Water Bottle Stays Cold for 4.5 Hours

Testing the Everest Thermo Water Bottle

Our vendor sent us a new copper insulated water bottle for us to test. They claim it can keep drinks cold for 12 hours and hot beverages up to 24 hours. I was very skeptical at this claim, so I decided to test this for myself.


Filled bottle with my favorite cold drink

I tested this bottle with Propel, which is my favorite cold drink to keep me hydrated during the hot summers. I filled the water bottle up at 7:30 am this morning. The water was straight out of the fridge at an approximate temperature of 38 degrees.

How I tested the bottle

Today was a warm day for Seattle, so I decided to put the bottle on the dashboard of my Ford F150. I knew that it would be roasting inside my truck by noon time. I let the bottle sit and cook for 4.5 hours.

4.5 Hours Winner!

I went back to my truck at noon and opened the door to my hot truck and felt the blast of 95 degree heat. The water bottle was warm to the touch after baking on the dashboard. I thought for sure the water would be at least lukewarm. I cracked the top and took a sip and I couldn’t tell the difference in temperature from this morning. This wattle bottle is a proven winner. Icy Cold!

Where to purchase one

You can purchase this water bottle custom printed with your company’s logo on the side. This particular bottle has a 1 color print, which stands out on the black background. They are available at Northwest Custom Apparel in Milton, WA.  Give them a jingle and they will help you out. 800-851-3671

Style# VM3000 Everest

DO’s and DON’T’s for Office Secret Santa Party 

A Secret Santa can be a fantastic way to get people involved in a fun, low-pressure activity. This is even better if you’ve put a bit of thought into it beforehand and have the rules clearly laid out for everyone.

As an extra holiday gift in the spirit of giving, we’ve also included a few do’s and don’ts for an office Secret Santa to give it that extra touch of holiday cheer:

Silhouettes of people dancing on an abstract background

(1) DON’T make it a competition. If you do draw your boss or a senior colleague then go simple: nothing too risky either way. Bland is sometimes best!

(2) DO investigate your target but

(3) DON’T cross the line between curiosity and invasion of privacy. If June has a picture of a cat as her screen saver or a key ring with a Mexican wrestling mask then something along these lines would be a good idea.


santa(4) DON’T use Secret Santa to further your love life. This probably has the biggest potential for embarrassment and should not be attempted in any case. There is a large possibility that June does not feel the same about you or, even worse, thinks the roses and edible underwear were from someone else causing a whole office drama. Better to wait till the office party for this one.

(5) DON’T think too hard or take it too seriously. Fun and humorous gifts work best but tread carefully, know your audience (see note 2) and set the line accordingly. One of the best Secret Santa’s I’ve seen was a Borat Mankini and moustache given to a PE teacher who wore them over his suit for the school Christmas dinner. Many a laugh was had. Probably wouldn’t have been suitable, however, for the elderly RE teacher.

(6) DO practice your surprised/happy face. Chances are, the person providing your Secret Santa this year didn’t read these great tips and has probably bought you some socks, handkerchiefs or another novelty tie, in which case you will need to smile, laugh and ask them how they know you so well. It will be good practice for the big day when you unwrap the same jumper you gave your brother-in-law the year before.

Pre-production Tips while Shooting Models for your Clothing Brand

Think of your brand

What is your brand about? What is its mission, goals, values? And how would this translate to images? Having a clear concept in mind of what your brand is will help you make decisions like type of model and concept for the photo shoot.

clothing-photographyWhat types of photos are you creating?

Are these photos for your catalogue or online store? Are they going to be featured on your homepage or a magazine? Knowing before hand what the pictures will be used for will determine the types of shots you’ll take. For example, photos for a catalogue or an online store are mostly shot against a white or neutral background in order not to distract from the clothing.

What are the experts doing?

Look at the latest ad campaigns of famous fashion brands. What are they doing? What’s trending? Do you want to repeat them or go in a different direction? Research famous fashion photographers and get acquainted with their work. The more research you do then the more resources you’ll have to produce your photo shoot.

how-to-photograph-a-modelCreate a look-and-feel and/or mood board

Mood boards can be a very effective tool when it comes to visualising a project. They’re particularly helpful during the early stages when sometimes words are just not enough to flesh out what we have in our heads. Simply put, mood boards are a collection of images that represent a larger idea.

Use the best model

The model you’re going to choose is the person who will ultimately become the face of your brand (for a season, at least) so the task of choosing her or him should not be taken lightly. If you have little or no budget to hire a model here are a couple of ideas:

modelUse a friend/family member: The good ol’ trick. Chances are you have at least one friend/second cousin/former church chorus colleague who is good looking. Even if it’s just a friend of a friend, someone is bound to do you the favour and if they’re reluctant, you can always pander to their vanity. You may be surprised by how much people’s attitudes can change if you stroke their ego.

Go online: Online, you’ll find platforms like Model Mayhem which will allow you to hire amateur models for little or no money. You may not be able to give them a paycheck, but you could give them free merchandise or at least a discount of your online store in exchange.

Ask a stranger: This might be a bit weird, but have you ever been walking on the street and seen a person so gorgeous that you thought “Must be a model.” Why don’t you go and ask them? This handsome lad was discovered at a McDonald’s, after all. Chances are they might say no, but you’ll never know.

What kind of techniques work for printing on hats?

Embroidered CapsEmbroidery

Embroidery is one of the classic technique for customizing hats. You’ve probably seen it in lots of caps, and that’s for good reasons:

  • It stands up really well to the type of wear and tear most hats take
  • It can also be sewn into tough materials that lots of hats are made of
  • Embroidery costs won’t increase if you add more colors
  • Embroidery can be bold and easily visible from far away

You’ll often see embroidery on things like sports caps or hats for a special event that participants wear. If you have a small design with lots of colors that needs to last a while, embroidery is a great choice.

Although embroidery is probably the most popular way to personalize a hat, it’s not the only way! There are some other techniques that can work just as well.

Caps- Screen printingScreen Printing

It’s not always the right fit for your printing project, but it does work in some circumstances. The typical hat choice for screen printing is a foam trucker hat because they don’t usually have centre seams. Seams can make your design look a bit wonky when it’s printed. You’d also be able to screen print on soft military type hats and things like that, as they don’t have centre seams either.

If you do choose screen printing:

  • You’ll get the best results with a hat that doesn’t have a centre seam across the front
  • You’ll also need to make sure you can access a place that has the equipment needed to print hats (not everywhere can!)

Caps- Transfer PrintingTransfer Printing

You can also use transfers to print on hats. They’re easier to handle than screen printing because they let you print your design on a flat piece of paper, and then place it on to your hat.

  • While transfers don’t last forever, they often fade from pieces of clothing because they’re washed really often — that’s not the case with hats most of the time!
  • Transfers can also give you a higher level of detail

Again, like with screen printing, this works best with hats that don’t have a seam running right down the centre at the front.

6 Insider Tips to Screenprint Artwork

Tip 1

All artwork entering the art department for clean-up and print preparation MUST have an order number associated with it. This is to eliminate any confusion as to who is

Clean Artwork
Example of Clean Artwork for screenprinting.

writing the order and makes it much easier to reference the art if any changes need to be made or for future reorders. If a customer is providing art for a pricing quote on art charges before placing and order, please make sure this is clear when giving it to the art department.

Tip 2

The definition of” camera ready” art is different for the screenprint process than with embroidery. The first step art must go through in this process is to make a “positive” of the art. This can be achieved either by printing onto clear vellum on the laser printer or by shooting art with a camera in a darkroom and developing a positive. Positives are then used to bum the screens which the sceenprint ink will be printed through. Printing art onto vellums is less expensive than using a darkroom camera and requires much less set up time, so whenever possible this is the preferred method.

Tip 3

Full Back Embroidery
Full Back Embroidered logo by NW Custom Apparel

A good-looking logo on a t-shirt is only as good looking as the art printed on a positive. JPEGs are not camera ready artwork. Within the realm of embroidery, JPEGs work fine as a reference to be digitized from, but do not work very well for screenprinting. The JPEG format was originally created as a way to compress digital pictures so that they could be easily transmitted over the Internet for the primary purpose of on-screen viewing. While the resolution of JPEGs is perfect for computer monitors, it leaves blurry colors and choppy edges when printed. When a JPEG is received into the art department, it must be
redrawn and reformatted which will end up being charged at $40.00 dollars an hour. There is an exception to this if the JPEG is provided at a very high resolution (see paragraph below). The easiest way to eliminate this extra work is to ask customers to provide artwork that is best suited for the printing process.


Tip 4

Which formats are best for printing? Ideally, screenprint art will have crisp edges, black at its maximum opacity, and clear color separations (if more than one color). The formats that work best for this are CorelDRA W (CDR) and Adobe Illustrator (AI and EPS). We use PCs, so Mac files cannot be accepted unless they are converted to a useable PC format. All fonts should be converted to curves. We can also accept high-resolution .tif files, as long as the art provided in exact desired printing size and at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). High resolution GIF and JPEG files can also be accepted, but only if they are at a resolution of 300 dpi.

Embroidery Thumbs Up
Thumbs up on embroidery


Tip 5

Ad slicks are the best non-digital format we can accept. Ad slicks are professionally printed logos on high quality white backing. If a customer does not have a digital file, ad slicks are the next best thing (if the customer has them available). Also, high quality laser prints work well. The key factor is that the customer’s art has very opaque ink and clearly
defined edges. These make for clear scans when converted to computer files and thus creating better positives.


Tip 6

Color separations are best provided in the .AI, .EPS, or .CDR formats. Any other format will require are time to separate the colors and prepare them for printing. Another option is to provide pre-separated art in multiple TIFs ( or similar format), with a separate file for each color to be printed. We are capable only of spot printing, which is up to 6 separate colors. We cannot do process printing, which blends colors and is used for printing photographs and other graphics with many different colors.

Diego Garcia welcomes NW Custom Apparel

Northwest Custom Apparel takes pride in the fact that we have been providing decorated apparel to the US Navy in Diego Garcia since 1999. Diego Garcia is located 7 degrees north of the equator and directly south of India. You have to look it up on google to figure out what this island is all about.

T3717 yacht club flagsNorthwest Custom Apparel has been a supplier since 1999. We have done everything from bar coasters and shirts to caps for all the island residents. This is the design which has been applied to thousands of caps for the Diego Garcia Yacht Club.




p2462 goat lockerAnother project we have done was make embroidered shirts and caps for the island’s navy chiefs. The chief’s quarters are often referred to as the Goat Locker. In time honored tradition it is an honor to live in the “goat locker,” The anchors with the starts are images of the ranks of the Chief Petty Officers. No star is a chief, one star is a senior chief, two start is master chief.


j550The Moral Welfare is the group which makes this island enjoyable because they manage all the clubs, athletics, personal services, and recreation. It is one of the most loved units on the island. By the way haircuts, laundry massages are all free.

25375 yacht clubA very popular place to hang out is the yacht club. We have done designs for the yacht club which islanders can purchase and send home to remember their stay on the island. The yacht club has a bar (of course) and their membership is recognized by all the yacht clubs in the world. It pays to join especially if you are traveling.





M2004 The dogeThe island is owned by the British and as you know the Brits are famous for their clubs. Where ever their troops are stationed you’ll find a well stocked pub. There is a excellent British club on the island.

If you ever get to Diego Garcia this place is highly recommended. You must stop by and visit their gift store with all the neat British stuff.




T3217The island is often referred to as Dodge City. We took the time to make a special embroidery for the island gift shop. It highlights the famous donkeys which habit the island. Visit Dodge City and watch the donkeys play.



The whole purpose of this blog is to show that Northwest Custom Apparel can be found in all parts of the world.






Simple Ways for Women to Dress up with T-shirt

With-white-t-shirt-black-skinny-pants-neutral-boots-and-statement-necklaceAccessorize it with chunky jewelry

Also called statement jewelry it’s just that, a piece of jewelry that’s so loud it creates a statement. Since they tend to be so lavish, you’ll only need one, a necklace or a bracelet. The right piece can turn an otherwise boring ensemble into a memorable one.

Wear it with heels

Not everyone is a fan of the high heels and for good reason, still there is no denying that a pair of stilettos can stylize any outfit. Try a pair of colorful pumps if you’re dressed in neutral colors.

Wear it with a pencil/midi/maxi skirt

Each one of these types of skirts will create a different effect. Pencil skirts are like blazers, in the sense that it creates a casual Friday type of vibe. Midi skirts (below the knee, but above the ankles) are trending right now, can look particularly chick with a plain t-shirt. Maxi skirts are for the bohemian at heart, when you pair them with t-shirts the result is a perfect weekend look.

pantsWear it with a pair of high-waisted pants

They’re flattering to most women’s bodies and hopefully won’t go anywhere soon. If you decide to go with high-waisted pants, try also tip #4 and tuck the garment in for a smart look.

Layer it with a spaghetti Strap Dress

Very 90’s! It is easy to pull off and the end result is that effortless chicness we so often try to emulate, but seldom achieve.

Accessorize it with a fancy bag or clutch

As with statement jewelry, the right bag or clutch will turn an outfit upside down (in the right way). If you only have enough money to invest in one piece, this should be it.

Use a belt to accentuate your waist

Works mostly with oversized tees. A thin belt around your waist can turn any t-shirt into a mini dress.

Tips to Hang Your Christmas Lightings Like A Pro!

Nothing is more magical during the holiday season than Christmas lights lining rooflines and twinkling in trees and shrubs. From your slow drive through the neighborhood and until you pull up into your driveway, you purposely linger to admire the outdoor Christmas lights sparkling in festive colors.

Christmas lights bring holiday cheer to your home and yard but hanging them can be a less than cheerful experience.

Measure. Start by measuring at the base of the house, going along any turns and corners. Measure doors, window frames, and any columns that will be lit. If hanging Christmas lights on peeks, climb carefully up a ladder and measure along the area of peak to be decorated.

christmas-lightsLocate power sources. Most new homes are equipped with outdoor power sources, but older homes may need to use an indoor power source, with the power cord coming through a window. Measure how many feet of power cord will be required to extend from the power source to the beginning of the roofline.

Use the proper lights. Make certain that they are rated for outdoor use. The packaging should clearly mark indoor/outdoor. The lights must be weatherproof or else they will short out and could be a hazard.

Untangle lights. You might be tempted to just untangle as you go but I’m here to tell you that’s a horrible idea, because nothing makes standing 10ft up on a ladder more dangerous than being 10ft up on a ladder while trying to untangle Christmas lights.

holiday-facebook-tagUse clips. Clips to hang your lights are amazing and are much friendlier to your home than duct tape, nails, screws, or staples. You can get clips to hang your lights pretty much any place you buy lights and though you might think to yourself. Trust me, you do.

Use a sturdy ladder. Check the stability of your ladder before hanging lights. Have someone with you when climbing a ladder in case you need help. Don’t Use Furniture!

Work your way up. To string trunks of deciduous trees, start at the base and wrap the lights around in a spiral. If you want to illuminate an evergreen, however, start at the top and zigzag lights through the center of the tree, getting wider with the tree’s shape.

Don’t Rush it. Hanging Christmas lights usually takes longer than you think it will, so here’s a pro-tip, after preparing and measuring make a guess at how long it will take then multiply it by 2.

Time it. Christmas light timers will make your life immensely better and they only cost around $15. Turn on your lights only when it’s dark and set them to go off automatically two, four, six or eight hours later or at dawn. You will save money in the process.

Hit the switch. The final step in hanging Christmas lights is to turn the power on and admire the view.


Best Games for your Christmas Party

Christmas parties are a great way to introduce new friends to old, eat some great food, and celebrate the holiday season! Make sure your guests don’t forget your party with these fun and festive games!

santahatThe Santa Hat Game:

The best part of this game is that it has no formal start time – it can start as your guests progressively arrive at the party!

As your guests arrive, ask them to put on a hat but only take it off when they see you take yours off. Let your guests chat and get comfortable, and remove your hat when you think no one is looking. You’ll quickly see who has been paying attention, and who has been dipping into the Christmas punch. The last person to remove their hat is the loser! They get to initiate the next round of the game.

humantreeThe Human Christmas Tree Game:

This game is a great team-builder, or an excellent way for guests to release their competitive energy! In preparation, set up a table with a variety of craft supplies: glue, paper, scissors, aluminum foil, and other seasonal decor.

Once the party has got going, split your guests into an appropriate number of teams (4-5 people per team). One member of each team must volunteer to be the Christmas Tree. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and have your guests decorate their ‘human trees’! The best tree will, of course, be decided by the party host!

giftunwrapOven Mitt Unwrap:

This is a great group game, especially if you have a more than a few gifts that need unwrapping! You’ll need some well-wrapped gifts, a santa hat, a pair of oven mitts (the fluffier the better), and one playing die (two if there are more than 8 people).

The first contestant rolls the die. If anything but a six is rolled the die should quickly be passed to the left. Once a player rolls a six, they need to don the hat and gloves and start opening the present, one layer at a time! The next player to roll a six should take the ‘un-wrapper’s place. Whoever unwraps the last piece of paper off the present, gets to keep it!

ornamentbalanceThe Balancing Ornament Game:

The game, however, is going to be a sure-fire hit with the young and old at your Christmas Party!

You’ll need a paper towel/wrapping-paper tube, a yard stick (or any stick for that matter), and a bunch of ornaments with hooks.

Once your guests are paired up, they’ll each have one minute to balance as many ornaments as possible on either side of the yard stick without it falling of the paper towel tube (see picture for more details). The winning pair is decided by the most ornaments that are balanced!

marshmallowMarshmallow Relay Toss:

Every good party involves throwing food, right? Perhaps not, but here’s a great game that will allow your guests to do just that.

You’re going to need 2 christmas wreathes, and 2 bags of marshmallows.

Have your guests split into 2 groups and form 2 lines. Lean the wreathes on chairs positioned 10-15 feet from the front of the lines. Starting from the front of the line, players need to throw marshmallows until they score through the center of the wreath! Once they have scored, they can step out of the line. The first line to complete the challenge wins!

How to present your t-shirt brand online

The way you promote your garments should mirror the brand’s image and style. If you take a flick through the lookbooks of successful t-shirt brands, the style and tone of the images go further than just a picture of a t-shirt. They are selling a lifestyle, an image, and if you intend on being successful, you should do so too. The best brands and designers have a clear idea of themselves and market directly to their captive audience through their promotional images.

distressed logo
NW Custom Apparel

Create an Environment

Shooting images of your custom clothing in the environment that you think represents how they should be worn is a no brainer. Here are a few tips on how to create your brand’s “look and feel”.

As the first step of the process, a mood board will help you visualize and put on paper the ideas you have in your head. Then go up to your family and friends and ask them how they see your clothing brand. In next step you need to do some research to find out your target audience.

779803Focus on the Models

Clearly one of the biggest of deciding how to promote your t-shirt designs revolves around the choice of whether to use models or not. Just like the environment you carefully selected, the models you choose have to represent the right image for your t-shirt designs. Tattoos or no tattoos, muscular or skinny. These are questions you need to ask yourself before you start the selection process so don’t be afraid to go all Simon Cowell on your modelling hopefuls. After all, it’s your brand.

Let the T-shirt do the Talking

If all that sounds like too much to handle then maybe the best option for you is to make things simple. Often times less is more and, when done well, minimalism can be the epitome of elegance. Sometimes it is better to just let the t-shirts do the talking and present them in the most simple, but effective way. This could be laid out onto a table or other surface, or on a hanger.


referralShoot a Promotional Video

A picture can speak a thousand words, but many pictures will help you sell t-shirts. Putting together a promotional video may seem a little out of reach for small brands, but with the technology currently at your disposal and a little bit of creativity there are no limits on what you can achieve. If you have the budget for it, the contacting a production company would be the best idea.

Get in touch with trendsetters and influencers 

Look for the influencers in your industry. Once you’ve identified them, it’s time to get in touch with them. A good ol’ fashioned email should do, but if you don’t get a reply or can’t get your hands on an address, social media is also a good way to go about it. Take the time to draw up a well-written message. It needs to explain your brand, why you’re contacting them and what you’d expect from a future collaboration. Don’t send anything too long or you’ll run the risk of boring the reader – and have them click away halfway through.