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Stop Limiting Your DTG Printing

When you purchase a direct-to-garment-machine you’re probably thinking about printing on t-shirts only. While DTG machines have made customized apparel easy to make and wear, inkjet printers like the NeoFlex or Epson F2000 aren’t limited to just garments. Expand your canvas! Some of our customers have taken their printing business in a new direction. Check out  a few of their ideas and start finding your niche market!

Wood Printing

If you have a Solvent System, like the NeoFlex, you can print on wood to create long-lasting signs, coasters, plaques, and other promotional items. Printing on wood also gives your wares a longer lifespan and opens up a new opportunity for business. For example, you could print photos on wood coasters for a special event like an anniversary or college graduation and everyone gets to go home with a keepsake that you made!

Canvas Printing

Don’t paint it, print it! Printing on canvas is the perfect way to make quick, long-lasting prints of family portraits, digital artwork, scenery and more. If the canvas size matches your image and can fit on your DTG machine’s printing bed, then you can turn works of art into canvas prints just like you would a tshirt.  If you open up the possibility, artists will come to you with their work for printing!

Fabric Printing

Most DTG printers can handle cotton fabric and 50/50 cotton poly blends, but you don’t HAVE to stick to just printing tees. For example, sites like Etsy and Snapmade offer custom printed pillow cases, and you can easily do the same! While you’re at it, why not consider custom tote bags, placemats, car seat covers, hat, or shoes?

Using a DTG printer doesn’t limit you to shirts only. Test the fabric, play around with pretreatment, get a new platen, and broaden your printing horizons. Our customer Arkham Prints on instagram found a niche market making custom hats and converse sneakers–check out his shop!

Puzzles Printing

Companies like Shutterfly and Staples are offering customized puzzles that turn personal photos into hands-on keepsakes. If you have a Solvent System, you can make your own picture puzzle by printing directly onto cardboard, plastic, or wood puzzles. Printing on puzzles creates an interactive print that customers are likely to remember, cherish, and give you return business when they want to make keepsakes for their friends and family.  

Edible Printing

If you have a machine like the NeoFlex, you can bring all the ease of customizing tees to printing on sweets. By exchanging the internal printing system from Textile to Edible by switching printing modules and ink, you can expand your operation to printing on cakes, cookies, or lollipops, and more. Print edible cake images and make your business the go-to for customized sweets for weddings, graduations, and birthday parties. And why stop there? Print custom images on tiny mints, gum, and pills. Start producing  edible prints that are good enough to eat and make customers hungry for more!

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Memorial Day Closing Early

memorial day celebration

Dear Customers,

All American will be closing early 3:00 p.m. this Friday and will remain closed until 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 31st to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. Customers arriving in-house to pick up orders must do so before 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you place an order online after 2 p.m. on Friday,  May 28th, the order will not be shipped until the following Tuesday when we reopen.  We hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.


All American

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Rhinestones 101: Know Your Gems

Rhinestone motif made from hotfix Korean rhinestones

If you’re purchasing rhinestones, the first step is picking the right kind for your project. There are a lot of rhinestones out there and to get the most out of your purchase you must consider the cut of the stone, the material it’s made from, and how you’re going to attach it to a garment.

Brilliance & What are Rhinestone Made of?

Different materials and facet cuts change a rhinestone’s brilliance (how it reflects light). How a rhinestone shines determines the kind of clothing it should be used with, as not all rhinestones shine alike.

Cut lead crystal produces the best rhinestones, but they are the most expensive. Stones made from lead crystal have more glimmer up close, so they are used for gowns and evening wear. Molded glass is a less costly alternative and is flashy at a distance, but it’s not a convincing gemstone up close. Glass rhinestones are used more for costuming since the audience can see them shine even from the nosebleed section. 

The facet cut changes a rhinestones brilliance, too. The more faceted stones have a higher glimmer valve while the less faceted stones have a higher flash value. Swarovski’s current standard cut is a 14 facet (unless the stones are marked as vintage). Remember, glimmer is for gowns while flashy is for Fosse.

Types of Rhinestones

Swarovski Rhinestones

One of the leading manufacturers of luxury cut lead crystal in the world, Swarovski makes top-of-the-line rhinestones. These high-end stones are more suited for evening wear and gowns but can also be used for costuming purposes. There is a dispute in the industry if Swarovski rhinestones are truly the best, but since their reputation precedes them, they have remained the face of the rhinestone industry for decades.

Preciosa Rhinestones

Based in the Czech Republic, Preciosa is a luxury cut lead crystal glass producer and has been manufacturing rhinestones before the formation of Swarovski. Less expensive than its top competitor, Preciosa offers high-quality rhinestones that are flashy at as distance and are sought after by costume designers.

Korean Rhinestones

Easy on the wallet, Korean Rhinestones are nothing to overlook. Recently, they have revamped their production methods and are now producing better quality stones from molded glass. These rhinestones offer a less expensive alternative to garment manufacturers looking to add some glitz to their products.

Size Chart

The size chart might throw first-time buyers since it’s based on old jewelry terminology. The higher the SS (stone size) the larger the stone. Generally, smaller stones provide more glimmer while larger stones have more flash. Below is an average size chart for comparison.

  •         5SS = 1.8mm/.070”
  •         6SS = 2mm/.078”
  •         7SS = 2.2mm/.086”
  •         8SS = 2.4mm/.094”
  •         9SS = 2.6mm/.102”
  •         10SS = 2.8mm/.110”
  •         12SS = 3mm/.118”
  •         16SS = 4mm/.157”
  •         20SS = 4.7mm/.185”
  •         30SS = 6.4mm/.251”
  •         34SS = 7mm/.275”
  •         40SS= 8mm/.314”
  •         48SS = 11mm/.433

Korean Rhinestone chart

How to Attach

There are five basic ways to attach a rhinestone to a garment, but some have fallen out of favor in recent years as heat transfer became more readily available.

  • Mechanical Mounts or Tiffany mounts have prongs that come through the back of the clothing and bend over the edges of the rhinestone like teeth to clamp the stone in place.
  • Rim Sets are rings of metal that surround the edge of the stone with prongs designed to go through the fabric and bend behind the back of the stone.
  • Hotfix Rhinestones are coated on the back with an heat-activated glue coating. Hotfix stones can  be set using an applicator wand or an iron or heat press (using a carrier sheet) to apply more than one rhinestone at a time in a pattern. However, it’s hard to set big rhinestones with this method due to their large surface area and weight.
  • Old fashion gluing technique. There are many types of rhinestone setting glues. Do not use super glue for gluing rhinestones! Super glue is too brittle to withstand wear and tear. Glued garments shouldn’t be dry-cleaned either unless you want to lose all your hard work.
  • Sew them on by hand. Be sure to purchase rhinestone with holes drilled in them if you choose you taken on this time-consuming process.


Effects also vary depending on the manufacturer. Below are some of the more popular rhinestone effects:

  • The “Aurora Borealis” (AB) metal-coated rhinestone produces an iridescent rainbow effect over a single base color. This effect is popular with clear crystal rhinestones. Aurora Borealis rhinestones were created in 1955 by Swarovski.
  • Matte rhinestones lack the luster of their shimmering counterparts and appear “misty” or “frosted” instead.
  •  A satin finish leaves a light hematite coating over the stone creating a smoky effect.


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Stay Tuned for Videos

Welcome to All American videos

All American will be releasing new videos, especially tutorials and demos soon! Be sure to check out our youtube channel and facebook for updates. Currently, you can find NeoFlex maintenance tips, Sequin Machine maintenance , Aeoon demos, and RapidTag demos on our channel. We will be expanding our maintenance with helpful videos about the NeoFlex 2 and more, to ensure users can perform the necessary cleaning routines to keep their DTG machine in top condition.

We will also be posting DIY vinyl tips and tricks hosted by Julie. Regulars to the office will be familiar with her designs that decorate our waiting area. If you are a fan of her heat transfer designs and wonder how they are made, you’ll soon know. You can follow along on youtube to learn how to make and press vinyl decals like a pro. Stay tuned!

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ISS Atlantic City

Second show in a month! It’s been a blast! We’re off to the boardwalk to attend ISS Atlantic City from March 18th – 20th. Come see the latest innovations in garment printing at our booth #911. Stop by to check out the NeoFlex 2, Epson F2000, and to purchase $10 heat transfer vinyl. We’re excited to see you there!

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Screen Printing Glossary — Know the Lingo!

top view of a table with people learning

Want to ask questions about screen printing but don’t know the terminology? Don’t worry; we’ve compiled a glossary of that includes the basic screen printing terms to use a reference guide. Learning these screen printing and silk screen definitions will have you learning the lingo and talking like a pro in no time!

Continue reading Screen Printing Glossary — Know the Lingo!

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It’s the second day of the PPAI EXPO!  Be sure to see All American at our first show of 2016! Come to booth 6958 to see the latest DTG and screen printing equipment. We’re bringing the NeoFlex 2 and Epson F2000 SureColor direct-to-garment printers and the RapidTag screen printer. Making custom apparel has never been easier! Start the New Year right by getting ahead of to competition. We’ll see you on the show floor!