Nobody likes set ups. They can be costly on both parties, but in most situations they are necessary. One of our main goals it to be as transparent as possible. We would very much rather do an order of 1 item 1,000 times than 1,000 items one time. It's the way of the world. But sometimes that's not what our customers are after. So, we'll try and be as transparent as possible with our setup fees below.
Embroidery digitizing is tracing artwork with stitches using embroidery software to turn it into embroidery files.
In terms of machine embroidery, digitizing is transforming pre-existing artwork into an embroidery design file that can run on our embroidery machines. The designs need to be traced, on a computer, by a human, in order to convey the information to the embroidery machine to understand where the stitches need to be placed. Also, what direction, and how dense, and what level of under-stitching (if any), and type of stitch as normally there are run, triple, satin, chain, and chenille stitches. A denim twill jacket requires a different file than a silk blouse, even if the file looks the exact same and is the exact same size. And if the file is the exact same design, but one embroidery is 5cm wide on a left breast and the other is 30cm wide on a jacket back, again, multiple files need to be created. This way, the embroidery will be the best quality we can possibly offer.
Screen Burning requires graphic files to be edited best for screen printing. Depending on the garment colour and ink colour, consideration of screen mesh size and pixel size need to be considered and then a transparency is printed with a settings specific printer configured best for screen printing. The transparency is then shot onto a screen that was coated with a specific thickness of photo sensitive emulsion that has dried since coating on a special light box, or exposure unit. The screen is then washed out with a pressure washer, tested, and then allowed to dry before it is taped, aligned, and then test printed, before it can enter production.
After production the screens need to be reclaimed (washed of ink and dried), so that they can be recoated with emulsion and they can go through the process again for the next customer :)
Vinyl setup is creating a computer file that the vinyl cutter / plotter can read. Along with tracing around each line, the vinyl cutter also needs to be programmed at best viable cutting speed, pressure, and offset for the media that is being used. Finer lines, especially curved, require slower speeds with less pressure. The more unique the vinyl - metallic, reflective, glow, the cutter requires more specific instructions and usually cuts harder and slower to get the job done. (that’s what she said)
Microsuede setup is very similar to Vinyl Setup. It is creating a computer file that communicates to the flatbed laser where to etch and where to cut. Depending on the material and the intricacy of the design, the laser requires specific instructions on speed, and power, and offset much like the vinyl cutter. In some instances, the tags or patches that are being cut are small enough, that the cooling fan inside the laser blows into the air. We have devised some unique processes to prevent this from happening. So in some circumstances, usually only when working with smaller or lighter tags, there can be a small fee to prevent any waste when working on the laser.
Different processes require different solutions. Rather than charging our customers the x12 piece price break for x48 hoodies in 4 different colours, what we do at Proper Designworks is give the x48 price break, with smaller colours change charges. We find this to work the best for the customers as the price at the end of the day is cheaper for you. Usually, although not entirely free of that, the orders are straight forward and not too extra annoying. But if customers need to order, x3 red with lime green, and x2 black with violet, and x4 purple with aqua, we get it, sometimes our customers want variety, and sometimes it's not even them, they are at the liberty of their own customers as well. So anyway, like we've mentioned, as transparent as possible, we'd rather have an order of 1 item x1000 times... sometimes that's just not the case. In these more unique situations, we have charges when we need to stop production to switch the ink colour, or thread colour, or count / sort through the garments to put them in the right piles, or create a couple different setups for different quantities of vinyl / microsuede. They are displayed below so that there are not secrets. We try to be as transparent as possible.