Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How Your Garments Are Printed

Each week we are inundated with orders from customers who are looking to have various designs printed on t-shirts, hoodies, caps and many other garments for their business, event, charity or any other special occasion.

While we print upwards of 40,000 individual garments each and every week, just how does screen printing work? Screen printing is the process by which a design is applied to a garment, providing the highest quality, long lasting application possible. If you have a t-shirt that has your favourite design on, the odds are that the design was applied to the garment through the screen printing process.

Here at Workwear Express we have two M&R Sportsman screen printing machines, one holding 8 colours and the other 12. This means that when a garment is printed with a design, that design can be made up of 12 unique colours. Each colour within a design must be separated on to their own screens or else the colours will mix during the process. This means that even if your design is made up of different shades of a particular colour, each individual shade must be on it's own screen.

Each screen then uses ink blocking material to break your design down into the individual section to which the colour will be applied. This ensures that a particular colour will only be applied to the correct section of the design, ensuring that exacting standard of design you require. Once the logo has been set up correctly on to each screen, the garments you wish to be printed are then placed onto the screen printing machine and move through each screen. Once a garment arrives under a screen, a blade moves across the screen, pressing the colour through the mesh and applying that particular section of the design to the garment. This process is repeated through each screen until the entire design has been applied.

One a garment has had the design applied to it, it is then placed through an industrial heater to set the design in place and ensure the best possible application. The circular design of the printing machines means this process can work in continuous motion, enabling multiple garments to be printed with the design in a short space of time.

Take a look at two of the videos below to see the screen printing machines in action as we create a range of printed t-shirts for well-known department store chain John Lewis and one of the leading food brands, Dunkin Donuts.

Printed t-shirts created for John Lewis to help promote the opening of a selection of new stores.

Printed t-shirts for major donut providers Dunkin' Donuts to help celebrate the opening of over 50 new stores through the United Kingdom.

For more information on screen printing and the whole host of other logo application processes we offer to help you personalise your garments, visit: http://www.workwearexpress.com/logo-application-i24

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Creating Those Ever Lasting University Memories With Personalised Clothing

Each year millions of people graduate from school, college and university, all looking to move on to the next stage of their lives filled with new knowledge and increased ambition. While this period in anyone's life opens up new doors, full of mystery, excitement and a drive to explore the unknown, there is still a certain nostalgia as to the great memories, friends and special moments you've gained over the years.

While photos are one good way to capture these cherished moments we have found that a large number of schools, colleges and universities tend to also look towards the personalised clothing route when creating a special keepsake for their students as a constant nostalgic reminder of they've taken to reach the point they're at in the lives.

For many looking for promotional clothing, this usually comes in the for of printed hoodies. Over the last few years we've seen a substantial increase in the number of academic bodies having their own printed leavers hoodies create for their students, containing the year in which they are leaving on the back made up of the names of each of the students. While this is a generic hoodie that can be worn by any student, having their name placed on to the back enables it to still hold that personal touch.

Each year we print thousands of leavers hoodies for schools and universities across the UK as momentos for departing students

However, departing students aren't the only reason for you to have promotional clothing created. Universities in particular will have a range of printed and embroidered clothing created for the various events and societies they host throughout the academic year. Check out the videos below to see an example of both styles of promotional and events clothing we have created for universities depicting printed hoodies for the University of Central Lancashire's Ju-Jitsu society as well as printed t-shirts for Cardiff University Students Union's Drink The Bar Dry Event.


For more information on how you can create customised clothing for events and promotions as a college, universities, an organisation or any other business visit:  http://www.workwearexpress.com/screen-printing-i305

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The New Industrial Addition To The Fall Catwalks

Each season we see a shift in fashion trends brought about by the latest must haves straight off the catwalk. With spring now well under way, attentions are now shifting to the up and coming autumn range that has thrown up a surprise or two along the way.

Workwear traditionally has been as a style that is more "fact than fancy," providing individuals with the functionality and safety needs that they require without them being seen as fashionable apparel. However, designers seem to be taking this functionality more into their mind's eye this fall as we see a range of workwear inspired fashion hitting the catwalks. 

Over the last few weeks we've see models strutting their stuff wearing workwear gloves, cargo pants, workwear jackets and a range of other items that would traditionally only be seen in places such as builders yards, construction sites and other industrial or work related settings. 

This new focus has seemingly served as a bridge between the two styles of clothing that in the past were seen as complete opposites with a completely different target demographic. While this utilitarian movement isn't quite to the levels that we would see in a Dickensian novel, the shift in dynamics looking more towards practicality,  in essence, transcending the realms of fashion and workwear to create it's own niche medium that is attractive and appealing in it's own right. 

However, it isn't just this workwear themed designer clothing that is incorporating a more fashionable mindset. Workwear suppliers such as Dickies, Snickers, Helly Hansen are now making concerted efforts to develop workwear that not only holds the highest safety standards, but are created in a way that is much more appealing on the eye and takes into account the need for workers and businesses to promote a professional and stylish brand image. 

While everyone is still going to want their own luxury clothing items, that dress, shirt or whatever it might be that serves not functional role it just simply looks great, it's refreshing to see new clothing styles constantly emerging to provide consumers with greater choice to suit their own personal taste. While it may only be a fleeting must have defined by models and designers attending fashion shows across the globe, this focus underpins the constantly evolving marketplace that is workwear, providing clothing that is as equally appealing on the eye as the protection it provides through the highest safety standards.

Take a look at the latest fashionable industrial workwear we currently have on offer by visiting: http://www.workwearexpress.com/industrial-workwear-c333

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Custom Kits For That Winning Mentality

Every year thousands of children and adults alike take to the football pitches each weekend looking to capture success and a  vital 3 points for their various Sunday league teams. Whether it's a team of friends who casually take part for fun, or a dedicated team focussed on winning it all, there's one thing that helps develop a winning mentality before the game even gets under way and that's by having your own custom football kit.

A football kit holds the same impact that a good suit or formal outfit may have when you put it on. If you look good and feel good this can work wonders during a game. Getting ready in a cold changing room in the early hours of a Sunday morning, half asleep as you put on the same kit you have for years that's full of holes and a couple of sizes too small doesn't really give you that drive to go out there and give it your all.

Now although it's always going to be in the same changing rooms and it's always going to be in the early hours of Sunday morning, being able to put on a brand new, crisp football shirt with your team badge elegantly embroidered on to the chest and your team number and name transferred on the back gives you that feeling that you've made it. You're no longer sitting in that drab, cold changing room. Once you pull on that shirt you feel as though you're playing with the big boys. The passion, drive and determination courses through your veins and you are ready to walk out on that pitch, give it your all and bring home the 3 points. Sounds good doesn't it?

Let's be realistic, having a brand new kit isn't going to transform your footballing ability to the godlike levels of players such as Ronaldo and Messi, beating players at will with the ball figuratively tied to your foot. However, what it is going to do is instil a confidence in the players and a real team bond that can be equally just as good.

It's not just your football kits that you can have personalised with your team crest, number and initials. You can have them placed on tracksuits, hoodies, t-shirts, base layers, pretty much any garment you like. While you may not be plying your trade in the Premier League just yet, you can still create that confidence and team ethic with a range of custom clothing which will rival the biggest clubs in English football.

View the range of sports clothing we offer at Workwear Express as well as a number of great value football kit bundle deals by visiting: http://www.workwearexpress.com/sports-teamwear-c429

Monday, 24 March 2014

A Brief History Of Workwear: A Interesting Trip Through Time

Technological advancements may be seen as the latest smartphone, iPads & all other gadgets, but it's not just handheld devices and other electronic marvels that have seen dramatic advancement in recent years. Over the last century, the definition of workwear and those items that keep workers safe on a daily basis have rapidly improved, ensuring workwears and fully protected regardless of what hazardous conditions they may be working in. However, while we may have the latest in high visibility, flame retardant and personal protective equipment, that wasn't always the case.

Footwear Protection

Long before the Industrial revolution and the many man made architectural wonders we see today, in fact way back in the fourth century, the very first take of safety equipment and clothing was created in Japan. This wasn't used as part of a workwear outfit, but as an early form of armour as soldiers and horsemen would attach crude iron plates to their torsos to protect themselves when going into battle.

French Protective Sabot
However, while steel protection has been around for hundreds of years, the first form of safety footwear was actually of the wooden variety. Designed in the Europe, sabots, a variety of clog, were worn by workers and farmers to help protect their feet from falling objects. During the industrial revolution these were actually thrown into the large cogs to stop production, hence the now known word "sabotage" was created.

While the wooden footwear was heavily coated in a durable varnish for added strength, many industrial items still penetrated the footwear, causing considerable damage to workers, and also slowing productivity, resulting a a quick change to leather footwear. However, these too also provided very little protection from heavy objects. As such, these were quickly replaced by a steel toe variety and although this type of footwear initially rose to popularity as a trendy fashion accessory for mods with the 1960's, health regulations across the planet quickly deemed them required safety items for all workers.

In an attempt to keep that trendy aspect that we've seen in years gone by, many manufacturers have created safety footwear in a number of styles such as rigger boots, hiker boots and even trainers. Although steel toe caps and midsoles provide the best protection, many manufacturers use a substitute composite that provides an equal amount of protection without the added weight.


World War One gas mask
Respirators and protective masks are common practice within sectors that use chemicals and other hazardous gases to protect the body and ensure a good quality of life, free from lung illnesses and other diseases.

This form of protective equipment rose to popularity not through their necessity within industrial settings, but through warfare. World War One saw a drastic increase in the use of chemical weapons to immobilise, infect and even kill soldiers and civilians alike, resulting in the need for great strides to be made within this form of safety equipment to keep all involved protected from harmful exposure.

Banu Musa borhers design 850 A.D
However, although this because essential within the early Twentieth century, it was in fact the 9th century which saw the inception for the respirator that we know today. Depicted within the "Book of Ingenious Devices," published in 850 A.D, the respirator was invented by the Banu Musa brothers in Iraq as protective equipment to be worn by workers when down in polluted wells.

The gas mask has evolved over the years to become a much more minimal piece of equipment worn as respirators by industrial workers as well as an essential piece of kit for policemen, firemen and other professionals in high risk positions.

High Visibility

No matter which industry you work in, high visibility clothing is something that almost everyone will be familiar with. This range of clothing provides added protection when working in dark conditions and extremely hazardous environments to ensure constant visibility and protection.

The journey towards the creation of high visibility clothing first began with two Californian brothers in the 1930's, one of whom was injured at work resulting in their visibility being considerably reduced. This lead to the brothers creating fluorescent minerals in the air, which when mixed with wood varnish because the very first form of flourescent paint called "Day-Glo."

This was eventually picked up by the US Army as a way from them to reduce the number of friendly fire fatalities that occurred. The paint was applied to the military clothing and thus the world's very first form of high visibility clothing was born.

Although this form of clothing because very popular within the United States, the first high visibility vest wasn't seen in the UK until 1964 when they were used as part of an experiment in Scotland, worn by train track workers as a way for train drivers to see them on the tracks more clearly. In 1974 the Health and Safety At Work Act set requirements for workers within the work place to wear high visibility clothing to ensure protection against potential industrial hazards.

Workers in London recreating famous 1930s photograph
The success of high visibility clothing is unparalleled with the garments not only being worn within industrial settings, but by the police, cyclists and even school children amongst others. It's modern diversification across demographics underpins the great journey that not only high visibility clothing, but all safety equipment has taken throughout history to reach the style and added protection which they provide today.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Blackwell's Books Get Printed T-Shirts For Marquee Event

A love of books it something which many people gain from an early age and lasts their entire lives. A passion that captures your imagination and takes you to a place that allows you to break away from the normal confines of every day life. From the young to the old, books have become a large part of our own personal development, helping not only with those fairytale adventures that sweep us up in a spiral of mystery and intrigue that captivates the senses, but also from an educational standpoint with an array of academic texts that clench the thirst for knowledge felt by countless students as they continue their developed within a specific field of study.

It's this ethos that Blackwell's Books look to embrace within people of all ages and while traditionally known as a leading supplier of academic and education textbooks, they also house a large selection of children's books, fiction and classic literature ensuring that the many great pieces of work we have seen in lifetimes gone by are never forgotten.

From Sunday March 23rd through to Tuesday March 25th, Blackwell's will be running their festival as part of the Financial Times Weekend Oxford Literary Festival. The marquee which takes place in the Oxford, Cambridgeshire, will contain a number of events such as soapbox talks and public readings by a number of bestselling authors such as Christopher Lloyd, author of the What On Earth? Wall Book which looks at the 13.7 billion years since the planet's conception.

The idea behind the event is to once again instil that passion for books and literature in people of all ages with particular focus on young children with public readings of Winnie the Pooh, songs from the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of Roald Dahl's Matilda and much more.

We at Workwear Express have created a number of promotional t-shirts to be worn by staff both in the run up to and at the Blackwell's Festival Marquee event to help create public engagement and provide information about the various activities that will be taking place over the three days. The screen printed Gildan T-Shirts contained a small Blackwell's Marquee Festival logo on the left breast and a large print across the back. This was done using our in-house screen printing facilities which works by building up the different colours from each individual screen in order to create the full design.

For more information on how garments are personalised with a screen printed logo as well as a video demonstration visit: http://www.workwearexpress.com/screen-printing-i305

The Blackwell's Marquee, along with the entire week long Oxford Literary Festival, promises to be a great occasion with sponsors and partners including the likes of HSBC, Savoy,  Nook and many more. If you're looking for something to do throughout the weekend and into next week, be sure to check out the event and listen to some great authors talk about their career and processes as well as some in-depth readings.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Feeling The Burn With Meadows Marathon Exclusive T-Shirts

With the cold weather easing off and the odd rays of sunshine creeping through the cloudy skies, many of us are starting to look towards to the warmer summer months and the plethora of activities that are to be enjoyed. However, one group of people who are already embracing the British weather wind, rain or shine are those who recently took part in the Meadows Marathon in Edinburgh.

Consisting of a 5km fun run, a half marathon and a gruelling 26 mile full marathon, the event is designed at not only raising some funds for a number of worthwhile causes, but serving as a way for all participants to maintain their fitness throughout the winter months. While it may be a competitive event with the runners vying for the top 3 male and female prizes that were on offer in each race, the event also encouraged each of its participants to enjoy themselves and break away from the norm with prizes also awarded to the best teams in fancy dress.

In this year’s eighth annual event, a total of 767 runners took part in the different events across the day raising a large amount of money for charities such as Health In Mind, Save The Children, Unicef, Macmillan Cancer Support and many, many more. A large number of the runners were also wearing the Meadows Marathon t-shirts which were specially printed for the event by us here at Workwear Express. We created the 650 printed t-shirts, all containing the Meadows Marathon logo, using our in house screen printing facilities. This allowed us to build up the design on the Fruit of the Loom t-shirts, using individual screens to apply each colour which then allowed the complete design to be applied.

Take a look at the video below to see first-hand how the t-shirts worn at the event were printed with the Meadows Marathon logo.

The event has grown more and more successful year on year, regularly raising funds in excess of £40,000 to help a range of fantastic charities. Find out more information and start getting shape to take part in the 2015 run by visiting: http://www.meadowsmarathon.org.uk/

For more information on how you can have t-shirts or any other garments personalised for your own event visit: www.workwearexpress.com