However, adding sequins, glitters, rhinestones, appliqués, patches, fabric overlays are all common forms of embellishments. You can even do complete all over printing with a sublimation dye process which is where most prints and patters are dyed into a fabric — especially, women’s blouses, dresses and men’s ties, or casual printed shirts. We specialize in every form of embellishments and can produce garments from scratch to your exact yarn/thread specifications or we can use multiple embellishment processes on one set of garments. However, we are most known for our promotional advertising clothing items to promote a company or brand.
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Understanding Embellishment Types
However, there are several industry standards and typical commonly accepted types.
Screen printing, also known as serigraphy, is a method of creating an image on paper, fabric or some other object by pressing ink through a screen with areas blocked off by a stencil.
Discharge printing is the same as screen printing except it is used almost exclusively on 100% cotton fabrics where a bleaching agent first removes the color on the area to be printed and then replaces it with a dye to stain the fabric. This process results in a garment that has no change it how it feels. Discharge prints are not extremely bright and are best with softer colors.
embroidery, which is a design stitched into fabric by hand, machine or computerized sewing machines.
Heat printing, also known as heat transfer printing, is the process of applying heat-applied materials to various items (i.e., substrates) with a heat press. Heat-applied materials contain a heat-sensitive adhesive on one side; when heat is applied by a heat press to the material, the material adheres to the substrate to which it is being applied. The end result is a decorated garment.
The basic dye sublimation process uses special heat-sensitive dyes to print graphics, text and virtually any image onto special transfer paper. The paper is then placed on the pre-cut fabric pattern and both are placed into a heat press.
When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred to the item and has actually reformed into or underneath the surface. Run your finger across the surface of a sublimated garment and you will feel nothing but the fabric.
Dye sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer-coated item, in the case of team uniforms 100% polyester garments. At high temperature, the solid dye vaporizes into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The same high temperature opens the pores of the polyester fabric and allows the dye vapor to enter. When the temperature cools, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state trapping the dye into the fiber of the fabric. It has now become a permanent part of the fabric.
Rhinestones, glitter, cut vinyl lettering and many appliqués are attached to a garment via a standard heat press that works a lot like an iron would. It is the same basics as heat printing only using other materials and objects.
Even though we don’t push every embellishment stle currently on our websites. We do use every method and will be glad to quote your next project. Just ask one of our customer service members to assist you.
Understanding Fabric Choices
Other Printable Substrates
Types of Lamination
Gloss OPP (oriented polypropylene) lamination provides a wide range of uses across the whole spectrum of printed products. The properties of good gloss and strength and the advantages of low cost make it suitable for all the following applications:Company report and accounts, Brochures, Catalogues, Carrier bags, Greeting cards, Book jacket covers, Magazines, Maps, Labels, Point-of-sale and Displays.
Matt OPP – This Matt finish coupled with its smooth texture offers a very high quality image to brochures and book covers. Matt finishes are also particularly suited to surfaces which need to be easily read such as wall maps, but can be prone to scuffing and should be handled with care.
Silk Lamination – This polypropylene film appears midway between gloss and matt OPP film lamination and imparts a smooth natural finish to brochures and book covers, giving excellent clarity to the underlying print. Like matt opp the surface can be prone to surface scuffing and should be handled with care.
Types of Coatings
Gloss UV coating is a liquid or film that is applied to the surface of either blank paper or can be applied after printing or even both. Gloss coating adds a smooth even hard nonabsorbent surface to the paper or card stock allowing for extreme detail and clarity to the finished process. It is perfect for photographs or art work where detail images and rich colors are desired.
Matte UV coating is similar to gloss but is designed to not have a shiny finish. Image quality is still very good and makes the print more readable. Best for text, maps or can be chosen as a style preference.
Spot UV coating is adding the gloss coating in specific areas or shapes and applied more link an ink over a matte surface giving areas or designs a very classy and elegant look which actually becomes and enhances the graphic design.