Supply Chain Issues

Over the past several months the garment apparel industry has had some supply chain issues. This includes shipping delays and product availability from manufacturers and distributors. This is having an effect on the brand, style and color of available shirts and also turnaround times of you receiving your order.

Shipping issues are a result of the major shipping companies, FedEx, UPS and USPS, having a difficult time keeping up with demand, therefore deliveries of blank products that used to only take a day or two can now take three, four, or more days. Orders from warehouses farther away can take five to seven or more days just to get the items in our warehouse. It has become such an issue that these companies have suspended their shipping guarantees all together. 

The issues with actual blank apparel are a bit more complex. When COVID started to shut everything down, production worldwide stopped. Most of these products come from factories overseas. When they opened back up they had staffing issues for various reasons and have had a difficult time keeping up with demand. COVID also had an effect on the supply chain with getting the finished product out into the market. There are issues with getting the products into shipping containers, getting the containers on the ships, getting the containers unloaded at their final destination, getting the shipping containers through customs, and then, finally with shipping from the port to their destination at various distribution warehouses. All of this due to high demand with the reopening of the economy worldwide and issues with having enough people to do the jobs necessary to get the items where they need to be. 

We are being told by representatives from the different distribution companies that this problem will likely carry over well into 2022 and possibly into 2023. The supply side is working to keep up with the demand side as much as they can.

What this means for our customers is that you may need to have a few different shirt colors in mind, be willing to use multiple brands (this will mean that the shirt colors could be slightly different) and styles (some may be 100% cotton, some 50/50 cotton/poly, and some 100% polyester) and order early if you have a planned event. 

We are doing everything we can to keep our business running as efficiently and as quickly as possible with the circumstances we are currently under. We thank you for your patience and understanding!!

How Long Does Artwork Take?

Good question!! And as with so many things it is never a simple answer. 

The time it takes to create custom art varies greatly and depends on several different things.

  • Do you already have a concept or idea?
  • Is your concept a very general one? Or is it very detailed?
  • Do you already have something done on the computer?
  • Or do we need to create the art from scratch?

It’s okay if you don’t have a very detailed concept or idea. We do, however, need somewhere to start. We are perfectly fine with stick figures drawn on a napkin if that is all you have!! The more detailed the concept, the better. We can help you work through a general concept so you get what you are wanting.

If we are creating something from scratch and it is a simple concept we can usually get the art done in an hour or two. The more complex the design, the longer it takes. And the more changes we need to make the longer it takes. This is why narrowing down your idea is important.

If you already have art that you’ve used for business cards or on your website it may not be in vector format and changes may need to be made to make it something that can be screen printed and/or embroidered. Full color works great on a computer but it doesn’t translate well to screen printing or embroidery. All this means is adjustments may need to be made to simplify your art and that can take some time as well.

For logos already created we would need to get the vector art from you. If you do not have vector art, we would need to recreate the logo as vector art so it will be suitable for the screen printing process. Again, the more complex the existing art the more time it takes to get it recreated/converted to a usable format.

What all this means is that art creation times can vary greatly and it all takes time and a skilled artist.


What Time Will My Order Be Done?

We get this question a lot. And the answer isn’t always a specific time. Let me explain.

When you place your order, we can often give you a general day, or even a specific day that it will be done, but we really can’t give a specific time. The reason for that is there are a lot of different things that can affect the timing of your order being done and ready to pick up.

Machinery doesn’t always cooperate. Sometimes things break, chemicals breakdown, or there’s simple human error. 

For screen printing artwork has to be done and approved. Blank shirts need to be ordered. Films and screens need to be created for each color being used in your art and for each location. If there are any errors in any of these things delays can happen.

Once we get the blank shirts here and counted, Sean has to set up the print and each location has to be set up separately. The screens that were created need to be lined up exactly so everything looks good on the final product. The more colors being used, the more time it takes to set up. If there were any errors in the film making process this is where it is usually noticed and new screens need to be created.

Embroidery can have it’s own set of issues, but many are similar to screen printing. Sometimes there are technical difficulties with the machine, needle and thread breaks to contend with and sometimes there’s human error involved. It can also take awhile for the machine to simply sew the final product. The more stitches in the art the longer it can take.

We do everything we can to lessen the issues that can arise, but sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control that can contribute to what time your order will be completed. Have faith though, we haven’t missed a deadline yet!!


Personalized Dog Tag

Dye Sublimation Printing

We now offer dye sublimation printing!!!

So what is dye sublimation printing you ask? Well, there’s a bunch of science involved. Sublimation ink, or infusible ink, is printed on special paper. That paper is heat pressed on to a polyester or polymer coated item. The combination of heat, pressure, and time turns the ink into a gas. The gas attaches itself to the polymer and once it is cooled the image is a permanent part of the item. See, SCIENCE!!

We recently purchased all the stuff (printer, ink, paper, etc.) to print dye sublimated shirts, sweatshirts, patches, tumblers, metal signs, tags, socks, glass for photos, and a whole lot more!!. After a few weeks of practicing (if you follow us on our FaceBook @mrteesaugustaga or instagram @mrteesaugustaga pages you will have seen some of the pics) we are pretty sure we got this down!

What all this means is that we can print single shirts!! We can print full color!! We can print pictures on shirts!! There’s a catch though (isn’t there always). This process only works on polyester or high polyester blend garments. And they have to be light color garments since the sublimation printers can’t print white ink and they don’t make white ink for this process. We can print on darker garments, but the colors won’t be vivid. We have samples in the shop for everyone to see.

Images are vivid on white 100% polyester shirts and lose brightness the lower the polyester content in the garment and if the shirt color isn’t white. 

Different poly content and colors can make for some interesting effects though. Something that isn’t 100% poly can give a vintage look to the image. The less the poly, the more vintage it will look. Artwork that is a single dark color can be put on lighter color shirts and you won’t even miss the white print. A good use for this would be a tone on tone look. A light blue shirt with a navy print. Or black print on a coral shirt.

We are working on some more samples so keep an eye on our social media and you can see how the blend/color of the shirt can change the way something looks.

We recently got some dog tags and came up with a unique way to make sure you can be contacted if your furry friend gets away from you. In that blacked out space is a phone number (of course), but also social media contact info (since no one really answers their phone) and we added Jack’s mom’s pic so if he gets out everyone knows who little Jack belongs to!!

Kinda cool, right?

Same Day Screen Printing

We often get calls asking if we can screen print shirts for a same day pick up. Honestly, we wish we could. Screen printing is a complicated process that takes a bit of time and here is why…

Custom Art

The art for each order is custom made for the person, school, business, church or organization that is requesting it. Custom art takes time to create. I mean, it is custom right?!

We have an artist here on site that goes over what you want on your shirts, what color shirts you are wanting, how many print locations, how many colors you are wanting to use and then puts it all together for you. Because of all that we have going on, we do not create any art while you wait. It can be a time consuming process and can take a while to get it put together.

After the art is done, a proof is put together and emailed to you for you to look over and make sure it looks the way you want it to look. Generally, this process can take a day or two depending on how quickly we get a response and how many changes may need to be made to the art.

Pre-Screen Printing Processes

Once the artwork has been finalized and approved, we have to print films. Films are what we use to create the screens for your custom order. We print one film for each color being used.

Once films have been printed everything goes into the dark room so we can create the screens. There is an individual screen created for each color being used in your artwork. Screens need to be burned, rinsed out, and then they need to dry. Living in a humid climate some days this process can take a bit longer than other days.

Blank Garments

While artwork is being done, we often get the deposit for the garments. We do not keep any blank garment inventory here. We order as we need the items. Our building isn’t large enough to house and inventory blank items. Most apparel decorators work this way.

Once we get an okay on the work order and a deposit (we will email you a work order that shows all the details of our order and require an approval) we place the order for the blank items you are wanting decorated. We can get most blank garments in a day or two, but that all depends on what items you pick, when we receive the okay on the work order and get the deposit on your order.

Sometimes, however, it can take several days to get the blank garments here. If we can only get the items from a distributors warehouse that is several days shipping from our location or if UPS or FedEx misplace a box it can take anywhere from 5-7 days to get the blank items. We generally try to inform you if the items are a 5-7 day ship to allow you to either okay that time frame or to pick a different item. We cannot control what happens with UPS or FedEx and do our best to notify you if this becomes a problem.

Print Schedule

We place orders on the print schedule based on artwork being finalized and approved, having an approved work order and deposit, and when the blank goods arrive here. 

While all of this is going on, we are going through this same process with others and often other orders are already on the print schedule and in line to be printed when your order is being worked on.

Your order will be placed on the schedule once we have all of the moving parts in place and it is ready for production!!

Set Up Time

The time it takes to set up a print job on the screen printing press is determined by the number of colors that are in your artwork and the complexity of the art. Fine details can be a challenge when lining everything up.

This is where the films and burned screens come into the process. An order that has just one color takes very little set up time as long as the films were done correctly and the screens were burned without any problems. We simply line up the artwork on the press, print a test to make sure everything is good and start printing!

With each additional color being used there is added set up time. We have to line up each color correctly or the final image will not be correct. An order with 6 colors in the print can take several hours to set up before we can even print a test shirt. Lining up all those colors can take a lot of time!!

Order Pick Up

Because of all the different steps involved in printing your custom order, it generally take 7-10 business days from the time we get the artwork finalized and approved, a list of sizes and a work order approved, and half down, to get your final project done. This is a general timeline and can vary depending on how many other orders are already on the print schedule when your order is placed.

Our ultimate goal is to get you a final product that you will love and get it done in a timely fashion. If the day comes when we can do same day printing you will be the first to know!!


Supplied Vector Art

A lot of business already have their logo in a usable vector format. If you already have your logo in a usable vector file, great! We can use that art and there are no art fees to be paid. And why should there be a fee? You’ve already had the hard part done for us!!

Your graphic artist should have given you a couple of different formats (.ai, .cdr. eps) and should have given you a full color version and a monochromatic version of the art. If you are wanting a single color print we will need the monochromatic file. We also need all fonts converted to outlines so we don’t have to worry about having the font already.

Don’t know what files you have? Send them all to us. We can take a look at the files and let you know which one we need or if none are actual vector files. We promise we won’t print your logo without your okay.

Artwork Services

Most people are not artists (it’s okay, we understand, not all of us at Mr. Tees are artists either) and need someone to put something together for them. We can do that! And not to brag (totally going to brag here), but we’re pretty good at it!!

We have an artist on staff that is great at what she does. You can stop by most days and talk to her about what you are wanting done. She works in Adobe Illustrator and can piece together something just for you!!

It does, however, take time to put together the perfect piece of art for your project. Since art is time consuming and does require some skill, we do charge an hourly fee to put together the art for your project. 

Generally, if you already have a good idea of what it is that you are wanting, it takes about an hour of artwork time to get it put together and get a proof ready for your approval.

If you are unsure of what you are wanting or if there are a lot of changes to the art, it can take more time and that’s okay. Just keep in mind that we may need to charge a bit more.

Ultimately, we want you to have a finished project that you like and can help to walk you through the process and get it all figured out.

***Artwork for screen printing needs to be in a vector format. Vector format is art files that have been created in a graphic design program. JPG files, screen shots or other files not created in a graphic design program cannot be used and will either need to be recreated by our artist or converted using a outside service. You can see the previous blog post regarding vector art vs raster art for more information on the different file types.

File Types

Vector Art vs Raster Art vs Ditigized Art

Vector art files, raster art files and digitized art files are three different file types. Each is created in it’s own program and each has it’s own purpose. The three different types are not interchangeable files.

Vector Art vs Raster Art

The difference between vector and raster graphics is that raster graphics are composed of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of paths. A raster graphic, such as a gif or jpeg, is an array of pixels of various colors, which together form an image. A vector graphic, such as an .eps file or Adobe Illustrator file, is composed of paths, or lines, that are either straight or curved. The data file for a vector image contains the points where the paths start and end, how much the paths curve, and the colors that either border or fill the paths. Because vector graphics are not made of pixels, the images can be scaled to be very large without losing quality.

All vector art files are created in graphic arts programs such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and are necessary for screen printing or any other type of signage that will need to have the sizing adjusted to fit the item it is going on. Vector files are not the same as raster files, or what most people know as jpeg or jpg files, gif files, or png files. You can save vector files as raster files for use on the web.

Raster files are files that are made up of pixels. These files are often used on the internet since they don’t take up much space. Raster graphics become “blocky,” since each pixel increases in size as the image is made larger causing the edges to look jagged and the image to blur making it a poor candidate for screen printing. This is why logos and other designs are typically created in vector format because the quality will look the same on a business card as it will on a billboard. Because of this, we cannot take images from the internet and use them to print shirts. You cannot save a raster file as a vector file and convert it to a vector file. 

Digitized Art vs Vector/Raster Art

Digitized files are files specifically for embroidery. The most common embroidery file is a DST file, but different machines will use different file types. Embroidery machines require formats which Illustrator does not export. The embroidery machine is dependent upon a file which plots coordinates, in correct sequence, for each stitch. It’s not just a simple matter of drawing an outline and then telling the machine to “fill it with stitches.” Because there are many kinds of stitch patterns, all of varying density, the code driving the machine has to explicitly tell the machine where to insert the needle for each stitch. What this means is that embroidery machines cannot read a vector or raster file since those files have no way of telling the embroidery machine where to place each individual stitch that will make up your embroidery art.

Converting vector art to a digitized file is a specialized process so we send that out to the experts to have that done. This guarantees the best stitch file we can get and that your shirts look great when we are done.

File Types

Keeping It Local

We love doing work for our local small businesses. Here are some samples of some local business that wanted shirts that had a simple print that would be noticed!

Soul Bar Original Soul Shirt

Sky City Keeping Downtown Augusta Funky

Harlem Java House Full Back

Harlem Java House Left Chest