Here at Fashion Rider, we’re all ears at the moment as we’re taking in requests of what you’re struggling with most in your business. A surprising number of you have told us that finding a good textile printer, which tailors to your needs as a designer, is one of them! As a professional designer, we know that you’ll settle for nothing less than perfection, and who can blame you?! Once you find a good printer, it doesn’t stop there. You need to know how to get what you want out of the printer you’re working with… Asking the right questions is a good place to start. We know how important it is for you to have a high standard quality for your printed garments, so we’ve been doing some digging and asked Justin from THE EMBROIDERED AND PRINTED CLOTHING COMPANY to give you some advice.
What should fashion designers prioritise when looking for a textile printer to work with?
They should pay them a visit if at all possible and have a look at their business and what they can offer, there are lots of companies with great websites showing pictures of a huge range of production equipment but they have just setup in an office and subcontract all their work to a trade printer who will not really care about your brand that much, so research is key.
If the printer can also supply and re label your garments and offer any other decoration methods that will be a big help, as the whole process can be done by one company.
Ask if they offer sublimation printing, embroidery, re packaging, and if they do it all in house, also do they work with any fashion labels at the moment, if they don’t they will probably not understand what you are trying to achieve as they will lack experience in this market place, have a look at their website and Facebook page to get a better idea of what they offer if you cannot pay a visit.
Ask for samples, most companies will gladly send you out samples of garments they have printed before, and different ranges of the clothing they supply.
See if they have any online reviews with companies such as Trustpilot, or on their Facebook page or website, a company with great customer reviews is a good place to start.
What are the different techniques of printing?
There are quite a few different print methods available and these are changing all the time, the most popular is still screen printing, where ink is printed through a screen onto the garment.
Screen printing can achieve fine detail, multi colour designs and special effects and is also one of the cheapest methods of applying a design to a garment, although small runs of multi colour designs can be quite expensive. With a good designer though you can achieve fantastic designs just using one or two colours.
Most companies will offer screen printing, but ask about the inks they use, everyone will offer plastisol inks as they are the easiest to print with, but this can feel quite tacky and lumpy on a T-Shirt, water based or discharge inks will give a much softer feel, but require a much better understanding of the print process to use effectively.
Sublimation printing is very popular at the moment, using this process you can print multicolour designs all over a garment in full colour, including full sleeve and body coverage. The garments have to have a high polyester content for the prints to look vibrant, but with a little imagination you can create some fantastic looking garments using this process.
Working with a textile printer. Part 2
What’s the best advice you can give to a designer looking to start a project?
Start thinking about all the areas you need to work in on the project, maybe do a mind map or wall plan with all the different elements required to start a new project or build a brand, this may include,
- Decide on the market you will be targeting
- Know your market – research is key
- Familiarise yourself with popular trends
- Brainstorm ideas (mood board)
- Decide on the brand name and logo
- Designs for any prints or woven neck labels you may need, make sure the designs are suitable for the different application methods
- Decide on the range of garments you want to work with, and then look at the best branding methods for them, such as printing, embroidery, or transfers.
- How will you reach your target market, creating a great product is the first step, but then you have to let people know about it, this will depend on the market your aiming for, but social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great ways to do this, and a lot cheaper than creating a complex website.
- Finding a great company to work with in the manufacturing of the garments your creating
- Research the market
- Decide what values your brand will represent and apply these to all areas of the project
- Have a distinct style and a clear goal (brand recognition is important)
If you would like to speak to The Embroidered & Printed Clothing Company they can be contacted by e-mail on email@example.com or phone on 0845 180 1008.
One final note:
Whether you are choosing a new accountant or web designer to work with, Fashion Rider always recommends you do your research and consider all your options.
If you’re still unsure, don’t forget Fashion Rider is here to help. Please don’t hesitate in getting in contact and let us take the stress out of it for you. Also if there are any different areas we can help in just let us know.
What is your experience of finding a textile printer?
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