Thursday, March 28, 2019

Don’t confuse material weight of a shirt with quality

It’s a question that comes up with customers.  For generations, it has been engrained in our national psyche that the weight of something is a reflection of the quality of that item.  For the most part the perception is the heavier something weighs, the better the quality of that item.

That is only natural as in many cases; weight really can be a reflection of quality.  But in the case of material specifically used to make shirts, weight is not necessarily a reflection of quality.

In nearly all of the product descriptions on our website Thread Logic, you will see the weight of the material.  We provide that information as a way for customers to use as a point of comparison for shirts.  In addition, customers have a better understanding of the kind of shirt they are looking at.  Some of our customers live in warm climates and want a lighter weight material.

However, just because a polo shirt has a material weight of 7 ounces does not mean the material is a better quality than one that weighs 5 ounces.  It just means that the 5 oz. shirt is a lighter weight material than the 7 oz. shirt-nothing more.

So how does one compare shirt quality?  One of the best reflections of shirt quality is the price.  Like something things, you get what you pay for.  And logo embroidered apparel is no different.

For example, the NIKE Dri-fit golf shirt that sells for $45.75 including the embroidery of your logo.  The material in this shirt weighs 4.4 oz.  Here is another golf shirt, that with the embroidery of your logo sells for $23.25 and it weighs 5.6 oz.  Which shirt is better quality shirt?  Not the heavier one.  It is the more expensive NIKE shirt.

So when comparing shirts, whether they are golf polo shirts, button downs or even sweatshirts, use the material weight for the purposes it is intended and not as a way to measure quality.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

How long should it take to get an order of logo embroidered apparel?

We live in a “get it now” society.  Many things can be downloaded from the Internet instantly.  Orders from many companies can be shipped the same or next day. Amazon has changed and is changing the way we order merchandise and how quickly we get it.

With all of that, it begs the question of how long it takes to get an order of logo embroidered apparel. As with most things, the answer is more complicated than the question.  But we can make it very simple for you to understand.

k500 home pageThe biggest reason is logo embroidered apparel takes longer to create-the fact everything is custom made.  Every order that leaves Thread Logic is different because it has a different logo embroidered on it.  Many companies the sell the same product, when an order is placed, they simply pull it off the shelf in the warehouse, package it and ship it out.

But because we have to embroider your order with your logo, it would be impossible for us make your custom logo embroidered shirts ahead of time and pull them off the shelf and ship them when and order is placed.

The second reason revolves around cost control and logistics reasons.  We don’t inventory any product.  When an order is placed, we have to then order those specific shirts from the supplier.  While we are able to get those orders in 1 to 3 days, that still takes some time.

Not carrying an inventory saves us a lot of money and allows us keep our prices down.   Can you imagine if we had to carry every style in every size and color?  Wow, that would be a lot of shirts and a lot of extra costs.

The final reason it can take days to ship out an order is production time.  It takes time to receive, sort and prepare garments for logo embroidery even before they are embroidered.  Then it takes some time to make sure the logo is going to embroider on the shirts exactly the way you want it to.

At Thread Logic, we are shipping orders of custom embroidered logo apparel in 8 to 10 business days.  In this industry that is better than average.  Some companies are able to do it a little faster and most not as fast.  In fact, almost every day we hear from customers who regularly have to wait 4 weeks or more for their order.

We work very hard to create processes and procedures that keep an order moving through the system as quickly as possible.  Yes, when compared to ordering non-custom products, the turnaround time for custom logo embroidered apparel can be longer.  But when compared with other companies providing this service, we are doing it faster than most.
Thursday, March 14, 2019

What is flat pricing for logo embroidered apparel?

If you have ever shopped for any custom logo embroidered apparel, you have probably noticed a variety of pricing options available for this service. There are a number of different pricing models embroidery companies employ to price their products.  Some companies price by stitch counts, for some the price is included in the shirt and yet others use a combination of the two.

The flat pricing model was born out of an idea to make pricing for logo embroidered apparel easier for the customer to understand. It is pricing philosophy that is more customer focused and less producer focused.

Home Page Blue 4Two components that make it for customer focused are the facts that it is easy to understand it is also very transparent.  The traditional pricing models, those done by stitch count, are mostly something only the industry insiders understand which make it very confusing and less transparent.

The basic idea behind a flat pricing model is that the embroidery of the logo is included or built into the price of the item-like the polo shirt or jacket.  Therefore customers see one price for the custom embroidered polo shirt instead of one price for the shirt and the additional cost for the embroidered logo.

For example, if you see a price of $25 for an embroidered polo shirt, that price includes the embroidery of your logo.  Pretty simple concept, right?

One of the biggest advantages of using a flat pricing model is that there is no need for a quote.  Under stitch count pricing the embroidery shop has to figure out how many stitches it takes to create a logo in embroidery and then attach that cost to the shirt.  That usually requires a getting the logo to the supplier so they can produce a quote based on that logo.  That whole process adds a lot of time onto the front of the transaction.

In addition, a flat pricing model is transparent.  Under a stitch count model, the embroidery shop holds all of the power in the pricing model.  They are the ones how you will tell customers how many stitches in are a logo.  The problem is that customers have no idea if the number of stitches is right or not.  Therefore, an embroidery shop could inflate the number in order to get a higher price for the item.

The flat pricing model takes an average of all logos and uses that as a basis for their pricing formula.
The flat pricing model is has been used by embroidery shops for at least the last 15 years.  Thread Logic has used this model since we started in 2002.  We have found it much easier for our customers to understand and much more efficient way to price our products and services.

Embroidery suppliers are beginning to see the benefits of a flat pricing model as more and more of them are beginning to use it.  Some are also using it in combination with a stitch count model which takes into account larger stitch count logos.

So next time you see a supplier employing a flat pricing model, now you know the advantages of working with such a supplier.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

What’s are the differences in fabric for dress shirts?

Shopping for a dress or buttoned down shirt that can be embroidered with your logo can be a daunting task.  There is so much to consider.  There are colors, feature like easy care, wrinkle resistant, stain resistant, collar types, etc. would make anyone confused.  But then there is the fabric to consider.

The fabric discussion alone is enough to put most people in a tailspin.  The fabric you choose can make the difference between a good shirt choice and a not so good shirt choice.  So that’s why we put together this easy to understand information on fabric types.

It should help you choose the right fabric for your logo embroidered shirt.

Broadcloth: very similar to poplin–is a tightly woven fabric with a very simple over-under weave and slight sheen, which makes it very dressy. Broadcloths are great for guys looking for as little texture as possible. They are generally a thinner, lighter fabric. (S608)

Chambray: Chambray is a plain weave fabric.  That means it has a similar construction to broadcloth, though it is generally made with heavier yarns for a rugged, blue-collar workwear appeal. Generally there will be white threads running in the weft/width direction such that the fabric has an inconsistent color to it.  A chambray is generally heavier and more appropriate for casual wear than dress. (W380)


Denim: We all know denim as the fabric of our jeans.  But construction wise, denim is a twill fabric.  A sturdy, possibly coarser twill.  For the most part thought, you’re mostly going to find much softer, lighter versions of the fabric then what your jeans are made of. (SP10)

Dobby:  Dobby (which is very similar to Jacquard, although technically different) can vary widely. Some versions are quite similar to broadcloth in terms of thickness and weight, while others can be thicker or woven to almost look like twill. Many dobby fabrics have stripes woven into them, although some are solid colors. The solid colors tend to have a faint stripe or dotted patterns woven in the same color as the base cloth.

End-on-End:  End-on-end broadcloths are a very popular type of dress shirt fabric with a distinct contrast coloring. Woven with colored thread in the warp and white thread in the weft, it looks like a true solid from a distance, but has more texture when seen from up close. Typically a lighter weight fabric, it’s a great choice for those living in warmer climates.

Oxford:  Oxford is very similar to pinpoint oxford, except it uses a slightly heavier thread and looser weave. It has a slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics. A symmetrical basket weave where one yarn may cross two yarns. Oxford cloth has recently become quite popular used in casual button down oxford shirts. (8970)
Pinpoint Oxford 

Pinpoint Oxford: Pinpoint (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has the same weave as oxford cloth, although it uses a finer yarn and tighter weave. It is more formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than broadcloth. Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and thicker than broadcloths. Because of their heavier construction, pinpoints are fairly durable fabrics. A great choice for business shirts. (RH240)

Nailhead Woven: Consists of a solid background and color with little pinheads’ (or small nailheads) of fabric spaced at regular (and very small) intervals. The effect of this pattern is that the background color tends to overshadow the nailhead pattern.  (RH370)
Royal Oxford

Royal Oxford:  Royal Oxford is what we call a “pretty fabric”. Although the name is similar, it is not at all similar to pinpoint oxford or oxford cloth. It is a dressy fabric with a distinctive shine and texture. With a more prominent weave than broadcloth or pinpoint, it’s ideal for those interested in a dress or formal shirt with visible texture. (MCW00142)

Twill: Definitely one of our favorites, twill could be the perfect dress shirt fabric. Twill is easily recognizable because it will show diagonal lines or texture. It is generally slightly shiny. Because of the diagonal texture twill is a bit softer than broadcloth and will drape more easily. Twill won’t give you the same “crisp” look that freshly pressed broadcloth can, but it’s relatively easy to iron and resistant to wrinkles.

Poplin: Poplin is so similar to Broadcloth that we decided not to distinguish between the two in our fabric descriptions.  For all practical purposes you can equate the two.  They are both a plain weave fabric that is going to be quite thin, smooth and flat.  The amount of shine on a poplin can vary from fabric to fabric.  That said, technically Poplin is different than Broadcloth in that Poplins can have different weight yarns in the warp and weft while broadcloths will have a symmetrical construction. (W100)
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Can you embroider on the bill of a cap?

If you have paid any attention to cap embroidery, you have seen some fairly elaborate designs embroidered onto caps.  Some of those designs include embroidery done on the bill of a baseball style cap.

Or sometimes you see a tagline or some other information embroidered on the bill of a cap.  When done right, embroidering on the bill of a cap is a very effective tool to draw attention to your brand.  And it offers another palate onto which someone can highlight their art or their logo.

Emboidered-Bill-HatHere is a good example of embroidery on the bill of  a cap.

We often times get customers asking us if we can put their logo or some other design on the bill of a cap.  It is a good question.

In order to get an embroidered logo or design on the bill of a cap, it must be done during the manufacturing process of the cap.  The design is first embroidered on the piece of material that will then end up over the bill of the cap. Then the material is stretched over the bill of the cap and attached to the crown to make the cap.

Essentially what is created is a custom cap.  In order to create a custom cap like that during the manufacturing process there is a minimum quantity required for that order.  Often times that minimum quantity is in the hundreds of pieces.  Therefore, it is generally not economically feasible for many companies to order that many caps.

At Thread Logic, we only embroider onto finished caps-caps that are already made.  That significantly reduces the cost of the cap and allows customers to order a smaller quantity at a reasonable price.

One might ask why we can’t embroider directly onto the bill.  Good question.  The bill of a cap is a generally made of a piece of plastic or cardboard which creates the shape.  It is impossible to get a needle used for embroidery through that piece of plastic or thick cardboard.  They just weren’t made to penetrate that kind of material.

As you can see, embroidering some kind of design onto the bill of a cap is more complicated that you might think when first seeing it.  Obviously, if you are interested in a larger quantity order, it can be done.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tone on Tone Embroidery Can Make Your Logo Look Special

Many people chose logo embroidered apparel for identity reasons.  They want their company logo to stand out on a shirt and be easily seen from a distance.  That helps build a brand, create identity and confidence with customers that they are dealing with a professional individual or company.

Sometimes however, being seen and standing out is not the desired effect.  Have you ever heard the quote, “If you want to get someone’s attention, whisper”?
There is a technique in embroidery called “tone-on-tone” embroidery.   The tone on tone effect is the embroidery equivalent of a whisper.  It uses color to create subtlety.  Tone on tone effects are used by customers where the branding may be less important but still necessary.


Tone on tone embroidery involves using a logo color that is a tone or color similar to the tone of the shirt.  Therefore it blends with the color of the shirt and doesn’t “stick out” as much if the logo color contrasted the shirt color.  A logo done in a tone on tone effect  blends in with the shirt color to create a more subtle appearance.

Yes, it is still visible on a shirt, but just more subtle and less obvious.
Really good tone-on-tone images are usually just one shade darker or lighter than the shirt color similar to these examples in this post.

Tone on tone embroidery is very classy looking because of the subtle nature of the effect.  It offers a good mix of branding and identity for your logo apparel.  It also presents your logo in a classy and subtle way that does not create a distraction of any kind.

TonT-Light-BlueThe best tone on tone effects are achieved with logos that are just one or maybe two colors.  The more colors in your logo, the harder it is to achieve a great tone on tone effect.  Some logos that are two or even three colors can be converted to one color logos and look really good in tone on tone effects.

So next time you are looking to do something different with your logo embroidered apparel, consider a tone on tone effect.

In a future post we will discuss what colors work best for tone on tone embroidery.
Friday, February 15, 2019

What’s the difference between direct embroidery and a patch?

There are a number of ways to apply an embroidered logo to a shirt or some other item.  Two of the most common are direct embroidery and embroidered patches.  There is a difference between the two.  Understanding that difference can be confusing for people because patches are generally embroidered and many people refer to direct embroidery as a patch.

The key difference is really in the way the image is applied to the shirt.

Direct Embroidery
Direct embroidery is a process of applying an embroidered logo directly to a polo shirt, cap, bag or other item. With direct embroidery, the item to be embroidered is placed in a hoop and put into an embroidery machine.

Then the logo is embroidered directly onto a shirt. Or it may be more accurate to say the logo is embroidered to become a part of the shirt. This happens because the embroidery is woven directly into the fabric.

Patches are still embroidered images, but they are different. Patches are embroidered onto a substrate of material often a number at a time-not individually like direct embroidery. Patches then lay on top of the fabric and are either ironed on or sewn on.

The most common application for a patch is on the sleeve of public safety personal like police officers, paramedics and fire fighters.

Embroidered Patch
One of the big advantages/differences of patches is that they can generally be removed from one shirt and placed on another shirt. With direct embroidery, it is very difficult and time consuming to pull out or remove the embroidered logo of a shirt without damaging it.

Another difference is the flexibility to embroider more detail. Because the substrate of a patch is more stable than the material of shirt, it offers the embroiderer the flexibility to embroider smaller details and text on the image than direct embroidery.

One of the disadvantages of a patch however is they can be heavy when placed on a shirt and it some cases it feels like you might be wearing a bullet proof shield.

A patch is also has a perceived lower value than direct embroidery. Most people would not choose to wear a patch on a nice golf shirt. Patches are best used for uniform situations like law enforcement or the military vs. branding situations like the promotion of your company.