FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Fingers Duke has been offering creative, professional screen printing solutions since 2010. Printing is more than our job, it is our passion. We work hard to ensure that you receive a great quality shirt with a crisp, clean print that will wear and wash well. Our dedication to our craft ensures that you, your team, and your customers will actually want to rock your tees for years to come.
WE WILL GET YOU COVERED
We can tackle a wide variety of different print jobs. Whether you are looking for a small run of shirts for your team or startup, or a large order for an event or retail line, we’ve got you covered. We have a huge catalog of blank apparel to choose from, multiple inks and techniques at our disposal, and more than a few tricks up our sleeves to get you just what you are looking for. Also, do not hesitate to hit us up regarding specialty printing projects: we can print more than just t-shirts and hoodies!
WHY DOES FINGERS DUKE PREFER APPOINTMENTS?
Post Covid, we have realized that scheduling appointments really helps us serve you better. It helps us offer the best 1-on-1 service possible to our customers and allows us to be better prepared with necessary samples, estimates, and availability options. It will also allow us to provide you with a list of things that we will need to make our time together productive. While we are open to the public in a reduced capacity, we can not currently guarantee a team member will be available at all times to fully process a new order. To schedule an appointment, please submit an online quote request or call and a team member will reach out in 24 hours or less.
CAN I ROLL IN OFF THE STREET WHENEVER I WANT?
If you are a long-term customer and are reordering the same designs, that is easier. But if you are a new customer that is not prepared and fumbling on your phone to find a design that you made on Canva last night…that honestly is the worst. We have created our quote form to act like a brainstorming guide, and by answering the questions to the best of your ability, it will help us help you better. We do understand that some folks work better with a face to face conversation, but filling out that quote request before your appointment will give us a better base to start with.
CAN I PROCESS AN ORDER FULLY ONLINE?
If we do our jobs right, you will only see us at pickup. We’ve always been strong communicators via email and over the phone and get back to you fairly quickly. Don’t worry we won’t ghost you at the ninth hour. Our entire process can be done online from communication to approving and paying for your invoice. Easy! If you do need accommodations (there are people that don’t actually have emails…HOW? We don’t know either), we are willing to adjust to suit your needs.
WHAT IS A FAQ SECTION?
It is part of the website where we answer 75% of the questions that people may have, but 9 times out of 10, the people that need those answers won’t read it and will insist on calling us instead.
WHAT IS SCREEN PRINTING?
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. Source: Wikipedia, source of all knowledge.
BUT REALLY, WHAT IS SCREEN PRINTING?
Screen printing is the best way to print t-shirts and most apparel. It can also be used to print posters and other materials. A lot of the stuff that you see and use in your daily life has been screen printed. Signs, tap handles, pint glasses and growlers. When it comes to shirts and apparel, screen printing involves actually putting ink down onto the fabric, and then heat curing the inks for a permanent bond. This is more permanent than heat press decals, which are basically a fancy sticker sitting on the surface of the shirt.
WHAT KINDS OF ITEMS DOES FINGERS DUKE SCREEN PRINT?
We specialize in printing t-shirts and other apparel such as hoodies, tanks, sweatpants and more! We can also screen print posters, business cards, greeting cards, and other paper products. Depending on the material and the surface, we have also printed tap handles, growler carriers, can koozies, canvas patches, wood panels, signage, album covers, cassette tapes, and other random stuff. But mostly shirts.
CAN YOU PRINT MY CAT?
Does your cat enjoy being squished flat on a press and then baked at 700 degrees?
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INKS AVAILABLE?
We print using plastisol, water based, and discharge inks.
WHAT IS PLASTISOL INK?
Plastisol ink is the standard, most generic, and most commonly used ink for screen printing. Plastisol is generally the cheapest way to get t-shirts printed because the ink is super easy to use. Plastisol inks sit more on the surface of a shirt than water based inks do, and typically have a texture or feel that is very noticeable to the hand. These inks are used to get super bright and bold colors in screen printing on fabric and allow for us to print on a variety of different fabrics with ease. Click here to learn more about plastisol inks.
WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS OF PLASTISOL INKS?
Plastisol ink is not very breathable, and can be a little stiff. While it can be great for a large variety of printing, and can be very soft when used with the right designs, it can be uncomfortable when covering a large area. That is what we call a plate of ink. And since the ink is plastic based, there is the possibility that a well worn and much loved shirt that gets washed and stretched frequently, will start to develop cracks in the print.
THE PRINTING ON MY SHIRT IS CRACKING OR FLAKING OFF! WHY?
Cracking on our prints is generally the result of a shirt with a plastisol print being worn a lot. The more a shirt is worn or washed, the more likely that the fabric is being stretched out and shrinking. Plastisol inks bond to the fabric they are printed on, but they also sit more towards the surface of the shirt. As a shirt gets washed, and worn, and exposed to the elements, eventually the print will begin to lose some of its elasticity. As shirt stretches, and the fibers to which the ink is bonded start to pull away from each other, it will put stress on the print, and can eventually lead to some cracking as the print ages.
If the print begins to crack immediately after purchase, or after the first wash or two, or the ink is flaking off the shirt, then you have a shit screen printer. Unless it was us, then there is something wrong and you should let us know so that we can fix it for you.
WHAT IS DISCHARGE AND WATER BASED INKS?
Water based ink is ink that is water based.
Discharge is awesome. Discharge printing actually strips the fabric of the dye or pigment in the fiber, kinda like bleach. This makes room for whatever pigment we mix with the discharge to basically re-dye the shirt to the color of our choosing. It also makes a great base layer for printing brighter water based or plastisol inks over darker fabrics, since the water based ink does not have to fight against the color of the shirt.
WHAT IS THE PROS AND CONS OF WATER BASED INKS?
Advantages: Water based inks are softer than traditional plastisol inks. It gets down there into the fabric more, and allows for the fibers to absorb the pigment instead of just coating the fibers with a coat of paint. This creates a better feeling and more breathable print.
Disadvantages: The main disadvantage to water based inks is that they are usually not as opaque or vibrant as plastisol inks, at least on their own. Usually to get water based inks to really pop on darker fabrics it is best to add some discharge to the mix. Water based inks can also be a little more difficult to work with since they can dry in the screens as the water evaporates from the ink. Lastly, water based inks can be limiting when it comes to fabric choice due to bonding issues.
I CAN FEEL THE PRINT ON MY DISCHARGE PRINTED T-SHIRT! I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SUPER SOFT!
Have you tried washing it? Typically there is a little bit of a “crust” left on the shirt after the discharge process. After a wash or two, this should almost, if not entirely, go away leaving the print just as soft as the shirt it is printed on.
SHOULD I WASH MY DISCHARGE PRINTED T-SHIRT BEFORE I WEAR IT?
Absolutely. We always recommend that you wash a discharge printed shirt before wearing it. This helps get rid of any leftover or excess ink or pigment as well as any other leftover elements from the discharge process. Discharge is a chemical process, like science (also known as magic), and it can be messy. While we have never experienced any ill effect from throwing on a discharge printed shirt without pre-washing it, it is always recommended. Also, it makes the print softer and the shirt more comfortable, so why wouldn’t you want to wash it first?
CAN I GET JUST ONE T-SHIRT PRINTED?
Um, maybe. Depends on how much work it is going to be and how much you are willing to pay for it. And even then, we might still say no. But maybe. It won’t be cheap. I mean there is always the possibility. Ask us. I dare you.
WILL YOU PRINT WHATEVER I WANT ON APPAREL?
Disclaimer, we’ve got feelings about stealing art, and no changing it a certain percent does not make it yours.
We will not print a logo or any artwork that you do not have permission to use. Don’t ask us to print a Harley Davidson or some other logo for you, unless you are working on behalf of that company and have permission to order shirts with the logo on it. We will not print random artwork that you found on Google or DeviantArt unless the artist who created it has given you the rights to do so. There is a difference between stock art and stolen art, learn it. We are also artists, and it is insulting to ask us to help you steal art from others. We will also not print you a counterfeit Supreme sweatshirt or rip off some other clothing brands logo or design. If you want to rep that brand, then give them your money. Rant over.
WHAT KIND OF ARTWORK SHOULD I SUBMIT?
We prefer vector artwork, such as .eps, .ai and .pdf files. If your artwork or design is not vector, we will most likely need to vector it before we can print it. If vector files are not available, or the artwork does not lend itself to vector, please send us the highest resolution versions you have so we have a good place to start when we process the art. Click here for more information on art specifications!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET SOME APPAREL PRINTED?
Well, there are a lot of factors that go into that, so we are going to need you to answer some questions first. How many shirts are you looking to have printed? How many colors is the design you want printed? How many places on the shirt are you looking to have a design printed on? What brand of shirt do you prefer? What style or quality of shirt are you after? What kind of ink would you like us to use? How fast do you need your order completed? Is your artwork ready to go? Is it a full moon? The answers to all of these questions are going to have an effect one way or another on the price of your shirt order. Click here to fill out a guided form and we’ll send you a quote.
I HAVE AN EVENT TONIGHT, CAN I GET SOME APPAREL PRINTED FOR PICKUP LATER TODAY?
Short answer, no. We do not offer same day service.
Snarky answer: Do you have a time machine? Can you go back a week and let us know that you are going to need some shirts last minute for something you have presumably been planning for more than 24 hours so that we can have the materials on hand and nothing better to do the day you need them? If so, can we have your time machine? Then we can go back and print them a couple days ago and they will totally be ready tonight (with a rush fee of course).
HOW ABOUT TOMORROW?
Our therapists told us we really need to set up boundaries. Our typical turnarounds are 2-3 weeks. Depending on our current schedule we might have some wiggle room for rush orders, but we typically will not accept orders that need to be completed in less than a week.
DO YOU SUPPLY THE BLANK T-SHIRTS? CAN I SUPPLY MY OWN?
We can order pretty much any brand and style through our distributors. We get everything at wholesale cost, and our markups are very low. More than likely we can supply you with the shirts cheaper than you can buy them yourself. Check out some options here.
Honestly, we would prefer not provide your own garments. If you think you are saving money by providing your own garments, we promise you…you are not. You would basically have to steal them to beat our wholesale prices. But please don’t do that.
If you are a seasoned apparel designer and want to provide your own garments, by all means, do. Especially if it’s an obscure brand that we do not have access to. Please remove excess tags, stickers and packaging before bringing them to us. We will not put stickers back on or re-bag shirts unless you want to pay us specifically for that service. If you have items shipped to us, and we receive incorrect or faulty items, it is not our responsibility to replace the items, or contact the distributor. If a misprint occurs, we will not replace the misprinted item, but we will not charge you for screwing it up either. Seriously. If you provide your shirts in packaging, we will give you back your trash.
WHAT IF THERE ARE ITEMS MISSING FROM MY ORDER?
We work very diligently to make sure that you receive all of the items that you pay for, but sometimes there is an issue or something gets by us. If possible, we will always try to replace missing items before your order is complete. We will always try to match the size, but if not possible we will try to replace the item within one size from the one missing. If an order ships incomplete, we can credit you for the missing items, or remove them from the invoice. If both necessary and possible, we will print additional items to complete your order, but based on the complexity of your design and the print schedule, we can not always guarantee a replacement can be made, or made quickly. Typically there is an industry standard 1-2% over/under policy.
IF I HAVE RECENTLY PAID FOR MY ORDER, CAN I CANCEL AND RECEIVE A REFUND?
We are happy to refund a full or partial deposit as long as the blanks for the order have not already been ordered. If the blanks have not been ordered, we will refund the deposit minus the cost of any work already completed such as design time and screen setup. There will also be a $10 processing fee applied to all canceled order refunds of this nature.
What if the blanks have already been ordered, but I still need to cancel the order?
If you need to cancel the order after blanks have already been ordered, we will refund your deposit minus the cost of any design work that has been done, any setups that have already been setup, the cost of shipping the blanks back to the distributor, and the distributors re-stocking fee for the blanks. Orders will not be refunded until the distributor has credited us back the cost of the blanks minus their fees. There will also be a $25 processing fee applied to all canceled order refunds of this nature.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL TURNAROUND TIME ON AN ORDER?
We aim to complete most projects within two to three weeks from receiving a final order. Orders are not considered final until an invoice has been approved, typically with a deposit having been paid. We will always do our best to give you an estimate of when an order should be expected when the order is placed, and we will try to keep you updated as to the status of your order.
What if I need my order done sooner?
If you have a strict deadline for your order, please, please, please always let us know in advance. If you need your order completed in less than our standard turnaround time, we can check out our schedule and see if we may be able to complete the order before the requested deadline. Depending on our schedule, rush orders will be subject to a rush fee.
WHAT IS A SCREEN SETUP FEE?
Setup fees cover the cost of prepping artwork for screens, making transparencies and burning screens for your order. Every color of every design requires its own screen setup. Setup costs are one time, but if you request any changes to your design, including resizing, we will need to charge additional setups.
After I pay for the screen setups, do I get to keep the screens?
No. If you want to purchase your screens from us, that will be a separate charge.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM ORDER?
Our minimum orders for most apparel items start at 12 items receiving the same printing with plastisol-based inks, but depending on the item, the print, and the printing process for the particular items, we may have higher minimums. For exampl, waterbased items require a minimum of 24 items, while discharge is 36 items. The more colors and print locations you add to the design, the more items we will ask for.
CAN I MIX AND MATCH ITEMS TO MEET MINIMUMS?
Our minimums are generally for the number of items receiving the same printing. As long as nothing is changing regarding the print, including the color and size of the print, you can mix and match different styles and colors of apparel. But please be warned, diversifying the styles too much may incur additional time and cost.
WHAT IS A GOOD QUALITY SHIRT TO USE?
That shi(r)t is a personal preference. Quality means something different to everyone. Some people love a super lightweight, soft shirt that is super comfortable. Others assume that the worth of a shirt is directly related to how thick and heavy the shirt is. We have literally had people tell us that the expensive, fitted, soft blank we recommended was “cheap” and they demanded a boxy basic tee as their top-quality pick. But if you give us some more meaningful descriptive words or examples of things that you like, we can definitely narrow down the options for you and help find the perfect shirt for you.
CAN YOU PRINT A SAMPLE OF MY DESIGN SO I CAN MAKE SURE I LIKE IT?
Sure, moments before we print the rest of your order after you have already approved and paid for the order. Otherwise, probably not. We create mocks and will consider the intricacies of your order before getting to press. Generally, we are not going to try to print something until we are reasonably confident it is going to turn out the way that you want, or better. When we do our first test print, if there is anything that seems off, we will stop and problem-solve and/or get your approval before moving forward. If you are not confident enough in your design to place an order, maybe you should reconsider. If you need to talk it out, give us a call, we have some experience with this stuff.
DO YOU CHARGE SETUP FEES?
Yes, we do. Each color of each design requires its own screen. Our setup fees cover the cost of preparing our screens to print your order. You do not own the screens after the job, and the screen will be reclaimed shortly after your order to be used for another project. We rotate our screens to keep the stencils fresh and crisp to help guarantee the best results every time.
GOT YOUR OWN?
Awesome! The link below will take you to our artwork checklist to ensure you send us the correct files.
Hit us with your ideas! We are all hands on deck to make it happen. Already have some artwork that isn’t quite ready for print? We got you!
READY TO GET STARTED?
ART SERVICES AVAILABLE
ACCURATE MOCKUPS PROVIDED
PICKUP OR SHIPPING OPTIONS