FAQ’s by Erik

What is your turnaround time?

Production Time

7-10 business days after final approval of artwork and order. This allows us enough time to place orders to our suppliers, allow for inbound shipping time, decoration, folding and boxing your order.  

New Embroidery Designs:

5-7 days to digitize and sample your logo. We can email you a photo of the stitched design or you can stop by our office to view the physical sewn sample.  You will need to approve the design before we decorate it on garments.

New Custom Designs:

We can create you a custom design for direct-to-garment printing, screen printing, and embroidery. The design process takes 7-10 days based on the complexity of the design.

Vectoring and Simple Art Cleanup:

 Simple vectoring and art cleanup take 2-3 days.  The cleaner the logo the easier to vectorize.


Are there any setup fees?


Digitizing Fee:

One-time fee of $100.00 for a standard left chest or cap logo. Larger designs please ask for a quote.

Direct-to-Garment Printer Setup Fee:

One-time fee of $40.00 per design.

Screen-Print Setup Fee:

$30.00 per new screen.

Screen resets are $20.00 per screen

Promotional Product Setup Fees

Setup fees are different based on the item you are ordering. Coffee mugs, pens etc. all have different setup fees.


What if I don’t have a design?


Custom Graphic Artwork:

Our experienced art department can help you create your custom design. Art creation is billed by the hour.


I have a large order is there special pricing?


Orders over $5,000.00

We have developed a great relationship with our primary supplier over the past 40 years. Our supplier generally will give us a discount on larger orders, which means better pricing for you. Remember a few cents off a larger order can make big savings for you. Please contact our sales team for special pricing.


Do you offer quantity discounts?


Discounts based on items ordered

Discounts are based on the number of items purchased. 12-24 shirts 25-48 shirts etc. The more items you purchase the bigger of discount.  Please note quantity discounts are based on the type of logo being embellished.  Embroidery, Direct-to-Garment, Cap Embroidery, Screen-Print all have different quantity discounts. To receive the quantity discount the order must have the same logo and embellishment type.


What are the limitations with embroidery?


Embroidery Limitations

Embroidery does have some limitations since we are working with thread. Generally, we say “If you can draw it with a Sharpie marking pen, we can embroider it” 

Small text, fine detail and color gradients can be difficult to reproduce with embroidery.


How do I get started?

Customer Service

The most convenient way to get your order started is by contacting our customer service at 1-800-851-3671. We will guide you through your order process from start to finish.

Are your prices competitive?

Our prices are competitive, however, if you are trying to find the cheapest embroidery shop we wouldn’t be a good fit. We believe in this quote by Warren Buffet “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”.

Missions Statement:

Northwest Custom Apparel is dedicated to providing the utmost satisfaction to customers through caring service, assured quality, innovation, and reliable delivery of distinct customized garments and products.


Can I supply my own items for decoration?

Can you bring a steak into Denny’s and ask the waitress to grill it?  Bringing your own garments to us for decoration is not a profitable business model for us. We provide the garment with a custom decoration. There are other shops that will accept your garments however, you will end up paying more overall than buying the complete package.

We can save you money by purchasing the product for you because of our volume discount with several vendors.

Under certain circumstances with can accept your provided garments. The minimum order size is 24 pieces. We can only accept for garment embroidery. Caps, DTG, and screen print we provide the entire package.


What is your minimum order quantity?

  • Embroidery Garments: 12 pieces
  • Embroidery Caps: 24 caps
  • Direct-to-Garment: 12 shirts
  • Screen-printing: 72 shirts
  • Customer Supplied Garments: 24 pieces *only if we can’t provide the garment*
  • Promotional Products: Varies based on item


Explain to me Vectored Artwork

Vectorized art can be magnified without pixelation. Programs like Illustrator, Photoshop and Corel Draw all recognize vector images. Images and artwork pulled from websites is not vectored artwork and generally can never be used for high-quality artwork.

What type of art files can I bring in

Vectorized artwork is the best, but even a 300 dpi JPEG can work. Vectorized artwork is created using Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.  To create an embroidery design we will need to digitize it from a high-resolution artwork. Artwork from websites is not high resolution. The easiest way is to email all your files to us and our art department can determine if they will work.

Can I visit your shop?

We prefer you stop by our Showroom. Our sales staff will walk you through our showroom and help you get your project started. We do have samples you can check out so you can  bring back to your office or group for sizing.

What are your payment terms?

We accept Visa and Mastercard. We have an online payment portal at https://nw.manageorders.com.

New Customers: 50% down and balance at pickup

Returning Customers:  Payment at time of pickup.

Net 10 Terms: Established customers with a credit application on file. Please call our credit department for terms.

What is a set-up fee and what is it for?

A set-up fee is the time it takes to setup your logo in certain formats.

Digitizing for Embroidery

 A computer file that tells the embroidery machine how to stitch the design.

RIP Setup

Routing Information Protocol. Creating a design file to be ready to print digitally using direct-to-garment printers.

Screen-print Setup

Creating the film and screens used in the printing process.

Is it better pricing to screen print or embroider?

Screen printing is not necessarily cheaper than embroidery.  Multi-colored screen prints with quantities less than 72 shirts and generally within $2.00 - $3.00 of embroidery prices.

Screen print vs. Direct-to-Garment Printing

Screen printing is best for 2-3 colored logos with quantities of 288 or more shirts. Direct-to-Garment has no limitation on ink colors with minimum order sizes of 12 shirts. Direct-to-Garment is a water-based ink with a light and soft hand to the print. To achieve the best quality on a DTG print is to use a 100% cotton shirt.

Can I order less than the minimum order?

We recommend adding a standard item like a t-shirt or a beanie to meet the minimum order size. There is a $75.00 under the minimum order charge.

Do you have Rush Service?

We do our best to accommodate RUSH orders. There is a percentage RUSH charged based how fast you need it.

(5-6 business days) 30%

(3-4 business days) 40%

(2 business days) 50%

(1 business day) 100%


What is the proof/approval process?

On all orders (new and repeat) we will send you an art proof for your review within 1-2 business days. You will also receive an order approval with the items you ordered along with pricing.  If you don’t receive the proof in that time frame, please bring that to our attention as we are not aware you didn’t receive it. 

The production turn time starts after art and order approval are signed off on.


You place your order on May 1st with your sales rep. You receive the art and order approval from the sales rep on May 2nd.  You approve the order on May 5th (because there was a weekend). The production clock starts May 5th (Not May 1st).

Same as Last Order?

All orders are considered new orders and must go through the proofing process. You will receive an art and order approval from your sales rep within 1-2 business days. 

This process guarantees you will receive the same order as last time.

Can I print copyrighted artwork?

We do not print any artwork that is copyrighted. Artwork, images, quotes found on the internet are all copyrighted. We do not print any look alike designs such as Seahawks, Disney, NFL, famous people.

Can I ship my order?

Yes, we use Federal Express and USPS. You can also pickup your order in our factory. We can also arrange special shipping such as barge transport to Alaska.

Do you provide company stores?

We can provide company, team and fundraising stores. These are great for ease of ordering and collecting money from members. Please call us for more info.

How do I select thread colors/ink colors?

Your sales rep can help you select the correct thread or ink colors. We have a thread color chart with our available thread colors. The thread manufacturer is Robison Anton. We use a rayon thread. (This is not industrial wash compliant)

Ink Colors: We can match PMS colors for screen printing. Direct-to-Garment we use CMYK. We can match as close as possible to a PMS color; however, it may be off a few shades.

Do you guarantee your product?

We want to make our customers happy. If what you approved is not what you received, we will work with you on correcting it. Please contact us within 7 business days if you are not satisfied.

Why is my print not as vibrant as the computer screen approval?

Computer screen color varies depending on the monitor. The computer virtual sample will always have a brighter looking print than the actual printed or embroidered sample.  We can logo pre-production samples for a nominal fee if you feel it is necessary. This will delay the order turn-around significantly.

Can you embroider Carhart Heavy-weight jackets?

It is extremely difficult to embroider Carhartt heavy-weight jackets. Many times, the embroidery hoops will pop out and possibly leave a needle hole in the jacket.  We recommend purchasing similar Carhart jackets from us that embroider fantastically.


Do you provide personalization?

Yes, we can personalize your embroidered apparel with your first and last name.

Do you have an order form?

Yes, please contact your sales rep and they can send you a PDF order form. This makes it easy and clear when submitting your order.


Reseller Permit?

If you will be reselling items and don’t want to be charged Washington State Sales Tax, please provide your Washington State Reseller’s permit before placing your order. We can’t take the tax off after the order is invoiced and paid for.


What is an Artwork Licensing Agreement?

Rights: All Images, digitized files, and rights relating to them, including copyright and ownership rights in the media in which the Images are stored, remain the sole and exclusive property of NW Custom Apparel. This license provides the Client with the rights to reproduce only by NW Custom Apparel. Additional fees and express permission are needed to reproduce the images and digitized files that are not related to the above terms.



The customer is paying for the time and labor involved creating artwork or a digitized file. The logo we created can only be reproduced at NW Custom Apparel. NW Custom Apparel owns the copyright and reproduction rights.

What is an embroidery file, Vector or Raster File?

Embroidery Files:

Embroidery files are only used to drive embroidery machines; they give machines the coordinates and sequence of each stitch in a design and prompt when to change colors. Common file types are .DST, .EXP.

Vector Files:

Vector files are made of lines, points, and curves that can be resized without loss of image quality and are easily altered. Common software packages that create vectors are Adobe IIustrator and  CorelDRAW and common file types are .AI, .CDR and. EPS

Raster Files:

Raster files are made of pixels, or individual dots of color, and can’t be altered very easily. These files lose quality when upscaled, so they must look clean and crisp at the physical size of your finished print.  The most common software used to create raster files is Adobe Photoshop and common file types are .PSD. BMP, .TIFF, .JPG, .PNG and .GIF, but the latter three types found on the internet lose color and clarity to save bandwith and thus are rarely of high enough quality.

Checklist for new customers?

When we are setting you up as a new account, we will need the following information:

  • Company Name
  • Contact Name
  • Email Address
  • Address
  • Cell Phone
  • Work Phone
  • Payment information: Visa, Mastercard: 50% down on new orders

What are some popular logo placements?

  • Left Chest: 90% of all logos are here
  • Right Chest (generally monograms)
  • Full Front: great for printing, but not embroidery
  • Full Back: great for printing and full back embroidery on jackets
  • Cap Front
  • Cap Back (great for websites or phone numbers)
  • Cap Left Panel: (very popular for a small discreet embroidered logo)

Is there a surcharge for sizes over XL?

Yes, there is a surcharge for garments bigger than XL. The bigger sizes use more fabric to produce.

Is there a surcharge for additional stitches in a logo?

All the pricing includes an embroidered logo with up to 8,000 stitches. There is a surcharge for logos above 8,000 stitches. Your sales rep can review your logo and see how many stitches are in it.

Do you accept verbal approvals?

All approvals must be in writing via email, signed off in person or faxed over. No verbal approvals.


Does your direct-to-garment inks have Green Certificates?

Yes, the GOTS standard certification guarantees that our inks are environmentally-friendly, biodegradable and consumer-healthy, all the way from development through the distribution.

Are you hiring?

We are always looking for new members of our team. Please drop off a resume or stop in and fill out an application.