2018 Summer Apparel Trends to Try or Kiss Goodbye

This summer is expected to be dishing out a blend of bold trends. We’ve combed through the looks to separate the tried-and-true, from the styles that have overstayed their welcome.


Palettes and Patterns inspired by the ‘80s and ‘90s

The ‘80s and ‘90s have made their way back, with graphics moving away from ultra-flat designs to more abstract and dimensional in the past year. For example, geometric designs and bold typography have become extremely popular. As far as color scheme, you’ll find a lot of soft pastels and bold pops of color.

Continue reading “2018 Summer Apparel Trends to Try or Kiss Goodbye”

Leasing vs. Buying Equipment: Which is Better for my Business?

One of the biggest decisions a business owner faces in the custom apparel industry is whether to buy or lease equipment. Investing in pricey machinery can seem risky, especially when the future of your company is on the line.  To help make the decision a little easier, we’ve provided the pros and cons of buying versus leasing equipment. Continue reading “Leasing vs. Buying Equipment: Which is Better for my Business?”

A PERFECT MATCH: Upsell w/ Apparel & Accessory Pairings

When customers come to you for apparel, it’s the perfect opportunity to
upsell – if you know what to offer. Think beyond apparel products and
consider their end-use, so you can pitch the perfect pairings of apparel
and add-on accessories. Let’s show you how it’s done!

If They’re Looking For Athleisure…

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MORE INFO: W5019S22042MT0301A62791241AODM

Performance gear is especially popular with gyms, sports clubs and fitness studios, although the corporate world is hopping on the athleisure train as well.

Sell This: Leggings, tank tops, hoodies
Add This: Headwear like headbands and caps
Why? Get your customers’ brand out on the road by pitching everything
fitness enthusiasts need to exercise outdoors. Continue reading “A PERFECT MATCH: Upsell w/ Apparel & Accessory Pairings”

The Road To 30 Years of S&S

Owners Jeff Adams and Paul Rohr take a stroll down memory lane, and tell the story of how S&S became the company it is today. “It’s fun to see how we have grown into 6 locations and what we started from,” says Rohr. See photos showing of the beginnings of S&S and hear how the owners developed a company culture you know and love to work with. “We wanted people that we’re coming to work Monday, charged up; ready to go, and happy about their environment,” says Adams.

Special thanks to all the loyal customers and vendors who have supported us over the years! Without you, S&S wouldn’t be where it is today, and this story wouldn’t be possible.

Beginner’s Guide on How to Avoid Copyright Infringement

With the rise of viral street art, pop art and popular inspirational slogans – it’s not surprising that 64 percent of professionals had work stolen over 200 times in 2016. Knowing whether a design includes copyrighted material could mean the difference between success and a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, there’s no one site that houses every protected image or vector for you to check before you start printing. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to navigate.

How to Tell if Something Is Copyrighted

As a basic guideline, any work published after Jan. 1, 1978, is automatically copyrighted from creation to 70 years after the artist’s death. Anything published before Jan. 1, 1978, was required to be registered with the Copyright Office, and includes a notice of copyright © on the work. Here’s what that means:  Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide on How to Avoid Copyright Infringement”

What Makes Bella + Canvas Airlume Cotton So Different?

What makes BELLA+CANVAS T-shirts so Soft? from BELLA+CANVAS on Vimeo.

Bella + Canvas goes through A LOT of trouble to make the softest cotton fabric possible. 25-30% of the cotton during the manufacturing process is combed out to eliminate impurities in the fabric. Lots of manufacturers would put that inferior cotton back into batch during the spinning process, but Bella + Canvas keeps it out.

Only “long-stapled” cotton (long cotton fibers) is used, which greatly reduces stray fibers and creates a smoother surface and much softer feel.

The Airlume process also creates a much tighter and even knit across the surface of the fabric, making it ideal for screenprinting. Why? A tighter weave and less stray fibers means there is more surface area for ink to be placed, giving your customers a much more detailed and cleaner print.

HOW TO SCREEN PRINT on Polyester (feat. The Badger ULTIMATE Softlock Tee)

Dye Migration Problems

Trying to print on 100% polyester can be a nightmare without using the right inks and the right procedure. Client’s printed designs can go from a beautiful work of art to a horribly discolored mess, in the blink of an eye. Or even worse, declaration will show up days later after they already have the products in their hands. This is caused by dye migration, which happens when dye from 100% polyester fabric turns into a gas and seeps into the ink of the printed design.

How to Properly Print on 100% Polyester

To help you out, Geno from learnhowtoscreenprint.com, is going to show us what steps you can take to prevent dye migration from ruining your 100% polyester prints. To demonstrate, he’ll be using our BRAND NEW Badger Softlock Tees (style 4020). 

“BEHIND THE INK” w/ Greg Gaardbo

“What I think makes our business successful is CREATIVITY, Number 1.” says Greg Gaardbo, owner of Shockwaves Promotional Apparel. His creativity and ability to think outside the box has helped him build a business that’s continued growing for over 23 years. We sat down with him at his shop, located just outside of Chicago, to find out how he got started, what his inspirations are, and what’s made him so successful. One thing is for sure. He has a thirst for creativity, dabbling in screen printing, embroidery, laser cutting, sublimation, drawing and even woodworking. AND…. that’s not all. In his SPARE time, Greg and his wife, Kristina, run an award winning Texas BBQ restaurant, named the Chicago Culinary Kitchen, on the weekends. This place serves up some tasty BBQ that’s so good, it’s even been featured on The Cooking Channel. A man of many talents, Greg definitely has the recipe for success.

BONUS FOOTAGE: See this dynamic duo talk about their delicious BBQ!