FAQs


Embroidery
Print Warnings
Screenprinting
The Fine Print
 
 
Embroidery
 
Q: Can I provide my own digitized files? What file format(s) will you accept?
A: You are welcome to provide your own digitized files. We require provided digitized files to be in a .dst format.

We will review the provided file(s) prior to production for any potential problems and will advise you of changes should they be needed.

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Q: Can Lipari DA embroider caps?
A: YES! We can embroider just about any piece of apparel you or your customer desires. We ask your design be no taller than 2.5” H for low-profile caps, and no more than 3” H for mid-profile caps.
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Q: Can you embroider golf bags?
A: YES! We have tested our equipment for custom decorating golf bags and should not have a problem with your request.
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Q: Can you embroider scarfs or beanies, tote bags or backpacks?
A: YES! We have run jobs on all these noted pieces and many more. If you have specific concerns we may request a sample piece to ensure we can give you what you expect.
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Q: Can you sew applique or patches?
A: Yes we can, however we do not currently off applique, or patch creation services. Once you have sourced those pieces, send the order to us and we’ll take it from there. Applique requires a .dst file specific to the design. Be sure to request the .dst file from your provider.
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Q: How long till I see a proof? When will I see my sew out?
A: Sew out proofs will be provided, on average, within 48 hours of submitting a design with a PO, and any questions relating to your PO have been addressed.
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Q: How long will it take for my order to ship? What is your turn time? What is your production cycle?
A: Provided there are no outstanding issues related to receipt of goods to be decorated or any other issues related to your purchase order and your sew out proof is approved, most order less than 400 pcs, or less than 10,000 stitches per design will be produced within 4 business days after sew out approval. For orders greater than 400 pcs, or designs that have more than 10,000 stitches, additional production time may be needed.
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Q: How will I receive my proof?
A: Sew out proofs are typically provided as scans of the sewn design, in the thread to be used for the production run.
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Q: What are some possible problems, or trouble areas that I should consider when planning to have a design embroidered?
A: This list will answer your question in brief:
  • Text smaller than 1/4 inch tall
  • Thin lines and fine detail
  • Areas that contain color gradients
  • Provided image size
  • Fabric Type

Each of the noted items are explained in greater detail below.

Text smaller than 1/4 inch tall:
If you want an embroidered logo to stitch well on a variety of fabrics, you should never attempt to embroider text smaller than 1/4 inch. Following this rule, will ensure that your logo can be stitched on anything from pique to fleece. On the other hand, producing a logo with text so small it barely stitches on a nylon jacket will surely disappoint when stitched on fleece or pique.

Thin lines and fine detail:
Thin lines and details can be a problem due to the fact that you need to reproduce a thin solid line with a series of very thin stitches. If you attempt to reproduce these sections with a walk stitch you will get a "dotted line effect” as each stitch enters and exits the fabric.

Areas that contain color gradients:
Color gradients are easily produced in a print process; however embroidery uses a distinct color which makes it a challenge to reproduce shadows and gradients. In cases where the gradient is not a prominent part of the artwork, it may be omitted and the natural texture of the embroidery will be used as a replacement.

Provided image size:
When the provided art file of a design is smaller than the actual garment decoration the art file must be re-sized. This often results in soft or fuzzy lines, and loss of design detail. Our digitizing team is then forced to make guesses as to how they think your design should look. To avoid this problem always provide art files larger than the final product.

Fabric:
Fabric affects how an embroidered logo looks. Nylon fabrics are relatively easy to stitch on due to the uniform nature of a woven material. Pique is usually the most challenging having a loose non-uniform knit and texture. Generally speaking it is not practical to digitize different logos for each fabric type. Our digitizers will attempt to enhance (or change proportions) the artwork in a manner that allows the difficult areas to be reproduced reliably.

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Q: What thread does Lipari Specialties use?
A: We use Robison-Anton Super Brite Polyester Thread at 122 Denier density (40 weight standard).
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Q: What would delay getting my sew out? What would delay getting my proof?
A: Anytime we are not provided with complete information to run your order there will be a delay. We need to know what color or colors your design should be sewn in, as well as the size of the design, and placement on the garment. If you have specific location requirements, we need to know that as well.

Also, we may require additional time to source the thread needed for your design if we do not have it on hand.

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Q: Why do we use polyester thread? (My other decorator uses rayon.)
A: We have chosen to primarily use polyester thread due to its durability, its colorfastness, its luster, and the speeds at which we are able to run it in our machines.

Many embroiders primarily use rayon thread as it has been the thread they have always used, and simply are not familiar with using polyester thread. Rayon thread has its merits; however rayon thread color will fade over time and is not color safe in chlorine.

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Q: Why do we use Robison-Anton thread?
A: We chose to use Robison-Anton thread based on the history of excellent sew-ability, deep Pantone matched color selections, and availability of color options.
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Q: Will you digitize my design?
A: All embroidery designs must be digitized prior to production. We are able to handle all your digitizing needs.
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Print Warnings
 
Q: What Garments Don't Show Detail Well?
A: With the modern advancements in screen printing (including high mesh count screens and specialty presses) we can recreate a level of detail with tees that was previously unattainable just 5-10 years ago. There are some garments though, due to their construction, that don't work well with detail. They are:
  • Ribbed garments
  • Canvas material (aprons/bags/etc.)
  • Burnout tees
  • Pique polos
These items do not work well with detail is because they are not smooth like standard t-shirts.

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Q: What Issues Will Arise in Printing Hoodies?
A: Hoodies are one of the more difficult garments to print on, but they are also one of the best-selling items during the winter. Here are some of the issues you will need to be aware of when printing hoodies:
  • Double lined hoodies can only print 1 color ink and no underbase. They slide around on the press so we cannot print multiple colors.
  • Pockets on hoods have to be glued down to print over them. Due to this issue, when you receive your hoods, they may still have some of the glue spray in the pockets. This should wash out after one wash.
  • Prints on the hood itself vary based on what brand of hood you are printing on. You may have to heat press the design onto the hood if it is double lined. Only the single lined hoods work with hood prints.
  • We do have special pallets that have indentations for the zipper and pocket seams but not every sweatshirt is exactly the same. When you print over these portions of garments, it creates a gap in the print where the ink in the screen does not hit the shirt due to the ridge caused by the seam.
  • When you print over the seams, it can throw the registration off. You may see white poking out from under the design.
  • Hoodies are thick fabric and soak up a lot of ink. The colors of the hood will often times influence the ink colors. To get the highest quality print when going over zippers &/or pockets we recommend using a 100% cotton or 80/20 blend hoodie and use all discharge colors so there is no underbase.
  • When printing hoodies, we cannot mix them with regular tees on an order as they require a different set of equipment and settings on the printing press. If you would like to order the same design on both shirts and hoodies, you would have to order it as if they were two separate designs.

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Q: Why Isn't Every Garment Perfect?
A: Contrary to popular belief, most t-shirts are not made by giant machines; they're sewn together in facilities by hand. Due to the human element, not every shirt will be 100% correct. You may have two large shirts that are both the same style but one may have a slightly different cut. Being that Lipari does not make the shirts, we only order them from the manufacturer/distributor, we cannot guarantee that every garment will be made correctly. We try our best to catch these issues before sending the shirts to you, but sometimes these defects can slip through. You may find a hole in your tee or may see a seam that isn't sewn up the way it should. If you do find any items with holes or rips in them, please let us know and we will work with you on refunding you for them. We cannot refund any shirts due to the fit of the tee.
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Q: Why Not To Print On Ribbed Garments
A: Ribbed garments provide the best form fit of all blank shirts as they stretch to meet the size of the individual wearing them. This is great the for final consumer but makes printing them a problem. When you pull a ribbed garment onto the press, it is not stretched out, so the ink only goes on the top of the ribs. Then when the shirt is put on, the ink pulls apart, exposing a gap between the ribs that is not printed. We can apply more pressure on the press to try to force the ink into the gaps, but then it limits the amount of detail that is actually shown on the garment. Due to these issues, we strongly suggest that you do not print on ribbed garments.
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Q: Why Not To Print Over Seams, Pockets, or Zippers
A: To get the best quality print when screen printing, we need as flat of a surface as possible between the pallet on the press and the screen. The front and back of shirts are consistently smooth and the same thickness which allows us to get a perfect print every time. When you print over a seam/pocket/zipper, it creates an inconsistency as these are thicker portions of the garment. For hooded sweatshirts, we do have special pallets that have indentations for the zipper and pocket seams but not every sweatshirt is exactly the same. When you print over these portions of garments, it creates a gap in the print where the ink in the screen does not hit the shirt due to the ridge caused by the seam.
We do our absolute best to give you the highest quality print possible, but when a garment goes over the seams, we cannot accept responsibility for any negative effects caused by this issue.

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Screenprinting
 
Q: Can you decorate moisture wicking material?
A: Yes. There are some limitations when working with moisture wicking materials but over the years we have learned the tricks of the trade and can utilize a number of different decorating techniques on these garments.
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Q: Do you check our blank shirts for accuracy? What happens if the garments are wrong?
A: We check blank shirts for accuracy 24-to 48-hours after we receive your garments. Each shirt is hand counted and checked for correct style, size, and color. If there is any issue with what we received, you will be contacted immediately.
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Q: Do you sell direct?
A: We do not sell direct. Every order must be placed through a reseller. If you don’t have a reseller, please go to our reseller locator at the top of our home page and put in your zip code to locate one our resellers.
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Q: Does the weight of a 100 percent cotton shirt (5.3 oz. versus 6.1 oz.) affect the quality of a 4-color process print?
A: While 5.3 oz. shirts will be okay, the 6.1 oz. clearly prints better. The 6.1 oz. fabric has a tighter weave resulting in better ink coverage. Weight is not necessarily the issue; the popular 4.5 oz. 30 single cotton is actually knit tighter than 6.1 oz. open-end cotton that is only 20 to 22 singles of yarn. If the garment is dark, it will be less of a factor. This is an issue with four-color process and halftone work, not simple spot color.
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Q: Does your packing slip indicate rejects? Will my customer see this?
A: Our packing slips indicate actual account; we do not use the words ‘reject’ or ‘misprint’ on the form received by your customer. The customer will, however, know exactly what we shipped after any spoilage. Your invoice will indicate manufacturer rejects such as holes or stains we could not see at initial inspection. Also, you will be advised of misprints.
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Q: I thought any EPS file was good. You say ‘not so’. Why?
A:
EPS is nothing more than a file type that can be opened by multiple graphics programs. As is the case with ANY file, it is what’s inside that counts. An artist can save anything from a low resolution JPG to a high resolution Photoshop file as an EPS. Bottom line: The art department must open it and see what they have to deal with; just like any other file they receive. We DO NOT ACCEPT any type of WORD document files as they are not ideal for separations and reproduction. 

Acceptable vector file formats:
  • eps 
  • ai 
  • cdr (CorelX3 and lower)
  • pdf 
*all text must be converted to curves or outlines*

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Q: Is the Lipari Specialties name on the shipping documents or is it blind label?
A: Every shipment that leaves our warehouse is shipped blind showing YOU as the shipper.
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Q: My imprint looks slightly crooked or bowed. Why is that?
A: While crooked printing due to operator error is never acceptable in our shop, there are a few instances when imprints appear slightly crooked or warped. This happens even when the shirts are loaded perfectly straight.

Due to the nature of printing on textiles, the canvas (a.k.a. tee shirt) can warp slightly, although the "painting” is straight.

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Q: What kind of art do I need for 4-Color Process?
A: The most important aspect is file resolution. At final imprint size, it is best to have 300 dpi or higher resolution. Remember: Lipari Graphics will use Photoshop for all 4-Color Process work. The file type can be PSD, JPG, TIF, or even an Illustrator AI file (though, if the image is raster, then it is better to send the original file not pasted in Illustrator).
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Q: When should I expect to see an art approval?
A: We send PDF art approvals. Our goal is to send it five days before your ship date, but rush orders will likely have proofs sent last minute (24 to 48 hours before production). WARNING: Our art department is very busy and can rarely make exceptions. If you need art proofs faster than five days before your print date, then please contact our sales manager.
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Q: When will I see an invoice?
A: Invoices are processed and faxed out the day after your order ships. You will receive a paper copy of the invoice through the mail within five days of when your order ships.
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Q: Why does an actual printed tee shirt look different than the virtual proof (The paper proof)?
A: Every output device will differ. This is the realty due to a whole lot of technical reasons including tonal compensation, ink density, ink values, etc.

Virtual proofs or ‘monitor viewing’ is in theory impossible to reproduce with printed ink, though some output devices (computer printers, for example) can get close enough to make most buyers happy. Monitors display color in RGB (light), which is beyond the visual spectrum that printed inks can reproduce in four-color process (CMYK)

Ink jet and laser printers do not print in RGB, they will always convert this space to CMYK. Your color paper proof will only be as close as the output device allows. Next, the image must overcome another conversion. The image information must be separated into a screen for each color, CMYK, then printed with links that differ from the inks in the paper-proofing device. There is no way around this. Printing tee shirts is a different animal than printing on paper.

The texture of the fabric will affect the color balance. Lipari Graphics has gone to great lengths to make our final printed tee shirt as close as possible to the original file. IMPORTANT: Only a printed tee shirt is considered a proof for final judgment. Lipari Graphics will not be responsible for moderate shifts in color or effect if only a virtual proof or paper proof is used.

Every output device will differ. This is the realty due to a whole lot of technical reasons including tonal compensation, ink density, ink values, etc.

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Q: Why don’t you print nylon baseball jackets or other nylon items?
A: Nylon has a pesky characteristic of shrinking and melting when exposed to high temperatures. When we flash the ink on press and run them through the dryer after printing, the nylon can shrink, scorch, and melt.
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Q: Will I see an order confirmation or a shipping confirmation?
A: Yes, we will fax or email an order confirmation to you. Shipping confirmations are emailed with UPS Quantum. If an order ships via freight, customer service will call or email you with the details.
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The Fine Print
 
Q: Art Revision Fees
A: Each order includes 15 minutes of art time to prep the file for printing at no charge. Art files that require additional handling or revision after a proof is sent are charged $80/hour with a minimum charge of $20.
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Q: Cancellations
A: No cancellations will be accepted for finished merchandise. Cancellations prior to production will be billed for all charges incurred up to that point. Cancellations must be confirmed in writing.
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Q: Customer Separations
A: Process separations supplied by the customer will not be accepted. Our separations are created specifically for our factory. Spot color halftones will also be created by Lipari to account for dot gain.
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Q: Discharge Limitations
A: Discharge inks will only work on 100% cotton material. An exact PMS match is not possible and the imprint color will vary based on the color shirt and dye lot.
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Q: Dispute of Quality
A: Claims must be made within 30 days of receipt of merchandise.
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Q: Dye Migration Warning on Polyester
A: Dye migration is a problem caused by dyes in polyester fibers transferring to and changing the color of plastisol inks. The colors most likely to migrate are red, maroon, kelly green, and some of the darker blues. Dye migration may appear immediately after the ink is cured, or hours, days, or up to two weeks later. Lipari cannot control dye migration and is a risk the customer must accept when printing on polyester or partial polyester garments.
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Q: Garment Reaction to Heat
A: Garments may shrink slightly when exposed to heat during the ink curing process. In addition, some brands of garments tags will curl and shrink when exposed to heat. This is a risk inherent in the nature of the materials when exposed to heat that Lipari cannot take responsibility for or control.
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Q: Handling Fees
A: Every order will incur a handling fee of $8 for the first package, $5 for packages 2-25 and $3 for each package over 26 cases.
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Q: Photo Proofs
A: Photo proofs are provided free of charge on orders over 1,000 pieces. Photo proofs are taken when an order is on press and ready to print. Proofs are emailed to our customer and the press can be held for one hour. If no response is received within one hour the job is taken down and rescheduled and the photo proof is billed as a pre-production proof.
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Q: Pre-Production Proofs
A: Pre-Production Proofs are the only way to ensure imprint accuracy. Lipari will not be held responsible for slight shifts in color without a pre-production proof. Lipari will send out 2 proofs samples, one for your records and one for your client. Pre-Production Proofs will be billed within 30 days of printing regardless of order status.
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Q: Printing on Youth and Adult Garments
A: If different size screens are needed for printing the same design on youth and adult garments then print charges will be based on separate runs. However, an imprint size can sometimes be determined to accommodate all sizes – please call for advice.
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Q: Production Time
A: Production time begins once a complete Purchase order, acceptable art file and garments are received.
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Q: Shipping Directions
A: Complete packing and shipping information must be provided 48 hours before an order is to ship. If this deadline is not met the order shipment will be delayed.
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Q: Signed Order Approvals
A: Order Approvals are created and emailed to the customer at the order entry stage of the process. Lipari must receive a signed Order Approval before the order can proceed to production.
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Q: Spoilage Rate
A: Lipari is not responsible for spoilage up to 1% of orders over 1,000 prints, 2% for orders over 144 prints or 5% for orders less than 144 prints (Minimum 1 piece). Blanks must be provided to cover the spoilage rate of the TOTAL order for EACH size, style and color. Please call with questions.
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Q: Unclaimed Garments
A: Garments that are in Lipari’s possession for more than 90 days become the property of Lipari Decorated Apparel. It is the customer’s responsibility to claim any garments before this deadline. Misprinted and damaged garments become Lipari’s property after 30 days.
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Q: Unique Locations
A: Printing over seams, zippers, collars or other unique locations will lead to ink build ups, coverage and consistency issues.
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