This is the traditional style of printing.  These inks can be printed on any garment or fabric and work best in small print areas. Plastisol screen printing inks are typically used on all blended tees in place of our Standard inks. Certain garments are better suited for certain art so if you don’t have something in mind let us reccomend something that will work well with your art.





Discharge inks use an extra activator chemical mixed in with water based inks and are screened onto colored garments. The extra ingredient is heat activated when run through our high temperature dryers. The discharge chemical removes the dye from the fabric, leaving it in its natural off-white state under the printed ink.

The process results in a nice soft hand feel on dark garments that would otherwise require plastisol inks. This ink can be used by itself or in combination with other inks/treatments as a base for dark garments. This process is limited to some brands & 100% cotton garments only. Exact color matching is not always possible since garment type and color batches are not always consistent from shirt to shirt.

Examples:Threadbird discharge apparel printing style 4

Discharge Printing Advantages

There are a few great advantages to choosing discharge printing for your custom apparel printing.

Softer look and feel. Everybody loves those super soft cotton tees that make groggy Monday mornings just a little less terrible. Custom t-shirts made with discharge printing have a softer look and feel than t-shirts made with plastisol ink.

Lighter weight. Discharge printing is also great for big prints, so you can have that huge design you want, without all the heavy weight. Large print design and plastisol ink don’t mesh very well, especially if you prefer lightweight, airy clothing.

Vibrant colors. Want bright, vibrant colors for your custom t-shirt design? Although discharge printing is typically done with darker materials, you can still get those bright, awesome colors your design needs to pop.

More detail. If your design is super epic and you don’t want to miss out on any of that amazingness, discharge printing will maintain the integrity of all those important details.

So you’re probably reading this thinking, “Wow, this is awesome! But there has to be a downside to discharge printing.” Well, you’re right. The only major downside with discharge printing is that you have to wash the shirts before they take their “no feel” state (by “no feel” we mean you won’t be able to feel the ink sitting on top of the fabric of the shirt). Although not all colors will discharge, our design experts at Threadbird can help you determine the best printing method for your custom apparel.


Metallic inks have metal flakes suspended in the semi transparent base. They come in a handful of colors, with the most popular being gold, copper and silver. There are different types of metallic inks that can be used to achieve subtle differences even in the same color.

Metallic inks require a lower mesh count (larger holes between threads) screen so they work better with designs that don’t have fine details.


finishing & relabelling


Want to brand your shirts to make them look unique? We can easily help you with that by removing the manufacturer’s sewn in tags and replacing it with a printed 1 color design on the inside of the shirt. Please note that some brands work better with Tag Removal than others. We recommend American Apparel, Anvil, & Gildan.

When doing printed tags on white shirts you run the risk of the tag showing through the back. We recommend using a light grey ink (Cool Gray 3C) when printing on white shirts to help prevent this. Note: Some garments do not de-tag well, see our Print Warnings pagefor more info.

ATTENTION: By law all printed tags are required to list Country of Origin and Fabric. If you are printing on multiple brands and fabrics, additional tag files will be needed. See the Federal Wool & Trade Act for more information.

Gildan 8000 & all Hanes Garments contain Heat-Pressed tags! Sorry, we cannot print tags on these garments.

Pricing: $1.00 + $5 setup for each size/design.

We also offer screen printed transfers which are $2.25 per tag.


Threadbird tag printing 4


Let us fold and bag your shirts for you for a nice professional touch. This helps keeps your shirts organized and clean. We also apply a size sticker onto each bag so you know what size is inside.

Pricing: $.50 folding only or $1.00 for folding and bagging.


Threadbird fold and bag


3D silicone is rad new way to brand your apparel. As seen on many Nike and Adidas items, this is a way to make your logo stand out. Made of die blocking silicone that is extremely durable.

This product only comes in a handful of colors. Black, white, grey, sky blue, green, red, and royal.

Pricing: $1.50 + $15 setup fee.

(This price for a design under 1.5″x1.5″, please contact us if you are looking for something bigger!


Image result for 3d silicone label

artwork guide

File Prep

Please use the following resources to prepare screen printing images, art files, and other t-shirt design specs for apparel printing. Feel free to contact us if you still have questions.

Prepare Your Art

All files must be at least 300 ppi or Vector Format. If your file is not 300 ppi, you cannot just increase the resolution of the file. This is called “upsampling” and will result in a blurry image. If you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator or another Vector-based software, just size your image to the size you want it to print.

  • How to prep print files dpi
  • Size your design to print

Please Note: 3 or more color changes is no longer considered the same design!

Half Tones: Please allow us to halftone the images for you. If we do not control the halftones, we cannot guarantee the quality of the print. We do understand that some designs are complex and will require separation fees, as a client you may be inclined to try to separate or halftone the image yourself to try to keep your cost as low as possible. Unfortunately this does not work. Our computers in the art department are calibrated to set the halftones specifically for the films and screens that we use for printing. Often times if you try to separate or halftone the image yourself it may cause more art charges than you would have originally incurred.

Accepted File Types

We accept the following File Types:

  • Illustrator (.AI)
  • Vector (.EPS)
  • Photoshop (.PSD)
  • PDF
  • JPEG
  • TIFF

We prefer .AI or .EPS files first because Vector images can be scaled without affecting quality. We prefer .PSD or .PDF second & .JPG or .TIFF last.

Size Your Design

Your design should be sized to the size it should be printed. If you want your print to be 10″ wide, please be sure the actual design within the file is 10″ wide, not just the background of your design file. Go to the Templates Page, download the appropriate template and place your design on the template to the size you would like it to appear on the shirt.

Convert Your Text to Outlines

If you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator, you will need to choose “Create Outlines” on all your text. This allows us to open the file without requiring the font.

HEat transfers

Water Based & Discharge

Discharge chemical removes the dye from 100% cotton fabric leaving it in its natural color state or died. Works only on some garments

Metallic Ink & Foils

Metallic inks have metal flakes suspended in the semi transparent base. They come in a handful of colors. This process does not work well with fine detail.

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