The call of the day was for Burnout T-shirts. The picture on the left, found on Alternative Apparel's website, wins the prize for the best photo showing the characteristics of the Burned Out effect when worn. My pointer didn't show up in the screenshot, but you can assume what I was pointing at.
Although Burnout t-shirts are available from a couple of brands, American Apparel, Alternative Apparel, Pima and probably Apparel Agents, I didn't have a style number in my head so I told the customer to search the Am App website. He called back saying that he's searched high and low, but can't find it. Once I have some time I'll do a search and see if it is really that difficult to find those. Basically they are a 50/50 shirt with cotton burned out by either chemical or a heat process, thereby making a super thin and often distressed looking shirt. All the rage, if you want a see-through t-shirt that will be difficult to print since it won't withstand much more heat. I have to assume that this style will also deteriorate quickly since it is also very thin. Lastly, Pima Apparel is very proud of a stitched Burnout effect t-shirt, but I haven't put it to a test yet.
Burnout by American Apparel is called Acid Wash t-shirt, which must be good for the environment and your skin: http://store.americanapparel.net/2001aw.html
"The softest, smoothest, best-looking T-shirt available anywhere in Acid Wash Jersey Cotton."
The Burnout T-shirts by Alternative Apparel is the standard burn-out: http://alternativeapparel.com/default.aspx?id=82&CategoryID=15&ProductID=318
Early this morning I spent the better half updating my state-by-state index to shown some new contact info. The goal here is to useful links to common resources for each state, shipping information and relevant tax data for each state that we ship to, as well as, designs that are cool enough to wear without feeling like you just left a tourist trap with a transfer t-shirt.
I noticed that most of the well-indexed companies for t-shirts are from CafePress, which begs the question, "Why don't I upload my designs and let them do the work?" Well, the answer has been in the past that I don't like transfer t-shirts as they wash out quickly and are inferior to screen printing. Even Spreadshirt, a vinyl transfer t-shirt company, has an attractive interface that encourages individuals to put up designs and sell them without actually having to make the shirt yourself. I'll go into more detail later on these sites and it may be time to try them again. My friend has done pretty well with his designs here: http://www.rodni.com/tshirt/
Also today a setup an order catalog through my mill supplier, but once I checked it out I found that it is missing half of the products, only the good products don't seem to be listed. All of the not-so common brands and products seem to come up fine. I hope this is simply a temporary problem, because otherwise this catalog isn't very useful from a blank t-shirt ordering standpoint. Here is a link: http://www.apparelcatalog.net/yque/
The approach to a global catalog is something I've been working on for quite a while. If only I could apply the technology to give all of my customers the ability to create a sub site from my listings then I could finally grow my business model beyond the short-horizons type of business that I currently have. The potential is there, but I'm stuck doing hack-work most of the time. Every now and then I get a good customer like "A Fine Frenzy", which I misprinted a few hundred shirts for and I'm looking for a way to sell them, cheap, without offending my customer? I'll post a photo soon. Any who, the point is, I've made several good attempts at creating a broad platform that does what some of these sites mentioned above do, but the technology keeps pulling me back down to what I can accomplish with a few key-strokes and it is going to take more than that to allow everyone access to the vast array of services that I can provide. Luckily I'm getting bored with simply printing shirts for companies, so maybe this time something different will happen.