screen printed tee shirts

T Shirt Quality

There is a difference in tee shirt quality. Many manufacturers have introduced premium tee shirts which are a little finer, a little heavier and sized to fit. These are the styles that Northwest Custom Apparel offers its customers.

The norm is now customers are asking for a better grade of tee. A premium T-shirt is knitted using ring-spun rather than open end yarns. In ring spun goods the fibers are all aligned in the same direction. Open end spinning produces the cotton fibers run in random directions.

Regular Cotton

Manufacturing regular cotton is less expensive than ring spun and does offer breathability the softness is just not there. However they are great for promotions like a race, a company picnic, fund raiser or when price is the determining factor in purchasing.

Ring spun definitely gives you a much nicer yarn says Jim Mickelson CEO of Northwest Custom Apparel. Being ring-spun makes it stronger and makes the fiber more uniform. This is where you get the softer hand which takes the stiffness out of a finished tee.

The other fundamental distinctions between a premium and a mid-range Tee consists of the amount of fabric. We see more and more oversized tees being asked for along with a heavier tee and a larger size.

Taped Seams

There is also a belief that taped seams make for a better shirt. All this does is add to the cost. The stitches used in making the shirt are so good that taping is not necessary and just adds to the cost.

Double stitching on the sleeves and at the waist adds to the strength of the garment.

As with any purchase, you must determine what’s most important to you, what you’ll be using your shirts for, and how much you want to spend. Though ring spun cotton is generally a bit more expensive, the added cost is minimal and will not break the bank. As the old adage goes, buy nice or buy twice.


No cost advertising

Word of mouth

One of the most effective means of advertising is “word of mouth.” You can’t buy and it is free. If it is free “how much does it cost?”

The price for word of mouth advertising is quality, service, consistency and price. If a customer receives these they will become what is known as a raving fan.

Make customer important

It is important to make your customer feel important. The easiest way to do this is to say thank you and recognize the customer by name while you are delivering unbelievable service.

One technique we use at Decosource to give out a special brochure with special pricing. This brochure is not available to the general public and is not part of our customer acquisition marketing. This brochure and pricing is special to existing customers.

Ridgeline Girl's Basketball with Coach Daniel J. Helms
The Ridgeline Gir’s Basketball Team went undefeated for the 2015-2016 Season. Coach Daniel Helms from Yelm lead the way

Customers are more than likely to talk up your company during the first 30 days of receiving their order. This is why you need to dazzle them possibly by sending a thank you card, a small gift or possibly a gift certificate to be used with their next order.

A good example is when a new pizza joint opens and the owners give out coupons for a free pizza,  the neighborhood will start to talk.  This word of mouth is incredible because everyone likes something for free.

Word of mouth is not the only answer for your marketing. These techniques generally take years to set in.  When it does look out because you will be on fire.  It is so important to create a atmosphere where the customer knows they are royalty.

Once you reach the level of returning customers, customers who come in being referred by one of your customers you know you have made it. Visit the Decosource website and see how we drum up business.

Carolin Bray 30 ShirtsGift cards work

One technique is when you do have a customer come in who was referred  by an existing customer you have to reward them. This is very simple to do and will go a long way. Send them a small token of your appreciation possibly with donuts and a Starbucks card along with a thank you note. Then watch the future referrals come in.

It’s not magic, it takes time but it works.


Kaps for Kids Submarine Veterans Association

Kaps For Kids
Kaps for Kids United States Submarine Veterans

The Kaps for Kids program provides critically ill children around the country a baseball cap. The cap is custom embroidered with Honorary Submariner on the front. The caps are produced by Northwest Custom Apparel Sub Vets can purchase caps on their website:

Submarine Veterans Kaps for Kids
Honorary Submariner Baseball Cap for the critically ill.
Kaps For Kids Submarine Veterans Association
Kaps For Kids custom embroidered baseball cap by Northwest Embroidery

Fife High School Custom Hoodies and Tee Shirts from Northwest Embroidery

February 10, 2015

Press Release:

Congratulations Randy Fountain of Northwest Embroidery winning the Fife High logo contest. The designs below will be the official logos for Fife High School in Fife, WA.  The design took over 8 hours to create and produce product samples.  These hoodies are available at Northwest Embroidery or  you can purchase online.

Fife High School Football Hoodie, Northwest Embroidery
Heavyweight hoodie with an awesome Fife High School design on the front.


Fife High School Football T-shirt
6.1 oz tee shirt from Northwest Embroidery. The front says Fife High School. Bigger, Faster, Stronger Louder

Welcome to the Apparel Graphic Academy

The Apparel Graphic Academy is looking forward to some new and exciting programs for 2015

  • Onsite Classroom: You will have class in an actual embroidery factory with 20 employees and 100 embroidery heads. The classes start July 2015.
  • Management Training: 10 select students will be visiting our academy in Las Vegas. Jim Mickelson, industry veteran, will be hosting the embroidery training seminars.  The cost of the training seminar is $2,500.00 per person. Please ask for more details
  • Shopworks Training:  If you currently are using Shopworks as your embroidery management software, you are eligible for onsite training at the Apparel Graphic Academy.
  • Sanmar Product Training: We will train you in selling embroidered apparel using Sanmar product. You will receive a tour of Sanmar and 1 on 1 training on their product.
apparel graphic academy
Embroidery Training Since 1977