Glossary of Promotional Products Industry Terms




acrylic fabric

Acrylic fabric is a man-made material that is lightweight, soft, and wooly. Acrylic is a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive materials such as wool and cashmere. It is used in apparel such as socks, hats, gloves, and sweaters. Acrylic is washable and hypoallergenic.

acrylic plastic

Acrylic is a hard, durable plastic made from polymethyl methacrylate. Acrylic drinkware is ideal for everyday use and informal occasions. Advantages of acrylic drinkware are its durability and resistance to discoloration and staining.

advertising specialty

Advertising specialties are useful items imprinted with the advertiser’s logo or personal message. Popular advertising specialties include pens, tote bags, and t-shirts. These items are given away in order to make regular impressions on recipients. The term "advertising specialty" is synonymous with "promotional products."


Anti-pill fabric is resistant to forming those unattractive balls of fuzz that can form on cheap fabric after wearing it and washing it a few times.


Apparel is any type of clothing, from jackets to t-shirts to polos and dress shirts.


An appliqué is a decoration sewn onto a larger piece of cloth. Appliqués (such as patches) are often sewn to sweatshirts, jackets, and tote bags.


ballpoint pens

Ballpoint pens feature a tiny ball that rolls between an ink cartridge and the contact point on the writing surface. The ink cartridges of ballpoint pens are filled with oil-based, viscous ink.


The term "banded" means the fabric has been folded double and sewn down. T-shirt collars are constructed this way.

baseball jersey

Baseball jersey t-shirts are designed to resemble baseball uniform shirts. They are typically manufactured with comfortable fabrics such as 100% cotton and feature contrast color sleeves and collar.

beanie cap

Beanie caps are close-fitting, brimless hats designed to keep your head and ears warm. Beanie caps are typically made with cotton knits or fleece material. When it comes to decoration, beanie caps are usually embroidered although screen printing is sometimes a possibility.

biodegradable plastic

Certain types of plastics are designed to decompose in a landfill or when exposed to the natural environment to benefit the Earth. Decomposition takes place with the help of naturally occurring microorganisms.

boat tote

A boat tote is a reusable, carry-all bag featuring a contrast-color bottom and carrying handles.

bonded collar

Bonded collars contain an interlining to give the collar lasting shape.

bonded leather

Bonded leather is manufactured with leftover leather pieces that are bonded together to form new, larger pieces. Bonded leather typically consists of at least 60% natural leather with the remaining product consisting of bonding polyurethane material.

bowling shirt

A bowling shirt is a garment designed for casual wear. It typically features cotton construction, a button-down front, and contrast collar and short sleeves. The shirt is styled after traditional bowling league team uniforms.

BPA plastic

BPA is an abbreviation for Bisphenol A, a building block of many plastics. In recent years, the government questioned the safety of BPA for consumers, giving rise to the "BPA Free" movement in plastic water bottles and food containers. Regulatory authorities have more recently concluded that consumer exposure levels to BPA are very low and therefore do not pose a risk. Still, many manufacturers tout their bottles and containers as BPA free to ease consumers’ minds.


Your brand is the personality, feelings, perceptions, images, thoughts, and beliefs associated with your company or organization.

brand awareness

This term refers to your customers’ ability to recall relevant information about your company, including logo recognition and memory of products and/or services provided by your company or organization.

breakaway neck cord

Breakaway neck cords are a safety feature designed into products that are worn around the neck. Breakaway neck cords help prevent choking or other related injuries. Any excessive pressure expended on the breakaway cord will cause it to separate from the suspended product such as I.D. badges and camera cases.


A briefcase is a rectangular shaped bag designed for carrying papers and books. These bags typically feature carrying handles and leather or other durable construction.


Broadcloth is a tightly woven fabric of cotton, rayon, silk, synthetics, or a combination of these materials. It features a smooth, lustrous finish and is commonly used for dress shirts.

brushed fabric

Brushed fabric features an extra soft texture produced by raising the nap. Raising the nap is achieved by lifting surface fibers, often with wire brushes.


Buckram is a stiff cloth, typically made of cotton, used to stiffen parts of clothing such as collars and hats.

burnout t-shirt

Burnout t-shirts feature fabric that has undergone a chemical process to create a semi-transparent pattern within a more solid-color.

butt register

Butt register is an actual printing industry term. It refers to the place where ink colors meet without overlapping or having any space in between.


cadet collar

A cadet collar is featured on many jackets and zipper sweatshirts. Unzipped, it can be folded down to create a small collar. Zipped, the collar stands straight up under the chin for warmth.


Camouflage is typically a green and brown pattern traditionally worn by hunters and soldiers to make them less visible outdoors among trees, branches, and bushes.

camp shirt

Camp shirts feature button-down styling, convertible collars, and pockets. They are often stain resistant.


Canvas is a sturdy, tightly woven cloth commonly made with cotton. Canvas is used to construct tote bags and work shirts.

cap sleeve

Cap sleeves are shorter and tighter than your typical t-shirt sleeve. They’re most commonly found on ladies’ t-shirts.


Casting is the process in which liquid metal is poured into a mold and allowed to solidify, resulting in the desired shape. Products like lapel pins and belt buckles are often made via this process.


Ceramic is a hard material made by firing clay and similar materials to manufacture items such as mugs.

ceramic decal

Decals are the only way to get a four color imprint on items like ceramic mugs. A full color decal is printed, applied to the mug, and fired.


Chambray is a lightweight fabric featuring white filling yarns, delivering a casual look and feel.

chemical etched

Chemicals are used in the process to remove top layers from a surface to create an imprint. This process is used on glass and metal products.


Chenille yarn is made by twisting short lengths of yarn together, resulting in a protruding pile for a super soft look and feel.

chin guard

Chin guards appear at the top of a zipper in a jacket or sweatshirt. They help prevent catching your skin between the teeth of the zipper as it is zipped.


A decorating technique in which enamel is applied to a metal background (such as on a lapel pin) in raised cells.


CMYK refers to the four inks used in the color printing process: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).


A collar is part of the shirt at the neck that frames the face. Dress shirts are available with a variety of collar styles, including straight, spread, club, and button-down. Collars may be fused (stiffened with fabric) or unfused (a looser, more traditional look).


Colorblock shirts feature two or more solid colors. Sleeves are often a contrasting color than the body of the shirt.

color registration

This printing term refers to lining up multiple colors correctly in a single image. Each color is printed separately and needs to line up to other colors in the image precisely.

color separation

This printing industry term refers to the process in which a multi-color image is separated into individual colors, one color per screen.

compressed t-shirts

Screen printed t-shirts are vacuum sealed into a compressed shape for marketing purposes.

contrast stitching

This term indicates that a garment features thread that intentionally stands out in contrasting color.

cotton chino

Cotton chino is a twill fabric originally made with 100% cotton. Today’s chinos often feature cotton/synthetic blends. Cotton chino is a popular choice for Chino pants.


Coverstitching is the use of two needles to overlap the threads underneath, which reinforces seams of a garment like a shirt. Coverstitching looks similar to double needle stitching.

crew neck

A crew neck t-shirt, sweater, or sweatshirt features a close-fitting, round neckline.


A cuff is the end part of a shirt sleeve where the material of the sleeve is turned back or a separate band is sewn on.


There are many reasons to crop an image. Images may be cropped to be resized to fit into a space like a picture frame. Images may also be cropped to remove a portion of a photograph such as a background.



Debossing is a decorating method that indents your logo into the product. This technique is a popular way to decorate leather products like padfolios, iPad cases, and bags.


A decal is a design printed on special paper intended for transfer to another surface such as ceramic, porcelain, or metal. Decals are the only way to achieve a full color imprint on many of these types of surfaces.


Screen printing, embroidery, heat transfer, engraving, embossing, and debossing are all popular decoration methods for various promotional products.

denier (pronounced DEN-ee-ya)

This term refers to the thickness of a strand of polyester or nylon. The smaller the number of denier, the thinner the strand. The larger the number, the thicker the strand.

die casting

Die casting is the process in which molten metal is poured into a mold to achieve the desired shape. Items like lapel pins are made via this process.

die cut

This is a process in which items like notepads, sticky notes, mouse pads, and magnets are cut to a desired shaped for marketing purposes.

die struck

Items like lapel pins that are described as "die struck" are made by stamping the pins from a strip of sheet metal.

differential rise

This term refers to the distance between the crotch and the waistband on a pair of pants.

digital artwork

A graphics file. Common graphics files are .jpg, and .eps. The free art department at Show Your Logo creates all artwork in Adobe Illustrator.

digital picture frame

Digital picture frames store digital images on a memory card. They have the ability to display these images in rotation.

direct-to-garment printing (DTG)

DTG printing is the process of printing on apparel and other textiles using inkjet technology. Unlike screen printing, there are no set up costs. However, the cost of the ink and equipment maintenance is higher with DTG printing than screen printing. DTG printing does not require hands-on contact, allowing for a very precise image.


Sometimes apparel is sold with a well-worn look, which may include holes, tears, and intentional fading.

divot tool

A divot tool is used to repair the green after you damage it with your clubs, your cleats, or your golf balls. It is considered good golf etiquette to repair the green.

dobby weave

This type of fabric features a small geometric, textured pattern in the cloth.

dolman shirt

These shirts, designed for women, refer to a style that is long and loose fitting. Extra fabric in the sleeves creates a draped look.


Epoxy domes are a means of decorating promotional products such as bags and cases. These raised domes can be customized with your logo or custom design.


This is a printing industry term that refers to multiple layers or extra ink that is applied during the printing process.

double knit fabric

Double knit fabric is a jersey-like fabric knitted on a machine equipped with two sets of needles, resulting in a double thickness, interlocked fabric.

double needle stitching

This finish is commonly used on sleeves and bottom hems. It uses two needles to fashion parallel rows of stitching for a finished look as well as added durability.

double wall tumbler

Drinkware that is described as having a "double wall" features two layers of materials to creating an insulating inner liner. The insulating inner layer helps keep drinks at their desired temperature longer than a single wall tumbler.

drilled pen holes

Holes can be drilled into paper cubes for the purpose of storing and displaying promotional pens.

duck cloth

Duck cloth is another term for "canvas." This fabric is typically made with plain, woven cotton fabric. It is durable and resistant to tearing and rough wear.

dye sublimation printing

This printing technology results in high quality, high resolution color prints. Its downfall is that it doesn’t reproduce text or line-art as well as other printing methods.


easy care fabric

A garment that is manufactured with "easy care fabric" often features wrinkle and stain resistant properties.


Promotional products with this label may be made with recycled materials. They may also be biodegradable, recyclable, or made from organic materials such as organically grown cotton.


A process by which your logo is raised up into a product, typically those made of leather or silicone. This effect is achieved using metal dies, heat, and pressure.


Embroidery is a decorating technique employing needle and thread or yarn to create your custom design.

EPS image files (Encapsulated PostScript)

A graphics file format . A number of programs will save or convert vector art to EPS format, including Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.


Products described as "ergonomic" are designed with user comfort and safety in mind. Products ranging from zipper pulls to mug handles to mouse pads are often described as ergonomic.


Etching is a decorating process commonly used with glassware, ceramics, porcelain, and crystal. Using a template, the item has a design cut out of it.


fabric weight (5.6 oz., 6.1 oz., etc.)

Fabric weight refers to how much the fabric weighs in ounces per square yard.

FDA requirements

Regulations related to the food and drug industries as imposed by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.


A soft cloth made with wool or cotton. Flannel has a loose texture and a slightly napped surface. Flannel is a popular fabric choice for casual wear

flash (during screen printing)

A flash dryer uses heat during the screen printing process to cure ink between colors as well as during the final curing.

flash drive

A pocket-sized, electronic device used for storing data or transferring it to or from a computer or other USB enabled device such as a digital camera.

flat bill

A flat bill cap lacks any curve in the bill of the hat that shields the eyes. It is completely flat.


Fleece is made with a jersey stitch. Yarns are brushed to create a soft, nappy look and feel.

foil stamp

Foil stamping is the application of pigment or metallic foil to the surface of the product. Foil stamping can be done after the embossing process to create a colorful 3D image of your logo or custom design. Foil stamping is a popular way to decorate items such as leather padfolios and gift boxes.


A typeface collection that includes lower/upper case characters, numbers, and special characters with a unifying design.

four color process printing

This is a printing process in which artwork is photographed through a series of color filters to create four plates. Three plates are printed with colors and one plate is printed with black ink. The four colors are blended in the human eye to simulate a full color image.

full bleed printing

This refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the paper or product so that the entire surface is covered in the printing process.

full color digital printing

This four color process allows for photo-quality images in full color with just one run through the printing machine. Alternatively, screen printing would require an additional run for each additional color.

full fashioned

Full fashioned garments are created to fit closely to the contours of the body.


garment washed

A garment washed piece of apparel has a well –worn , faded look that is achieved by washing the items in industrial machines, often with rough objects or special enzymes to create the casual look.

gel ink pens

Gel pens feature pigment that is suspended in a water-based gel that is thick and opaque, making it ideal for writing on dark surfaces.

gigabyte (GB)

One GB of electronic memory (such as found in devices like USB drives and hard drives) is equivalent to 1024 megabytes (MB).

GIF image files (Graphics Interchange Format)

This graphic image format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image. GIF files are ideal for low resolution files and are an acceptable format for logos and graphics with solid areas of color.


A giveaway is a popular term referencing the distribution of free promotional products intended to keep your company name and logo in the hands of your customers.

glass etching

Glass etching is a process in which the surface of a piece of glass is removed to create a subtle imprint of your logo or custom design. This effect is achieved using a chemical process or abrasive sandblasting.

gold banding

Gold banding is a decorative process in which a gold band is added to a product, typically a ceramic or porcelain mug.

golf shirt

A golf shirt is a lightweight, short-sleeved shirt featuring a collar and buttons at the neck. Golf shirts may be manufactured with a variety of fabrics, including 100% cotton, cotton/synthetic blends, and performance fabrics. These shirts get their name because they’re a popular, comfortable choice on the golf course. Golf shirts typically include a left breast pocket.

graphics standards

Graphics standards are a set of guidelines created by a company or organization to ensure that their logo is used accurately and consistently.


A grommet is made of durable material (often metal) and is intended to protect or strengthen an opening on a product like a tote bag or jacket.


A gusset is an insert intended to widen and strengthen. A gusset at the bottom of a tote bag, for example, widens and strengthens the bag.



A halftone is a reproduction of a photo or image in which the various tones of gray or color are created via dots of ink in various sizes.


A halo is a decorating option on many promotional mugs. Halos are a band of color that may be added to the rim of the mug.


The term "hand" is often used to describe the surface of a type of fabric. A fabric with a soft or silky hand feels just that way to the touch.


This is an abbreviation for high-density polyethylene. It is commonly used in the production of plastic bottles. It features the number "2" as its recycling symbol. This type of plastic is appreciated for its strength in relation to its relative thinness.


In a heathered garment, blended fibers are combined to make a vari-colored effect. Heathered fabric usually consists of cotton, polyester, and rayon. Heathered fabrics are never 100% cotton because additional fibers are necessary to create the vari-colored look.

heat sealed

Tote bags are often described as "heat sealed." This indicates that the seams of the bag are not sewn together but fused together using the heat sealing process. Thermoplastics on the fabric of the tote bags undergo heat and pressure to fuse the edges together.

heat transfer printing

This is a process of printing an image onto fabric (typically synthetic fabrics). The image is first printed on paper with special dyes and transferred to fabric with the application of heat. The fabric then absorbs the dye from the paper.


A Henley shirt is a collarless pullover shirt characterized by a placket featuring 2-5 buttons. A Henley resembles a polo shirt minus the collar.


Herringbone fabric features a v-shaped weave often found in twill fabrics. This fabric is a popular choice for suits and outerwear.

HiRes AccuColor

This is top-secret printing process in which apparel is printed at 120lpi versus the typical 65lpi. For the highest quality apparel printing the industry has to offer, ask your Show Your Logo representative for HiRes AccuColor by name.

hot stamping

This is a decorating process in which pre-dried inks or foils are transferred to a product at a high temperature. This decorating method can be used on polypropylene, polyethylene, and other plastics. Other possibilities include wood, leather, and paper products. Debossing and embossing are achieved using a hot stamp machine.


imprint area

An imprint area is the area or areas in which a promotional product can accept your logo or custom design. The size and/or location of the area may vary depending on the decorating method you choose.


This type of marketing includes the distribution of promotional products to encourage the sale of a product or service.

injection molding

Heated and liquefied materials are injected into a mold where they are allowed to cool and harden into the desired shape. Metals, glass, plastics, and confections can all undergo the injection molding process to create all kinds of custom-shaped products.


This term refers to the length of the seam in a pair of pants from the crotch to the bottom of the leg.


Interlock fabric features closely woven stitches to allow it to stretch and recover effectively.



Jacquard fabrics feature an intricately woven pattern.

jersey knit

Jersey knitting involves a single set of needles that pull a loop of yarn through another loop of yarn to create a knitted fabric.

Johnny collar

Shirts with this style collar features an open, short V-neck and a flat (often knit) collar. It has the look of an unbuttoned polo shirt minus the buttons.

JPEG Image Files (Joint Photographic Experts Group files)

This computer files format compresses and stores high-quality, photographic digital images.

junior fit

This fit is designed for young women. The cut is designed to fit young bodies with fewer curves, a smaller bust, and less differentiation between the hips and the waist. Junior sizes are typically sized in odd numbers from 1 – 15.


kangaroo pocket

This type of pocket is typically found in casual jackets or sweatshirts. They consist of a single, large pocket in the front of the garment with openings on either side that meet in the middle.



Products described as "laminated" feature a protective coating, usually made of some form of plastic.

laser engraving

This is a process in which lasers are used to precisely engrave, or remove the surface layers, of a product to create a custom design. Many metal products such as stainless steel tumblers, metal key tags, and carabineers can be laser engraved.

laser etching

Laser etching is another term for laser engraving. Lasers are used to precisely remove the surface of a product to create a custom design.

laser marking

Laser marking discolors the surface of a product without cutting into the surface.

lenticular printing

This is a printing technology in which images are printed with an illusion of depth or the illusion of movement when the image is viewed from different angles.

locker patch

This term refers to a panel sewn into the inside back portion of a garment (such as a jacket or sweatshirt) to reinforce it and minimize stretching when hung on a hook.


A logo is a unique symbol adopted by a business or organization to help consumers and patrons identify its products, uniforms, vehicles, etc.

low profile

A low profile cap has a crown that is less than 4" in height.


This trademark-name fabric is typically used in close-fitting athletic apparel. It is made with an elastic polyurethane fiber.


matte finish

Products with this type of finish have a dull or lusterless surface.

merrow stitching

This stitch is an overlock stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of fabric for edging, hemming, or seaming. It is often used as a decorative, finishing edge on products like fleece blankets.

messenger bag

This type of bag is intended to be worn over one shoulder with a strap across the chest. The bag rests on the lower back as it is being carried.


This is an image file stored in a format that can be exchanged with different systems or software.


This is a very fine, synthetic yarn known for its softness and absorbency.


This is another term for polar fleece, usually referred to simply as "fleece." This fabric is a soft, nappy synthetic fabric made from synthetic materials.

military cap

A hat style characterized by a short brim and crown.

moisture wicking

Moisture wicking fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your skin to the outside of the fabric, where it is better able to evaporate.

mock turtleneck

A mock turtleneck features a short funnel neck collar.

mood products

Mood products feature color-changing technology, typically activated by heat or light.

mouse pad

A flat, rigid or slightly resilient material that aids in efficient movement of a computer mouse.

MP3 player

A device that stores MP3 files; digital audio players.



Napping is a process that raises surface fabric fibers to create an extra soft finish.


This is a generic term for a type of synthetic rubber. Neoprene is a popular material for the construction of can coolers and cooler bags.


Nonwoven fabrics consist of fibers bonded with chemicals and/or heat via resinous substances.


A synthetic fabric that is tough, lightweight, and elastic.


Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Certified

Products bearing this certification are made with organic materials. No harmful chemicals have been in contact with the product.

open cell foam

Many can coolers are made with open cell foam. Cut them in half to reveal open cells that serve as insulating air pockets.

open front cardigan

A cardigan is an open front sweater that may have fasteners such as buttons, zippers, or belt ties.

open hem

An open hem on a pant leg is roomy and not close-fitting for ease of movement.

organic cotton

Cotton that is grown without the use of chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides.

OTF File (Open Type Font)

This is the current standard in fonts. Both the screen and printed font is contained in a single file. Open Type fonts are compatible with Windows and Mac.

overlock stitching

An overlock stitch connects two pieces of fabric using rows of thread loops that wrap around the outer edge of the fabric to prevent fraying. This is also known as merrow stitching.


A process in which additional colors are added by printing on top of a product that has already been printed upon.


In printing, a run over/above the quantity actually ordered.


This term refers to a type of fabric often used in dress shirts. Oxford shirts can be striped or checked using various colored yarns. Oxford dress shirts can be dressed up or dressed down.


packable jacket

These jackets can be folded or rolled compactly for ease of carrying or storage.

pad printing

This printing process allows 2-D images to be transferred to a 3-D object. Pads are typically made of silicone into 3D objects to transfer ink to the product.

page layout documents

The font files and document preferences required for use on the supplier’s operating system.

paper proof

This document shows you how a product will look before production begins.

PDF image files (Portable Document Images)

This is a multi-platform file format developed by Adobe. This file format can save document text, fonts, images, and formatting from a variety of applications. To view a PDF file requires Adobe Reader which can be downloaded from Adobe for free.

perceived value

The worth of a product or service in the mind of the consumer. It has more to do with the product’s ability to satisfy a need or want than the monetary value.

performance fabric

Performance fabrics have a functional quality or qualities built into the fabric such as moisture management, UV protection, wind/water resistance, thermo-regulation, and anti-microbial properties.


The process of customizing a product with a name, initials, or a monogram.


PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate and is commonly used in synthetic fibers as well as beverage, food, and other containers.


This is a process in which a photo is engraved into the surface of a product.

piece dyed

This term indicates the cloth has been dyed before being assembled into the finished garment.

pigment dyed

A dyeing process that gives garments a weathered or well-worn look.


The raised surface or nap of a fabric made up of upright loops or strands of yarn.


The accumulation of fibers on the surface of a fabric caused by wash and wear. A higher cotton content results in less pilling.

Pima Cotton

Pima cotton is a type of cotton with a natural yellow color and a very soft, very strong fiber. Pima cotton accepts dye extremely well and is admired for its lustrous finish and superior strength.


Piping is a type of trim or embellishment made up of a strip of folded fabric that is inserted into a seam.


Pique fabric features a honey comb/waffle weave look. Although fine yarns are typically used in the manufacture of pique fabric, it has a course, firm hand.


The placket of a shirt is the piece of fabric into which the button holes are sewn.


Plaid is a checkered or tartan twilled cloth, typically made of wool.

Plastisol ink

Plastisol inks are the most commonly used ink in commercial garment decoration. Plastisol ink consists of PVC particles in a suspension of liquid plasticizer and is used on textiles like t-shirts in the screen-printing process. Plastisol inks are recommended for printing on dark fabrics because they are so opaque. This ink sits on top of the fabric rather than soaking into the fibers. This type of ink will not air dry; it must be cured with heat, most often a device called a flash dryer. A temperature of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit must be reached for proper curing of Plastisol ink.

plunger-action pen

The writing tip of a pen is exposed and retracted with the push of a plunger at the top of the pen.

PMS (Pantone Matching System)

PMS is a color matching system used in the printing industry to print spot colors. Specify colors by the Pantone name or number to ensure you’re getting the exact right shade of blue to match your logo.

PMS Number

A number associated with a specific color in the Pantone Matching System.

PNG image files (Portable Network Graphics)

These file types (pronounced "ping") is a file format for image compression. It is commonly used on the web. It was developed as an improvement to GIF.


Polyester commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include naturally occurring chemicals as well as synthetics. Fabrics woven from polyester yarn or thread typically have some advantages over natural fibers, including wrinkle-resistance, durability, and better color retention.

polypropylene (PP)

This is a type of plastic (a thermoplastic polymer) used in all kinds of products, from packaging to textiles to carpeting. It is a durable and inexpensive material.


This is a polymer used in the manufacturing of products like high-resilience foam seating, high performance adhesives, and synthetic fibers like Spandex.

polo shirt

A polo shirt is a casual shirt featuring short sleeves, a collar, and buttons at the neck. These shirts may be made of 100% cotton, cotton/poly blends, or polyester. There is typically no breast pocket on a polo shirt.


A plain-woven fabric with a corded surface typically made with lightweight cotton.

post-consumer recycled material

These materials have been recycled from consumer products like packaging and containers that otherwise would have been disposed of as solid waste.

pre-consumer recycled material

These materials are generated by manufacturers and may consist of scrap, trimmings, and other by-products that were never used by consumers.

pre-production proof

This is a mock-up of what a printed product will look like to be approved before the production process begins.

pre-production sample

A pre-production sample is an actual sample of the completed, customized product intended for customer approval before the entire order is run.


Premiums are promotional items linked to a product that often require proofs of purchase to obtain.

press proof

A press proof is the last proof submitted for approval before a printing order is fulfilled.

princess seams

These are long, rounded seams used in women’s garments to add shaping or a tailored fit to closely follow a women’s shape.

production time

The time taken from release of an order to production and shipment.

promotional products

Useful items printed with the advertiser’s name, logo, message, or offer.

process color

Process color indicated a four color process will be used to imprint a product.

Proposition 65 Compliant

Proposition 65 (AKA the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) requires any business doing business in California to provide a "clear and reasonable warning" against exposure to any chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. This includes any chemicals used in the manufacturing of a product or chemicals in any inks used for imprinting the product.

puff print

This type of printing is done using a thick pigment, resulting in a raised imprint with a rubbery feel.


PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride is the third most commonly produced polymer after polyethylene and polypropylene. It can be made softer and more flexible with the addition of plasticizers.



A sales quote allows a prospective buyer to find out what the cost would be for a certain product with a certain imprint.



A racerback shirt features a t-shaped back behind the shoulder blades for styling as well as ease of movement.

raglan sleeve

This is a type of sleeve that is sewn in with seams slanting outward from the neck to the underarm.

registration (colors)

In color printing, registration is the process of lining up overlapping colors on a single image.

reinforced placket

This term refers to the bottom of the piece of fabric into which button holes are sewn. The reinforced placket is made up of a square or rectangular piece of fabric at the bottom of the placket for extra strength and durability.


Relabeling is the process of removing the manufacturer’s tag from a garment and adding your own, custom made label.


Resolution refers to the degree of detail visible in a photographic image. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the image.

retractable pens

This type of pen features a plunger that exposes the tip of the writing instrument or retracts it into the barrel of the pen.

reverse coil zipper

This type of zipper doesn’t show its teeth from the front of the garment.

reversible coil zipper

This is a type of zipper that can be operated from both sides of the garment.

rib knit

This type of fabric features vertical rows of knitted loops. Rib knit fabrics have more stretch than jersey knit fabrics for ease of movement. Because of rib knit’s excellent stretch and recovery, it is often used in collars, cuffs, and trim.

ringer t-shirt

A ringer-t-shirt features a solid colored body with a rib knit crew neck and sleeves in a contrasting color.

ring-spun cotton

Ring-spun cotton refers to a soft yarn made on ring frame equipment, creating a fabric with a soft feel.


Ripstop fabric is typically made of finely woven nylon. Coarse, extra strong threads are placed at intervals to prevent any tears in the fabric from spreading.

rollerball pens

Ballpoint writing mechanisms are used in rollerball pens just as they are in ballpoint pens. However, rollerball pens use water-based liquid or gelled ink whereas ballpoint pens use oil-based, viscous inks.


Frilled or pleated fabric used to decorate a garment.

run charge

A run charge refers to the cost of production, which can included material used, press time, machine operators, and other related labor.

rush charge

An extra fee associated with a rush order, or a shorter-than-normal production time.


sand wash

Sand washing involves washing a garment with sand to soften it and distress it.

sandwich bill

A sandwich cap appears on certain baseball caps featuring a contrast color piece of fabric between the material that makes up the top and bottom of the hat’s bill.


A screen is a piece of mesh stretched over a frame that is used to form a stencil for the screen printing process. The stencil is formed by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed, creating open spaces where the ink will appear on the product.

screen printing

A printing process using screens to print an image onto a product.

scoop neck

A scoop neck is a neckline style typically found on ladies’ shirts that is curved below the neckline.


Scuba fabric is another term for neoprene, the rubbery, insulating fabric used in scuba gear.

self fabric collar

This term means that the fabric used in the collar is the same fabric that is used in the body of the shirt. These collars are usually made by sewing two pieces of collar fabric together with a lining in the center for support.


This is the edge produced on woven fabric during manufacturing to prevent it from unraveling.

set-in sleeves

This is a type of sleeve construction. The sleeve is sewn to the body of the shirt at the shoulder. Conversely, a raglan sleeve is connected to the body of the shirt at the neck seam.

set-up fee

This is the cost of creating the tools needed to imprint your customized design onto your desired product. For example, when printing your logo on a t-shirt, a screen must be created with your logo. There is a cost associated with creating this screen.


This outside of this type of fabric is brushed with a wire brush to give it a very soft, fuzzy look and feel.

shoulder-to-shoulder taping

Shoulder seams and neck seams are covered by tape or binding for extra durability at stress points. This is a hallmark of high-quality shirt construction.

side vents

This is the name given to the slits at the bottom of shirts at the sides to provide ease of movement.

silk-screen printing

Back in the day, the ancients used silk to create their screens for screen printing. The term is still widely used today even though silk is not—at least not for screen printing.

silky hand

A fabric with a silky texture and feel, often described as a "hand."

single-wall tumbler

A piece of drinkware consisting of one layer of material.

slash pockets

These are pockets set into a garment, particularly below the waistline. A slit in the fabric provides easy access.

sling backpack

These bags are unstructured, meaning they have no shape unless filled with your gear.


A short, catchy phrase often associated with advertising.


This terms refers to a type of fabric with an irregular appearance due to lumps in the yarns or threads.


This is an urban, slang term for an adjustable flat-brimmed baseball cap with snap fasteners on the back.


Spandex is a type of stretchy, polyurethane fabric commonly found in athletic apparel.

spec sample

This is another term for proof sample. A proof sample allows a customer to see an actual sample of what the finished, customized product looks like before placing an order.

sport shirt

A term for any casual-wear shirt featuring long or short sleeves. They are open at the neck and may be worn with or without a tie. A square bottom allows the shirt to be worn tucked or untucked.

spot color

Spot color refers to any color generated after a single run through the machine.

stain guard

This term usually indicates a product has been chemically treated to resist staining.

stain release

Products with stain releasing properties are typically chemically treated to effectively release stains in the washing process.

stitch count

This term refers to the number of stitches required to create your desired embroidered image.


This is a hard, opaque, nonporous pottery fired at high temperatures. It is durable and chip resistant, making it ideal for everyday use.

storm flap

A storm flap is a piece of material intended to protect an opening or fastener on a coat or jacket from the rain.

structured cap

The crown of a structured cap has Buckram (an added piece of fabric for stiffening) to give the cap shape.


A stylus is a small tool resembling a pen that is used to write or touch buttons on a computer screen, tablet, or Smartphone.

sublimation printing

This is a printing method in which heat is used to transfer dye onto materials such as plastic, paper, or fabric.


Sueded leather or fabrics have a soft, napped surface after the removal of a thin outer layer.



The tail of a dress shirt is the curved fabric on the bottom of the shirt at the back. The tail of a shirt should be long enough not to become untucked with normal movement.

tactical polo

A tactical polo is designed for event staff, security, and law enforcement. These polos include features like strategically placed mic clips, pen pockets, and moisture-wicking.


A shirt that has no sleeves or collar. Tanks usually feature wide shoulder straps.


Thermal shirts are usually crew necked with long sleeves intended to retain body heat in cold temperatures. Thermal shirts often feature fabric with a waffle-weave pattern to help trap body heat.

thermal engraving

This is a decorating method that melts an image into metal using a die. This process is typically used for small products like name badges and small signs.


Holes at the end of sleeves designed for thumb insertion. This way, the wearer can pull sleeves halfway over the hands for warmth without comprising use of the thumbs.

tie dye

This term refers to a method of producing textile patterns by tying parts of the fabric to shield it from the dye.

TIF or TIFF file types (Tagged Image File Format)

This is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images. The TIFF format is widely supported by image-manipulation applications.


Tipping on a shirt refers to a decorative stripe in a contrasting collar at the tip of the collar and/or the ends of the sleeves. Tipping is often found on polo shirts and sport shirts.


Toggles are a type of fastener found on textiles like coats and bags featuring a short rod (typically wood or plastic) sewn to one side that is pushed through a hole or loop on the opposite side and twisted to close.

toiletry bag

This is a small bag intended to transport and store personal care items such as soap and toothpaste while you are traveling.

tonal embroidery

Tonal embroidery involves selecting a thread color that matches the item to be embroidered. This creates a subtle, polished look.

transfer printing

Transfer printing is a decorating process in which a design is transferred from paper to the intended product.


Tricot is a fine, knitted fabric using natural or synthetic fibers. It is smooth on one side and textured on the other. Tricot fabric is typically used for clothing.


This plastic material was developed by the Eastman company in October 2007. It is BPA free, heat and impact resistant, and dishwasher safe. Tritan™ can be manufactured in bold colors with an attractive, high-gloss finish.

trucker cap

A trucker cap is a type of baseball hat characterized by a foam-construction front, a mesh back, an adjustable plastic snap closure, and a button on top.

TTF File Types (True Type Font)

True Type Font is an outline font standard used by Apple and Microsoft as a raster font format, meaning fonts in this format can be scaled to any size without affecting the image quality/pixelation.


A turtleneck is a type of collar on a shirt or sweater that is high and often rolled or turned on itself for wear. The collar is typically close-fitting.


Twill is a type of fabric in which the weave gives the appearance of diagonal lines. This type of fabric is often used in casual pants and jackets.

twill tape

Twill tape is flat, woven piece of material available in various widths. It is used to reinforce seams on many textiles.

twist-action pen

A type of pen in which the user twists the barrel of the pen to either expose or retract the writing mechanism.

two-way zipper

This type of zipper features two sliders. The top slider is used for zipping up the garment. The bottom slider allows you to unzip the garment from the bottom to the desired location. Wearing jackets or coats with the bottom slightly unzipped is more about fashion rather than function.


This term refers to a particular design of type or a design for a set of characters.


unstructured cap

An unstructured cap does not include Buckram, or a stiffening fabric to give the cap shape even when it is not being worn. An unstructured cap will only have shape when being worn.

USB drive

A USB drive is a small, lightweight flash memory card that functions as a portable hard drive. USB drives plug into USB ports to save and transfer data.



A neckline style in which collar of a shirt dips into a v-shape in the front.

vanity bag

A vanity bag is a small bag or case intended for storing and transporting toiletries and cosmetics.


Velcro is a type of fastener commonly found on clothes, shoes, and bags. Velcro consists of two thin sheets of plastic, one covered with tiny loops and the other covered with tiny hooks. When pressed together, the two sheets adhere. With gentle pulling, the two sheets separate.


Vinyl is a synthetic resin or plastic consisting of polyvinyl chloride or a related polymer.

virtual sample

Virtual samples consist of product images mocked up with your logo or custom design. A virtual sample gives you a clear idea of what the finished, customized product will look like before you place your order.


A visor is hat intended to shield the eyes and face from the sun. Unlike a cap, there is no fabric on the crown of the heads for better ventilation. Visors are secured to the head with a band of fabrics that wraps around the back of the head. Visors are often adjustable with fasteners such as Velcro or metal buckles.


In the promotional products world, “vitrified” typically refers to a type of ceramic mug. Vitrified ceramics are fired at higher-than-normal temperatures to create a denser finished product. This density make vitrified mugs impervious to water absorption, even in commercial dishwashers that operate at very high temperatures. Commercial dishwashers are the primary reason ceramics break down in a commercial setting, making vitrified ceramics an ideal choice for businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, and caterers.


waffle knit

This term refers to a stitch used in knit fabrics that result in square, waffle-like designs. Each tiny square has a pitted look.


Garments described as "waterproof" are often inherently resistant to the absorption of water. Garments may also be treated with a coating to prevent water absorption. Common waterproofing materials include rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), silicone elastomer, fluropolymers, and wax.

water repellent/resistant

Most water resistant or water repellent fabrics feature a coating to resist absorption of water. These fabrics/garments should not be confused with the term "waterproof," which will not absorb any water. Water resistant or repellent garments will eventually absorb some water if exposed to enough rain over time. Water resistant apparel often includes a rating that refers to how much water can be suspended above the fabric before water seeps through.

welted sleeve cuff

This term indicates that one piece of rib knit material has been used to fashion the cuffs of the garment.


This type of fabric is designed to pull moisture away from the skin, making it an ideal choice for sportswear. Wicking fabrics pull moisture to the outside of the fabric where it can more readily evaporate, keeping the wearer drier and more comfortable in hot weather conditions or throughout exertion such as exercise.

wind jacket/windbreaker

wind jacket/windbreaker

These terms refer to a jacket of lightweight construction designed to resist a light rain and/or a light wind.

work shirt

A work shirt is often constructed with sturdy fabrics such as canvas or twill. They withstand frequent wash and wear as well as rugged working conditions. Work shirt often include extra features like wrinkle and stain resistance.


Woven fabrics consist of interlaced threads or yarns.

wraparound imprint

A wraparound imprint refers to an imprint on a piece of drinkware such as a tumbler or mug. Instead of an imprint on one or both sides, one imprint wraps around nearly the entire product.


These shirts are chemically treated to require no ironing after washing and drying.

wrinkle resistant

Wrinkle resistant shirts are chemically treated to resist wrinkling that can occur throughout the day via regular wear.



The yoke of a shirt is the piece of fabric found across the upper back and shoulders. A single yoke is made up of one piece of fabric. A split yoke is made up of two pieces of fabric sewn together in the middle. A split yoke provides more shoulder and back room than a single yoke.