WORK+SHELTER offers a variety of options when it comes to customizing your products. Whether you need to add your logo to our lineup of promotional products or you want an original print produced for your spring line, we’re here to make it happen. We work directly with the mills, dyers, and printers, so there’s no need for a middleman.
If you need help developing your product or idea, make sure to check out the previous posts in our development services blog series: How W+S Brings Your Custom Product Ideas to Life, When W+S Development Services Are Right for You, and Where W+S Sources Our Fabrics.
Technical client manager Holly Greenhagen reviewing weave and pattern options with a fabric vendor and CAD designer.
Pre-production, we can work with our suppliers to create custom fabrics for your project.
Depending on your order size and timeline, customizations can include:
- Color: custom yarn-dying, to any Pantone color
- Weave: dobbies, twills, jacquards, satins, etc
- Woven or knitted patterns, such as stripes or checks
- Fabric weight
We can also customize finished fabrics, with print, embroidery, or piece-dying.
Part of the beauty of screen printing is that it’s a manual process, reliant on the skill and knowledge of the screen printer.
Screen print benefits:
- Low minimums, but also very cost-effective when printing in large volumes
- Screen printing works better than digital printing on brightly colored base fabrics (as seen below)
- Placement printing for small logos and designs
A screen printed tote for our client partners Diaspora Co., modeled by Sonam of WORK+SHELTER.
Screen print challenges:
- Higher cost of entry for artwork. Each color requires a separate screen, and at $40/screen, the cost can add up
- The number of colors per artwork is limited–we do not recommend printing more than 12 colors
- Not suitable for printing individual pieces or small volumes
- Artwork changes made after the sampling process result in additional costs, because new screens need to be made
One of our screen-printers printing a one-color design on cotton canvas.
For projects requiring more detailed artwork and numerous colors, we suggest going digital. In digital printing, there are no economies of scale; digitally printing the first meter + the hundredth meter cost basically the same.
Digital print benefits:
- No screens involved = less setup cost
- There are virtually no color limitations
- The complexity of the print does not affect the cost of manufacturing
Digital print challenges:
- It’s not possible to digitally print on colored fabrics, because the yarns are already saturated with dyes, and therefore the colors generally don’t come out in the intended shade
- Minimums are higher than in screen printing; 100 meters is typically the minimum quantity
Notice the watercolor effect in this print— this is only achievable through digital printing.
Digital printing on natural fabric (top photos) versus white fabric (bottom photos). Colors will be darker + more saturated when printed on white fabric than on natural fabric.
Want to learn more about the digital printing process? Check out this video by HunbulTex.
Rotary screen printing prints the full width of the fabric, and can be used for allover prints. Rotary print minimums are at least 1,000 meters of woven fabric or 500 kgs of knit fabric.
Rotary print benefits:
- High, consistent print quality over large quantities of fabric
- Extremely cost-effective at high volumes
You can see the different layers of color and pattern that each rotary screen adds in this camouflage fabric. (2)
For more info on the difference between printing styles, check out this article.
- Machine embroidery for logos, motifs, or additional artwork
- Hand embroidery for very small batch simple specialty designs
An embroidery machine creating a floral motif (left). An embroidered logo on jersey athletic shorts (right).
Bulk Piece Dying
We can offer bulk dying to custom Pantone colors, and offer both conventional and natural-dye options. Minimums are typically 100 meters per color.
If there’s a specific customization that you have in mind and aren’t seeing above, drop us a line at [email protected] or schedule a meeting with us if you’d like to chat through the process. You can also find more information on our website here.