Decoration Techniques

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Screen Printing with Specialty Inks
Liquid Foil/metallic ink and clear glitter ink are two easy ways to bump up the 'wow' factor of your screen printed design.
Recommended use: Concert tees and ladies' garments


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Stain Imaging
Stain imaging is an eco-friendly decoration technique that requires no screens and uses about half of the chemicals of a standard screen printing job. Soft, dye-like stains interact with the color of the garment to create an all-over imprint with a weathered look and feel.
Recommended use: T-shirts and heavyweight apparel


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Digital Printing
Digital printing is a 4-color process direct decoration technique for cotton apparel. An inkjet printer made specifically for the apparel industry is used to lay specially formulated inks so that they become part of the fabric and are soft to the touch. Digital printing is an excellent solution for low quantity orders.
Recommended use: Photographic art on cotton apparel


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Sequin Embroidery
The addition of sequins lends sparkle and pizzazz to traditional embroidery. Use pearlescent, opaque or clear sequins in combination with colored thread for a unique look.
Recommended use: Ladies' garments


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Laser Etching
With laser etching, a laser is used either to remove a layer of fiber from the fabric or to remove the pigment dye on a non-piled fabric (i.e. flat, smooth and with no upright loops) fabric. The laser can be adjusted in speed or intensity to achieve a deep or shallow cut. This decoration technique can be used on a variety of fabrics, but it is important to note that the color and type of fabric will affect the overall look. Notice the differences between fleece (top left), suede (top right) and polyester (left).
Recommended use: Tone-on-tone decoration for denim, fleece, polyester and suede


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Laser Appliqué
Appliqué has been around for many years. In the past, fabric pieces were cut by hand and sewn onto the garment with either an embroidery machine or a commercial sewing machine. Today, a laser is used to cut away the fabric on the garment, eliminating the inaccuracies that come with hand placement. Tackle twill is commonly used for appliqué.
Recommended use: Sweatshirts and jackets


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Reverse Appliqué
This technique of appliqué involves placing a piece of material on the back side of the garment fabric. A laser is then used to cut into the front side of the garment, exposing the appliqué beneath.
Recommended use: T-shirts and sweatshirts


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Sublimated Transfer
A great option for highly detailed, full color art, sublimated transfer is a 4-color process decoration technique in which special inks are printed onto a transfer material. Through a combination of heat and pressure, the dyes on the transfer are turned into vapor and absorbed by the fabric. The result is a tattoo-like transfer that will last for many years and will not peel, crack or fade.
Recommended use: Multicolored or highly detailed logos on synthetic materials


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Patches
Decorative patches- whether woven, embroidered, sublimated or constructed of soft PVC- are sewn aor heat-pressed onto the garment. Certain patches will have high minimums.
Recommended use: Jackets, caps and bags


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Combined Techniques
Many decoration techniques can be combined for a unique look. In the example to the left, screen printing and embroidery lend depth and interest to the design.
Recommended use: Any and all apparel