Tultex: Quality Over the Years

CaptureThe Tultex Corporation is part of a long tradition of American textile manufacturing. The company grew out of the Pannill Knitting Company, which was founded in 1926. As the company grew, it acquired additional textile manufacturing divisions – including yarn producing mills – allowing it to greatly increase knitting, cutting, sewing and dyeing abilities.

The company’s name was then changed to Tulex in 1976 after the yarn headquarters moved to Gastonia, North Carolina. In the late 1970s, due to the popularity of jogging and other fitness exercises, the demand for Tultex sweatshirts and sweatpants continually increased. Throughout the 1980s S105TC_GIRLand 1990s, Tultex made logo goods under the labels of companies such as Nautilus, Levi-Strauss and Nissan Trading Company.

Then in 2004, Tultex relaunched as a fashion t-shirt company with a wide selection of blank t-shirts. Today, the wholesale Tultex T-shirt is a great blank apparel alternative t-shirt for the price conscious. Not only is the Tultex t-shirt budget friendly, but it is also printer friendly. The flagship style from Tultex is the Tultex 0202 unisex t-shirt with a tear-away tag. The Tultex 0202 was the first blank T-shirt that the company launched and is manufactured in 25 colors. The 0202 is 4.5 oz with 100% ring spun cotton making it great for discharge inks. The Tultex 0202 also has a good length, similar to the American Apparel 2001. Also popular are the 0213TC ladies fit Tutlex t shirt (ladies shirts are side seamed and the men’ are tubular) and the Tultex hoodies.

0254TCWhile Tutlex garments are fully dischargeable – none of the shirts have been over dyed – the blends are not guaranteed to be dischargeable (blends sublimate due to the high poly content) (Also keep in mind that the Tultex shirt is sensitive to drying. If you decide to go this route, alert your customers that they should wash the shirt in cold water and hang to dry)

 

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Next Level Apparel: The Best Bang for Your Buck

suededbannerKnown for their premium trendy blanks, Next Level Apparel is becoming more and more popular as an affordable, high-quality option for t-shirts and clothing. They continue to turn heads by providing consistent innovation and progressive designs, all in a unique and exciting color palette.

With fine ring-spun cotton making up a large portion of their product offering, quality polyester blends and the occasional splash of rayon or spandex provides for ideal color vibrancy, printability and stability. Next Level specializes in multi-dimensional fabrics, like heathered jersey, burnout, thermal, French terry, tri-blends and sueded jersey. Their 15 custom fabrics are specifically engineered to offer prime results for embellishing, as well as superior softness and stretch. t’s hard for consumers to find any areas where Next Level doesn’t beat out their competition!

One of the most popular tees is the Men’s 3600, which is perfect for anyone seeking a cheaper  alternative to American Apparel style 2001. It’s a 100% combed cotton jersey crewneck available in many unique colors, and offers almost zero shrinkage. Another note-worthy style is the Next Level 6210 unisex t-shirt. This shirt is a cotton-poly blend with a tear-away label. It has a low wholesale price and is perfect for relabeling because of it’s classic, contemporary design that pushes the standards for today’s printable tee. For ladies, their tanks are crowd favorites. The 6533 is a burnout and is one of their best sellers. Next Level’s poly/cotton burnout shirts are even printable!

YOUTH2Next Level apparel partakes in a continuing effort to revolutionize the standards of apparel manufacturing and outsourcing. All of their factories are WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production). The brand, and the practices that the company adheres to, are dedicated to ethical standards of conduct.

In addition to these products being child labor and sweatshop free, most Next Level garments discharge well with both water-based and discharge inks. They also provide tear-away tags and for an easily-rebranded product. Next Level acknowledges that embellishers are looking for a garment that will support and enrich the prestige of their brand. A garment that can roll with various types of dye processes. They are looking for innovative sourcing of quality yarns, and premium fabrics made of fine cotton and quality manufactured fibers.

CVCbannerThis brand continues to push boundaries and provide top-notch products at affordable pricing! Their continued growth and praise as an industry leader for fashionable blank clothing is a testament to the passion that they carry for their products, and the dedication they have to their customers.

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Gildan ActiveWear A Brief History

gildan2Gildan Activewear is one of the most well-known brands in the blank apparel industry. ­For years, Gildan has consistently produced quality products at prices well within most budgets. Starting with their signature heavyweight cotton G8000, Gildan has grown from a small fabric manufacturer for a children’s clothing line to a well-oiled corporate machine ranging a spectrum that covers areas well beyond the blank garment selections you’ll find on Blankstyle.com. CEO Glenn Chamandy has created a company that is more than a typical blank apparel manufacturer. Gildan’s mission statement is “To Deliver Better Value Through Better Design” and Mr. Chamandy has time and time again found winning combinations that embody this statement.

Gildan’s beginnings can be traced back to 1984 in 32_flMontreal, Canada. Although using a very different business model than today’s version, the Chamandy family’s initial foray as a new company had similar ideals. At the time of its inception, the family was heavily involved in children’s apparel manufacturing. In order to cut costs, Gildan was incorporated on May 8th, 1984 as a fabric manufacturer. The company produced and sold textiles to clothing lines that would produce their own garments. Over time, the company’s output far outgrew the demand for their fabric. The company changed directions and began manufacturing not only the fabric, but, also, the garments themselves. By 1994, Gildan had solely become Gildan Activewear – the wholesaler of garments we now know and love.

Gildan Activewear’s main revenue stream comes from their strategy of providing a high volume of basic branded apparel for redecoration. By keeping it simple, the company has grown to over 40,000 employees spread throughout locations including their corporate headquarters in Canada, their U.S. headquarters and distribution center in Charleston, SC, and production facilities in Barbados, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. In 2010, Gildan Activewear even invested in a manufacturing company in Asia to further their production capabilities. Gildan Activewear’s garments are most prevalent in the United States market; however, the company’s range now includes the Canadian, European, and even Latin American markets.

Over the years, Gildan Activewear has grown their product line from the original Gildan brand name to include recently acquired Gold Toe (2011) and Anvil Knitwear (2012). The company also holds several notable brand licenses including Under Armour, Mossy Oak, and New Balance. They are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (GIL).

Beyond being a strong company with high revenue and a large social presence, Gildan Activewear has even received honors as the only North American company in the Textiles, Apparel, and Luxury Goods category to be a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Sustainability is something that Gildan prides itself on. They also received the Presidential Exporter award in 2013 for excellence in export improvement and job creation at their largest sewing facility located in Honduras. Since 2010, they have even reduced  their waste output by 25%, and now operate largely off of renewable energy–sometimes totaling over 50% per year.

I809_flGildan initially became well known for their heavyweight 100% cotton t-shirts. While this fabric is Gildan’s cornerstone and still sells in extraordinary fashion, the company has developed alongside its competitors and has even expanded to take on some of the more ‘fashion-forward’ brands by introducing its Ultra Cotton, DryBlend (50/50 cotton/polyester) and SoftStyle (ringspun cotton) lines.  Some of the most popular choices include the G64000 for men, the G64000L for women, and the G1200 sweatshirt. The Core Performance line (100% polyester) even offers modern style while holding up against sweat and abrasion. These contemporary blanks provide a functional and less expensive alternative to the basic styles of many fashion brands. Gildan has also expanded into socks, polos, fleece hoodies, and sweatpants.

Gildan has made a name for its’ self as the go-to brand for producing company, sport and school merchandise! Any group looking to inexpensively design their own clothing will find them as a helpful resource. Gildan has and always will strive to provide quality blank garments at lower than average prices for bulk orders. Gildan is consistently expanding their products and acquiring new brands in order to modernize their products. As they continue to grow, you can bet that they will do so without breaking your organization’s bank.

We whole-heartedly recommend these products 415_fland can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this uniquely diverse blank apparel company. In 2012, they brought us the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and in 2013, we even saw a Gildan Super Bowl commercial! Gildan Activewear continues to gain momentum and is always one of Blankstyle.com’s top sellers. We have the widest selection and best prices on the web to buy wholesale Gildan apparel, and we’re happy to help guide you in creating your own custom pieces!  The future is bright for this growing company and we here at Blankstyle.com are very happy to be on the bandwagon.

Ask your Blankstyle.com representative about your Gildan options today!

 

These Best-Selling T-shirts will Fly off the Shelves!

Often times we’re asked what our top selling t-shirts are. Baseball Raglans top the list, season after season.

Here at Blankstyle, it’s an undeniable truth that our baseball raglans are the cat’s meow. From infant and toddler sizes to adult, heathered variations, full color blocked versions and even cropped styles, this tee sells and sells and sells! We sell thousands of these shirts year after year to our big and small business customers, and they all just can’t get enough.

A raglan sleeve does not specifically refer to the 3/4-sleeved two-toned baseball tee that we know and love. A raglan sleeve is actually one that begins at the neck, rather than at the edge of the shoulder. There are many variations of the raglan sleeve, but the two-toned ‘baseball-style’ version, often with 3/4 sleeves, might be the best recognized. The 3/4 sleeve length is an ideal choice for many, giving more coverage than a regular tee shirt, but long sleeves and even cap sleeves now all come in this style for those who plan to workout, lounge, go to work or even play baseball in style.

After a few seasons gaining momentum, the baseball raglan has now completely and utterly exploded in popularity–with many different brands now trying their hand at the style. The results are great, with more diversity and more options to choose from than ever. Whether you’re looking for something to spice up your clothing line, printing for a sports team, dressing up your employees, or just find a comfortable, good-looking shirt something to value, we’ve got a huge selection here.

What better place to start than with American Apparel—who has bb4533/4-sleeve raglans to fit the entire family. The BB453 is American Apparel’s Unisex Poly-Cotton 3/4 Sleeve Raglan Shirt. It boasts perhaps the broadest range of two-toned color combination shirts on the market. American Apparel even named the BB453 its February Staff Pick. Since American Apparel’s 50% polyester 50% cotton blend is prepared using combed cotton, you can expect these shirts to be very soft and very lightweight. The BB453 is also available in Youth Sizes (BB253) as featured in Emma Magazine’s summer issue, Kids Sizes (BB153), and even infant sizes (BB053)!

Bella/Canvas is also making waves in the baseball raglan pool. The 3200 Unisex 3/4-Sleeve Blended Baseball Tee is available as the standard poly-cotton blend; however, Bella/Canvas goes one step further with their baseball tees. The C3200 is available in the tri-blend variety, as well! Rather than adhering to a strictly color-block style (two solid colors-poly/cotton), Canvas offers several color combinations based on a tri-blend heather grey body with solid sleeves. Besides the standard 3/4-sleeve baseball raglan, Bella also offers the 2000—a 100% baby-ribbed cotton version for the ladies.109_fl

If you are looking for a more traditional baseball raglan, you may want to direct your attention to the Augusta Sportswear 420 Adult Baseball Jersey and the Augusta Sportswear 421 Youth Baseball Jersey. These styles are ideal for sports teams and are available in several standard color combinations. They feature a fishtail long bottom for a very relaxed fit. Similar to the Augusta Sportswear model is the Sport-Tek Colorblock Raglan Jersey (T200). Rather than a 50% polyester/50% cotton blend, the T200 is 100% ring-spun cotton. The Anvil 2184 Adult Cotton Baseball Tee is made with Anvil 100% heavyweight cotton and is the most durable of the ¾-sleeve raglan group.

The Alternative Apparel AA2089 Men’s Baseball T-shirt takes an ordinary baseball raglan 2089and shatters the mold. The AA2089 offers exciting color-ways, such as the patriotic ‘Stars’ (a tri-blend white body with a red collar, blue arms, and white stars from the shoulder to the sleeve cuffs), ‘Bandana’ (tri-blend heather grey with red paisley sleeves), and ‘Camo’ (tri-blend brown body with an orange collar and camo sleeves). Besides these unique color combinations, the AA2089 is also available in more traditional combinations of white body and colored sleeves. Alternative Apparel also offers the AA1989 ¾-Sleeve Raglan Henley. Complete with the standard Henley neck buttons, the AA1989 is another example of Alternative Apparel being…well…alternative.

Anvil’s 2184 ¾-Sleeve Raglan Tee revisits the traditional baseball raglan look with a price point ideal for the recreational softball team. The Anvil 2184 boasts a 100% cotton heavy weight make up. at 6.1oz this garment is tough enough to steal home in.

Some other ¾-sleeve baseball raglans include the pigment-dyed colors of the Chouinard 7066, the recognizable Champion T137, the 100% moisture-management-fabric Badger 4133 (Youth: 2133), and the LA T 6930 Vintage Baseball Tee (Youth 6130).

As you can see, 3/4-Sleeve Baseball Raglans have grown up over the years. While traditional styles still exist, the genre has become one chock full of interesting options. When considering your new product line, perhaps you may want to give the baseball raglan a second glance. What was once one particular style has evolved into an entire category of styles. After all, if you can’t decide on short sleeves or long sleeves this summer, there’s always a compromise—the 3/4 sleeve baseball raglan.

 

 

 

Alternative Apparel Brand Bio

After getting fired from job working for pizza restaurant, Greg Alterman racked his brain to think of a way to make money. He was still in college, so he needed something that wouldn’t take too much time away from studies. He had an idea for an alternative version of the smiley face T-shirt–one with long hair, sunglasses, peace signs. Greg printed 72 of these shirts and sold all of them in one day. His shirt business was an instant success. He printed more t-shirts and began selling them around campus. After a minor fine or two, Greg quickly figured out the business and got the necessary license to begin producing a line of University of Florida products. By the time he graduated from college, he had a full-fledged business with eight employees.

Post-college, Greg moved home to Atlanta and 2627_flbegan manufacturing t-shirts for corporations using Hanes or Fruit of the Loom T-shirts. Unfortunately, Greg wished he could find a product with a fit similar to the thin, worn out ’70s shirts that filled his closet. When he couldn’t find those blanks on the market, he started manufacturing his own. He initially went to China, and through trial and error, found a factory that could make the kind of tee he was looking for. By the time, the 1996 Olympics came to Atlanta, Alterman was selling printed T-shirts and hats of his own designs. Other printers soon wanted in on his vintage-inspired t-shirts, and suddenly a new business opportunity presented its self. In 1996, Greg founded Alternative Apparel as a distribution company that would stock only high quality blank T-shirts.

It was a slow start–Alterman says that on some days, the phone wouldn’t even ring. But by continuing to increase its offerings with thermals, hoodiestank tops and even women’s dress styles, Alternative’s costumer base grew from simply selling blanks to embellishers, to catching the eye of retailers who wanted to stock their blanks for retail sale. Now, they even manufacture a popular blank hat line including styles such as the baseball cap, Fidel Cap and beanie.

Today, Alternative’s design studio and flagship stores are in Los Angeles, California while the corporate headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. While the company continues to expanding into the retail market, they still offer that perfectly fitted blank T-shirt for custom printi3110_flng. In addition to this, they have many trendy variations that demonstrate that the Alternative brand will continue to push the fashion boundaries of the blank T-shirt industry–including the Burnout Baseball  T, the Marathon Pullover, and the Destroyed-T.

In 2007, the company launched an eco-friendly lined called Alternative Earth. This line has the same vintage softness and fit that Alternative is known for but is manufactured using organic cotton, recycled polymers and low-impact dyes and softeners. A portion of the sales are even donated to a variety of environmental organizations. Some of the popular shirts include the EConscious heathered tees (styles EC3800 and EC1080) which are made from 60% organic cotton, and the AA1932 Boss V-neck tees made with low-impact dyes

Blankstyle.com sells a wide selection of Alternative Apparel and has the best price on the web!  Going the extra mile to provide the highest quality in production and design for premium blank t-shirts is what has set Alternative Apparel apart from the rest!

L.A.T An Industry Innovator

LAT fam

 

LAT Sportswear has been in the blank apparel business for over thirty years. During this time the company has gone from being the innovator and pioneer of Rabbit Skins the original imprintable infant clothing line, to cutting edge with their recently released trendy GREY line for Youth and Men.

The line showcases a light weight fashionable Tee, and overall has a fashion forward feel. Trending towards a youthful hip market has been popular as of late in the blank apparel business.  LAT has done an excellent job of creating garments inline with the demands of todays fashion conscious consumer while keeping prices inline with the wholesale markets demands.

Comparable in fit and feel to both extremely popular industry favorites, the TULTEX 0202 and 6901the Canvas 3001, the LAT 6901 boasts a light weight fit and feel. At only 4.5oz this 100% combed ringspun cotton T shirt is very soft to the touch with a comfortable tailored fit. With over twenty five colors to choose from, the 6901 is a great choice for any line. While this Jersey T could easily stand on its own it does not have to! LAT has counter parts to ensure your brand has a consistent finished look.

The 6901 pairs seamlessly with other garments in the line allowing you to screenprint your own small line with a big feel. From youth to infant, and from junior to Lady’s and back, the entire LAT line incorporates many of the same core colors allowing you to imprint your design on a wide range of garments regardless of your run size. Utilizing LAT, you can outfit almost any group with the same colors and fabric.

Innovation does not stop with fit feel and color consistency throughout the LAT line. In addition L.A.T has created one of the first full lines of sublimation friendly t-shirts in SubliVie. Sublimation is a process in which ink is super-heated. The super-heated ink turns into a gas which adheres to polyester. This process allows for extremely vibrant all over prints. sublimationexSublimation has been traditionally used in the creation of uniforms, think cycling Jerseys similar to those Lance Armstrong wore in competition. The creation of SubliVie is truly innovative because of its fit and feel. While the line incorporates 100% polyester garments necessary for sublimation, the feel unlike most polyester garments is almost cotton to the touch allowing for vibrant all over T-shirt printing as seen on the t-shirt to the left designed and sold by Thredya.

L.A.T sportswear is tirelessly committed to providing customers with innovative products for innovative needs at affordable prices.

 

Ass Backwards and Happy to Be!

We recently had the pleasure of printing for the new comedy series Ass Backwards. The underwear were a big hit at the recent Park City Utah based Sundance Film Festival. Our happy customer Marrisa shared the the following comment along with a link to an article written about the hit apparel.

Hey Blankstyle,

I just wanted to say that the ass backwards underwear were a big hit – thank you so much for all your work!!

Marissa

The print is gold metallic plastisol on the American Apparel 4314 Flat Bottom Panty.

 

Preparing your art for Print

Have you ever tried to print art on a t-shirt and been told your art was not in the correct format? Art vectoring is the most common way to prepare art for print. Whether you are trying to print a hand drawn scanned sketch, or even just a slogan on a t shirt or publication, you will probably need to have your art “vectored”

Vectoring is the process of re-creating your original art in such a way that the image can be completely separated, expanded, or shrunk without losing quality or becoming grainy. A Screen Printer will require you to vector your art in advance, will charge you an art fee to complete the vectoring themselves, Or alternately will vector the image free of charge but charge inflated print prices to cover the additional cost incurred.

Art Vectoring is a time consuming process. You should plan to either have your art vectored prior to submitting for print. Or alternately budget thirty to fifty dollars per design if you plan to have your print shop do the vectoring. A graphic artist should be able to accomplish vectoring for you during art creation. Be sure you save the original graphics file your artist provides!

If your not a graphic artist, chances are your not sure whether or not your graphic is a printable file or not. One way for a novice to tell whether or not their art file is in a printable format is by file extension. Examples of common low quality file extensions are .JPEG .GIF .PNG Examples of file extensions that may already be printable art are files ending in .PDF .AI or .PSD

The below two pictures illustrate an enlarged graphic prior to and after vectoring. As you can see the vectored image does not lose quality when expanded where as the non-vectored image becomes grainy. In most cases, to avoid a blurry grainy image printed on your garments vectoring is recommended.

1)        Non-Vectored  image

 

2)        Vectored file

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for branding your BRAND

When starting a t-shirt line there are a number of things to consider. First and foremost you should always use a quality garment. An example of a quality garment versus a non quality garment would be a 30 singles American Apparel 2001 T versus a Gildan G500 heavyweight 100% cotton T. The differences between these two blank tee shirts while on the surface may seem minor are in reality vast.

Have you ever purchased or been given a cheap promotional t shirt? You know the one from your local marathon or three on three basketball tournament? Remember how when you washed it the very first time it faded, and for some reason seemed to grow wider yet shorter? Not exactly even shrinkage more of an obtuse growth? This 100% cotton product is your non quality basic T. Its also usually a heavy weight carded opened ended product, which means it wears about like a burlap sack. Although these T’s are inexpensive when comparing them to the afore mentioned American product and are great for cheap promotional use, when starting a clothing line if you are interested in repeat customers or any kind of reputation preservation at all you should probably consider a garment that washes and wears well.

Have you ever purchased or seen a seventy five dollar Nordstrom’s t shirt? You know the one that fits just right in all the right places, it looks new yet feels like it’s been washed and worn a hundred or more times? This is a high quality garment. It’s usually made from high quality lightweight cotton or in some cases a blend of cotton and polyester. Instead of wearing like a burlap sack it wears more like a nicely tailored garment. Also because of a higher thread count it holds color and size when washed and worn.

Unfortunately the American Apparel garment runs around six dollars while you can get the non quality basic Gildan for just upwards of two dollars. Believe me it’s tempting to go with the cheaper garment!! Don’t do it. Remember a clothing line is more than just a printed T. It’s a symbol of quality be that high or low. Don’t skimp or with your brand. People remember T shirts they like and ones they don’t. Believe it or not, it’s not the print they remember it’s the fit and feel. A couple great cost effective options in lieu of the spendy 2001 Tee are the Tultex 0202, or the Tultex 0241, both are amazingly affordable and comfortable. Two other comparable and affordable high quality brands are Next Level and 213 Apparel.

The number one choice for embellishment is screen printing. A Screen Printer can provide you with a number of options depending on how you want your finished garment to feel and look. The option you settle on depends on your target market, and your ultimate quality goal. Ask your printer about the different print process options available in order to insure your garments turn out exactly the way you expect them to.

The most popular medium of screen printing is Plastisol. Plastisol is basically a liquid plastic that when adhered to a t shirt dries rubbery and flexible. Popular examples of plastisol printed T’s are everywhere. Most restaurants and bars print using this medium. A plastisol print can be felt if you run your hand over the top of it.

A step up from the standard plastisol print is the soft feel plastisol. This is just a watered down version of a plastisol print. When done right it should have very little or no feel to the touch. As a general rule soft feel is a great alternative to a more expensive process like a water base or discharge print.

A water base print is much softer and is an ink based with water as opposed to plastic. Affliction garments are a popular example of water base printing. When you grab the garment you will be unable to tell the difference between the garment and the print. Discharge printing is similar to water base in.

That garments screen printed with this style have no distinguishable feel between the garment and the print. Discharge is the process of discharging a portion of the garments color to create another color. The is a very popular method of screening when it comes to vintage garments.

Bottom line, the highest quality choice is water base or discharge, but if you are on a budget you can probably get away with soft feel plastisol. One other tip on saving money with screen printing is cutting your colors and increasing your quantity.

Screen Printers charge you per color, and because they have to specially cut screens for each color they will also charge you a set up fee for each color. Printers also give you discounts for higher quantities of the same garment printed. Keeping this in mind when starting a clothing line you may want to consider rolling out one design at a time rather than say ten at once.

If you want to create a high quality garment but control your cost per garment, Keep your colors to a minimum, your quantity per design to a maxim, use a high quality blank T and a high quality print medium. One last trick to add color but not cost is a process called “half tones”. half tones are basically a lighter version of the same color used to create a new color. If your design has a light green and a dark green, instead of using two colors, request that the printer use a half tone of the dark green as the light green. Your design will look slightly different, but you will be getting the look of two colors for the price of one!