In the decorated apparel industry, creating wearable art is our passion. We love to experiment with new colors and designs to create an image as unique as the client behind it. Just like the designers at fashion week, we pay attention to new patterns, colors and style trends.

Season after season, we look to Pantone Fashion Color Report for a glimpse into the colors of next season. The report is published by Pantone for the fashion industry twice a year, and features a comprehensive overview of fashion designers’ use of colors in their upcoming collections.

Today we’ve matched up each of Pantone’s top 10 colors for spring with some of our favorite shirts and sweatshirts for screen printing. When you’re looking for the best shirts for your events this spring, let this be your guide!

Pantone’s Top 10
Rose Quartz

American Apparel’s fine jersey short sleeve tee in ash grey apricot is a perfect match for Pantone’s Rose Quartz, 2016’s most popular color.


Peach Echo

This Comfort Colors pocket tee is a great match for Pantone’s peach echo. This color is bold, bright, and suits both men and women.


serenity

Serenity is a fitting name for this color blue, and we think this Comfort Colors sweatshirt is perfect for a serene afternoon on the couch.


SNORKEL BLUE

A deep blue like this one definitely reminds us of the ocean. Unfortunately, the weather does not. Until then, we’ll settle for this cozy zip-up sweatshirt by Alternative Apparel.


BUTTERCUP

We can’t help but feel the sunshine when we look at Pantone’s buttercup. This Champion sweatshirt in bright yellow is perfect for a spring mood in winter weather.


LIMPET SHELL

Limpet Shell is a twist on the traditional mint green we’ve seen the last few years. The blue hue is very calming, and LAT Apparel appropriately named this t-shirt color “chill.”


LILAC GRAY

Comfort Colors’ “wisteria” is a close match to Pantone’s lilac gray. We expect to see quite a bit of this gender neutral color this spring.


FIESTA

Fiesta is a fierce red/orange that we can’t live without, and this American Apparel tee makes a statement without sacrificing comfort.


ICED COFFEE

This soft neutral is a must-have in every closet, and Comfort Colors’ zip-up sweatshirt is a cozy option we love!


GREEN FLASH

Last but certainly not least, this bright green is exactly what we love about spring. Try it on with this Hanes long sleeve tee in lime.


Now that you’ve seen the top 10 colors for spring 2016, we want to know which is your favorite! Let us know by commenting below, and don’t forget to follow us here at Just Inkin’ Around and check us out on social media.

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Most of the time when you’re shopping for custom apparel, you have a general idea of what you’re looking for. Maybe you know you want a polo or a T-shirt, but many apparel decorators offer so many styles and brands it’s hard to choose. Normally, we recommend our clients come by and see product samples before making their decision, but we know there are still plenty of you out there wondering ‘which one is right for me?’

In our new series, Product Impressions, our team is on a mission to answer your questions by doing the sampling for you. Literally. For each Product Impressions post, we’re bringing you real reviews, one product at a time. Here’s how we do it:

Step 1: As a team, we select a product to focus on. (Example: V-neck tees)
Step 2: Each of us picks a few different styles, brands and colors to try out for ourselves.
Step 3: We wear them, wash them, and wear them again. Spending a significant amount of time in the garments and doing everyday activities allows us to really see how they move and fit throughout the day.
Step 4: Write. Down. EVERYTHING. Things we love, things we hate and things we’re indifferent about for each product.
Step 5: Compare notes and share what we’ve learned!

RAGLANS

Group Shot Up Close

We chose to start this series off with raglan shirts when we realized that half of our team didn’t actually know what a raglan shirt was. When you think of a raglan, you probably picture a classic baseball shirt style with 3/4 length sleeves and two separate colors for the body and the sleeves. You would be right. Well, you would be half right. The term raglan actually refers to the construction of the sleeves. Raglan sleeves do not have a shoulder seam. Instead, the sleeves are one continuous piece of fabric going all the way up to the neck, and typically with a diagonal seam in front of the shoulder. Hoodies are an example of raglans, as are most athletic jerseys.

So once we all figured out what a raglan is, we ordered some samples. We chose a few different styles from these brands: American Apparel, Next Level Apparel, Sport Tek, Gildan and US Blanks.

American Apparel

American Apparel Raglan

Product: American Apparel Unisex Poly-Cotton Baseball Raglan Tee
Fit: True to size
Material: Very thin, which means the shirt is very soft but also can be somewhat see through if you select a white body.
Color options: Available in 25 color options, the most of all raglans reviewed in this post.
Any changes after washing?: No, this shirt does not shrink up or lose color in the wash.

NEXT LEVEL
Next Level Raglan 2

Product: Next Level Unisex Tri-Blend Raglan
Fit: True to size
Material: This raglan is a tri-blend, which means it’s super soft and comfortable all day long.
Color options: 17 color choices
Any changes after washing?: No, this shirt does not shrink up or lose color in the wash.

Terry Raw Edge Raglan-Next Level

Product: Next Level Terry Raw Edge 3/4 Sleeve Raglan
Fit: True to size, shirt is a little shorter than other raglans in length
Material: Thicker material, does not stretch in the sleeves or at the waist.
Color options: 18 color choices available. All solid colors, 4 neon options.
Any changes after washing?: No, this product did not lose shape or color after washing.

US Blanks

US Blanks Raglan

Product: US Blanks Tri-Blend Long Sleeve Raglan
Fit: True to size
Material: Thin. The bottom of the shirt rolled up significantly throughout the day.
Color options: 4 available color options
Any changes after washing?: Yes, this shirt shrunk after washing.

Sport-Tek 

Sport-Tek Raglan

Product: Sport-Tek Colorblock Raglan Jersey
Fit: A little larger than expected. More of an athletic fit.
Material: This shirt is more stiff than other shirts we reviewed. It’s more for athletic wear than for fashion wear.
Color options: 19 color options available.
Any changes after washing?: No changes after washing, still a bit stiff.

OUR TOP PICKS

Best for fashion: Next Level and American Apparel
Best for utility (sports, athletics): Sport-Tek

We hope our Product Impressions series will make it easy for you to find the perfect styles to fit your needs. If you have raglan questions we didn’t answer in this post, or if you’d like to suggest a product for us to review in the future, feel free to email us! We’re happy to talk tees with you. 🙂

Don’t forget to subscribe here at Just Inkin’ Around and check us out on social media.

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Printed T-shirts are one of the few fashion trends that never go out of style. Custom shirts can make a statement, create awareness, and even unify a group of complete strangers. Over the years, we’ve printed T-shirts for every occasion imaginable and we’ve seen some really awesome ways to incorporate them into events. Today, we’re sharing 5 times for custom tees.

RETREATS

Whether you love them or hate them, most people have attended a retreat at least once. Some love the chance to get out of the office/classroom for a day while others would rather be working than socializing. We know that not everybody loves to bond over team-building exercises, but we also know this; nobody ever complains about the chance to wear a comfy T-shirt. Group retreat shirts serve as positive reminders of the team-building spirit long after the retreat is over. They’re also great advertising for your business or organization.

SHIRTS FOR A CAUSE

Shirts for a cause are some of our favorites to print. Whether your goal is to create awareness, support an organization, or raise funds, we’ve got you covered. Design your own shirts or ask us to create a design for you, we’re always happy to help!

SCHOOL GROUPS

Whenever you’re traveling with a group of students to competitions, games, trips, etc. it can be hard to stick together. Any teacher who has ever taken a class trip can tell you it’s a stressful experience for those in charge. One way to make this easier is with matching T-shirts.

When students are wearing group T-shirts, parents and teachers can easily spot them in a crowd and monitor them more effectively. This creates a safer environment for the students and peace of mind for those in charge of them. We suggest choosing a bold, solid colored shirt such as red, yellow, blue or green. These are easy to spot from a distance.

WEDDINGS

Weddings are all about making memories to last a lifetime and so are T-shirts! Bachelor and bachelorette parties are great events to make T-shirts for. Of course you can’t forget T-shirts for the bridesmaids to wear while they get ready! Create your own design or have us make one for you, either way, you can’t go shirtless to your wedding. 🙂

FAMILY REUNIONS

Family reunions are one of our favorite times for custom tees! Whether your reunion is big or small, shirts are a fun way to commemorate the day. Not to mention they can be seriously helpful when you’re trying to identify who amongst the crowd you’re actually related to, and who is simply a random person enjoying an afternoon in the park.

Other fun suggestions are to make “team” shirts for each branch of the family, print a funny picture of your family’s matriarch/patriarch, or use different color shirts for each branch of the family like our clients here:

Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite excuses to make custom T-shirts, we want to see yours! Send a picture of your favorite custom shirt to Hannah@csimpressions.com and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card! For more chances to win in our monthly social media contest, follow us!

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The decorated apparel industry is constantly evolving and improving. It seems like every day we hear about a new ink or a better machine. There’s always something more to learn and room to grow. At Cornerstone, we have employees with more than 10 years of experience in this industry, and we have employees to whom apparel decoration might as well be a foreign language. This week, our whole team is attending the Imprinted Sportswear Show (ISS), the largest trade show dedicated to the decorated apparel industry.

ISS Sign cropped

The expo floor is filled with new products and equipment, we could have wandered for hours!

The conference also offers a variety of seminars dedicated to apparel decorators at all levels, so every member of our team gets the chance to improve upon their specific set of skills!

For us, the Impressions Awards gallery is one of the highlights of ISS Fort Worth. Every year, Impressions magazine holds a contest for apparel decorators, and the entries are on display at ISS Fort Worth. Award winners are announced at the end of the conference, and their work is shown at every ISS show the following year. We love seeing the awesome submissions from apparel decorators across the country and beyond.

Impressions Awards - our entry

^^^That one’s ours!!!! ^^^

The best thing about the Imprinted Sportswear Show isn’t that we get to see new screen printing toys and take classes, though. For us, the best part of ISS is getting to use what we learn to make even better apparel for our clients. Like our industry, we are constantly evolving and developing to bring our clients the best products and services available.

We can’t wait for you to see more of what we’ve learned on the blog, so make sure you subscribe! As always, email any questions you might have to hannah@csimpressions.com. You can also learn more about us on our website, and by visiting our social media pages.

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We don’t have to tell you there’s a lot to love about fall. Football is back, everything is pumpkin flavored, and the air gets crisp. When seasons change in the real world, cool air blows in and leaves change colors right before your eyes. In a screen printer’s world, the tank tops turn to t-shirts and the t-shirts turn to jackets.

Making you look good is our passion. It wouldn’t be right for us to let you run around in the cold wearing your summer tank tops, now would it? So today, we’re pulling out those warmer clothes and sharing our five faves for fall.

LONG SLEEVE TEES

Comfort Colors Shirts Mix

Long sleeve T-shirts are a staple in every fall wardrobe. Whether you wear them in the yard, around the house or running errands, chances are you have at least a few in your closet. Comfort Colors garment-dyed cotton tees wont lose their shape or softness in the wash, so you’ll always get that relaxed look and feel you love.

WIND JACKETSJacketsWhen the wind picks up, we pull out our Charles River jackets. These lightweight jackets are perfect for blocking you from the wind and the rain without weighing you down. A hood and convenient pockets make these jackets perfect for athletic events and other outdoor activities. Personalize yours with custom embroidery!

BEANIES

BeaniesBeanies

Keeping warm is easy with beanies in every color. Beanies can be embroidered right here in our shop, so add your logo or your name for a personal touch!

SCARVES

Scarves 2

Scarves are fashion’s secret weapon. They can be used to dress up or dress down an outfit. They provide warmth without ruining a hairstyle. Embroider your team’s name on a scarf and you have the perfect accessory for cold games in the stands! These grey scarves are light weight and super soft, which makes them perfect for everyday wear. Customize yours with a monogram, name or logo of your choice!

LIGHT WEIGHT HOODIES

Next Level Hoodies

Light weight hoodies are our final fall fave for good reason! They’re forever soft and provide the perfect amount of warmth as the weather transitions from hot to cold. Screen printed hoodies are the most comfortable way to represent your businesses, brands and organizations, we guarantee it!

Now that you’ve seen our five faves for fall, we want to know yours! Leave a comment and tell us what you love to wear when the weather gets colder. As always, we love to hear from you, so send your questions in to hannah@csimpressions.com and we’ll answer them on the blog. New posts go up every week, be sure and follow us so you don’t miss a thing! In the meantime, we love to connect with readers on social media:

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It may only be the second day of October, but our shop is already covered in pink! As you probably know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and our clients are all about supporting the cause. So this week we’re taking you behind the scenes for a special October edition of Just Inkin’ Around, otherwise known as:

JUST PINKIN’ AROUND

Screen printers Jon, Jean Paul and Moses pose before they print!

DSC01351

Graphic artist Pecos takes a break from designing pink shirts to pose with one.

DSC01346

Meet your masters of pink shirt sales, Aaron and Stephanie.

DSC01352

Embroidery manager Matt loves National Breast Cancer Awareness Month so much, he pinks out from head-to-toe.

Erik and Jeff are Just Pinkin’ Around as usual.

At Cornerstone Impressions, we truly love to print for a good cause, which is why October is one of our favorite months every year! So if you’re in need of a cool design for your breast cancer awareness event this month, look no further. Our artists are filled with cool ideas we’d love to print for you. Give us a call or shoot us an email to learn more!

Thanks for joining us this week for JUST PINKIN’ AROUND! As always, if you have any questions for us, email them to hannah@csimpressions.com and we’ll answer them on the blog! New posts go up every week. In the meantime, we love to connect with readers on social media:

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Producing high-quality screen prints requires a thorough understanding of the screen printing process and a great deal of practice. Many people don’t realize the screen printing process is lengthy and requires much attention to detail. Aaron Allen, a long-time member of our team, created this step by step video of our process. We’ll elaborate on each step below.

This video shows the screen printing process AFTER artwork is already created, separated into individual colors (each color = 1 screen), and printed onto clear films.

Step 1: Lining up and taping your image to be exposed in a light source.

In order to transfer an image from a clear film to a screen for printing, we first place the film on a UV light source and secure it with clear tape. Then we coat our screen with a light activated chemical called emulsion and place the screen on top of our film.

Step 2: Exposing the SCREEN TO THE light in order to burn the image into it

When emulsion is hit with UV light, it cures, or hardens, on the screen. The printed areas of your film will block out light. The emulsion will cure on the blank areas of the film only. This process, commonly referred to as ‘burning,’ essentially turns your screen into a stencil. Later, when your screen is on the printing press, ink will only be able to travel through the areas of the screen where there is no emulsion.

Step 3: Soak the screen

After your image is burned in the screen, take the screen to the wash tank and thoroughly soak each side of the screen. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the water time to react with the uncured emulsion.

Step 4: Spray out screen

Still at the wash tank, use a hose to spray off excess emulsion from your print area. You should spray the screen until you can clearly see through the design.

Step 5: Taping the screen up so ink doesn’t get through

Once you’ve let your screen dry and you’re ready to go to press, tape all around the edges of the screen’s borders. This will ensure no ink leaks onto your garment.

Step 6: Lining the screen up and adding ink

Now you’re moving the screen to your printing press and lining it up for print. For multi-colored designs, you will have multiple screens so it’s important to pay attention to detail and align the screens correctly. Otherwise, you could end up with one part of a print at the top of a shirt and the other part at the bottom.

Once your screens are lined up on your press, add ink. Only add one ink color per screen.

Step 7: Loading and pulling the shirts while running them through the dryer

As the press starts, load shirts onto blank pallets. Once a shirt has gone through it’s printing cycle, remove and place it onto the drying belt. It’s important to make sure the temperature of your dryer is high enough to properly cure the ink. If the temperature is not high enough, the image will crack and wash out. Once again, attention to detail is required. To ensure a high-quality print, check the dryer temperature with a laser thermometer.

Step 8: Remove squeegee and flood bar. Unhook air lock.

When all of your shirts are printed, it’s time to clean up. We first remove the squeegee and flood bar. The squeegee in screen printing is similar to the squeegee you use to clean your car windows, except this one was used to force ink through the mesh screen onto your garment. The flood bar is used to contain the ink. It helps keep ink under the squeegee and away from the edges of the frame.

Step 9: Remove and clean screen out. Return ink to its proper container

Once you’ve removed the screen from the press, clear the screen of ink and tape. If there’s excess ink, put it back in the ink container, it’s okay to reuse!

Step 10: Fold shirts

Finally, fold the shirts and box them up for customers to enjoy!

While this is a very simplified version of our process, we hope it was helpful to see how a T-shirt is made at Cornerstone Impressions!

What else would you like to know? If you have questions about our company or what we do, email them to hannah@csimpressions.com and we’ll answer them on the blog! In the meantime, we love to connect with readers on social media:

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