Frequently Asked Questions

Lead Times

The Most Commonly Asked FAQ – What Are Your Lead Times for Trade & Wholesale, Retail and Commemorative Orders?

 

Lead times are the one aspect of our company we cannot set in stone as they depend so much on many variables such as the time of year, the general state of the economy and even, bizarrely, the weather.

 

We can be running to schedule but then have a week where we receive an unusually high volume of large orders that can cause our lead times to immediately extend by several weeks over the normal, expected dates.

 

At the moment we have to estimate lead times based on our past experience of how long the jobs in hand will take.  This is, admittedly, not very accurate and we do sometimes underestimate the amount of work in hand, leading to orders taking longer than we had advised.

 

However we are nearing to completing the installation of an all-encompassing Production Software Package which, once fully functioning, will enable us to know exactly how much work we have in hand, plus how long it will take to produce.  Thus enabling us to give our customers much more accurate lead times throughout the whole production process.

 

But, in the meantime, as a general guide the following principles usually run true year on year:-

 

January to March (before Easter) is relatively quiet, meaning we can rush even large volume jobs through in around 4 weeks (without a fabric sample).

 

So the following lead times usually prevail:

 

Visual: 7 days approx. (much sooner if the job is a rush date)

Actual Physical Sample If Required: 7 – 14 days (much sooner if the job is a rush date)

Production of Order from Confirmation of Sample or Repeat Order: 14 – 21 days (depending on delivery date required).

 

Easter through to the end of June we normally start to get busier but despatches are still manageable within our standard lead times.  However, it is still worth asking if you require a delivery date under these lead times.

 

Please expect the following delivery dates:-

 

Visual: 7 - 10 days approx. (sooner if the job is a rush date)

Actual Physical Sample If Required: 14 - 21 days approx. (sooner if the job is a rush date)

Production of Order from Confirmation of Sample or Repeat Order: 21 - 28 days (depending on delivery date required).

From the end of June to the end of September we start to get much busier as, not only are we producing Summer season orders, but customers also start placing Christmas orders too.  So it becomes much more difficult to take on rush jobs for under the lead times stated below.  We also do not recommend trying to initiate new designs, required for Christmas delivery, after the middle of September. 

 

The following lead times normally become the order of the day:-

 

Visual: 10 - 14 days approx. (we are not usually able to fast-track visuals at this time of year)

Actual Physical Sample If Required: 21 days approx. (again no fast-tracking usually available)

Production of Order from Confirmation of Sample or Repeat Order: 4- 6 weeks depending on work in hand

 

From the end of September until the end of November it is VERY BUSY!!  We cannot usually rush through, or move any orders forward.

  

Our lead times are normally:-

 

Visual: 14 days approx. (we are not able to fast-track visuals at this time of year)

Actual Physical Sample If Required: 21 - 28 days approx. (again no fast-tracking available)

Production of Order from Confirmation of Sample or Repeat Order: minimum of 6 - 8 weeks (very much depending on the amount of work in hand)

 

The month of December – bizarrely we can now often rush orders through again as most customers have received their orders by the first week of December.  So if you need a rush top-up order for Christmas please ask as we can usually fit it in.  We also start sampling in December for all the trade shows straight after Christmas.

 

Lead Times generally return to:-

 

Visual: 7 days approx.

Actual Physical Sample If Required: 14 – 21 days approx.

Production of Order from Confirmation of Sample or Repeat Order: 14 days approx. (depending on delivery date required).

 

We are also planning to update our lead times every week on our website, in order to keep our customers as well informed as possible.

 

A link will be available very shortly to see the current average status of our Lead Times.


Trade and Wholesale Questions 

 

Questions About Artwork

Q. I need an accurate price for my customer – how do I work this out?
A. The easiest way is to email a low resolution visual to us. We can produce a quote so you know exactly what the job will cost before going ahead.

Q. What are your lead times?
A. We supply a visual, usually within 7 – 10 days.  If you then require an actual fabric sample this takes a further 14 – 21 days approximately from approval of visual. Despatch is then a further 21 – 28 days from confirmation of either visual or sample.

For more up-to-date information please follow this Lead Times link.

Q. Is there a quicker route?
A. Yes, if you are prepared to forgo the fabric sample. Then we can turn the order around in approximately 28 days with an emailed visual only being sent before the actual print run.  We can also provide fabric swatches of the pantone colours we will be using for your print run prior to production.  However for complicated colour jobs we do advise a sample if at all possible.

Q. This lead time is still too long, what can I do?
A. Whilst we cannot promise anything as we are normally very busy, it is always worth giving us a call to see if we can rush the job through, especially if the job is just being printed in a single colour.

Q. What are your artwork specifications?
A. Please send digital files at no less that 300dpi at actual print size. We can accept pdf, jpg, tif and eps files plus Photoshop and Illustrator files. Please ensure any fonts are either rasterised or converted to outlines or please include the font folder in PC format. If you want to send in another file format please call to discuss suitability.

You can also follow this link to our Downloads Page for more information about how to submit artwork. 

Q. Do you have templates for the various products so we can set the artwork up ourselves?
A. Yes we have templates for all the products. Please contact us and we can email them to you or follow this link to our Downloads Page where the templates can be downloaded as PDF files.

Q. How can I send my artwork?
A. If your file is under 7mb we can receive it by email otherwise many of our customers are using free web services such as We Transfer, Mail Big File or Drop Box for larger files.

 

Questions About Ordering

Q. What happens once you have received my artwork and order?
A. We will send out an order confirmation in around 7 days from receipt of your order confirming the sample date, lead times for despatch plus details of products required, delivery addresses etc.  Please check your order confirmation carefully and inform us if any changes are required at this stage.

Q. I have received my emailed visual/sample and I am happy to go ahead – what do I do now?
A. Please confirm us by emailing the Visual Approval form back or return the confirmation form enclosed with the sample by post to confirm your order. You can also confirm initially by phone too if you like so we can be getting on with your order whilst we wait for your written confirmation to arrive.

 

 

 

Q. What are your minimum order quantities?
A. Our screen print minimum order is for 100 units of any one item or 25 units for digital textiles.  Our other product minimums all vary.  So for accurate information please follow this link to our Downloads Page for our price lists which detail all our prices and minimum order quantities.

Q. Do I have to pay pro-forma?
A. We normally only produce a pro-forma invoice on the first order after which we are then happy to produce the goods on account (provided our payment terms are adhered to). The pro-forma invoice is normally sent out at the sample stage so you do not have to pay it until you have seen the sample. However we do ask for the pro-forma to be paid within 14 days and definitely before the goods are despatched (please remember to allow time for your payment to clear).

Q. What are your payment terms for future orders?
A. Our payment terms are 30 days.

Q. How can I pay?
A. We accept cheques, credit card payment or payment by BACS. The BACS details are printed on the invoice.

Q. Can you deliver under plain cover?
A. Yes we can deliver under plain cover – please advise when ordering.

Q. If I want to re-order do I have to pay the setting up costs again?
A. No you pay these on the first order only.

 

Questions About Manufacture and Packaging

Q. I want to add my own sew-in labels – can this be done?
A. Yes we can add labels. We ask the customer to provide us with the labels to our specification. We are able to supply the names of label manufacturing companies we can recommend – please contact us for details.

Q. I want a specific handle length on my bag / a different sized apron / my labels sewn in to the seam in a special position / a product you do not already produce? Etc, etc
A. Please contact us as we have our own in-house sewing unit and can make your product to your specific requirements adding all sorts of bespoke features.

Q. I need my products packed in a specific way – can you do this?
A. Yes we have an in-house Quality Control and Despatch department that can individually package items as required. We can also print and attach swing tickets, barcodes, inserts, headers, wrap-arounds etc so please ask if you require anything along these lines too.

 


Retail Questions

 

Questions About Artwork

Q. I want you to produce a design from my references - what do I need to send in?
A. We will need a short written brief about how you would like your finished design to appear. Some customers also like to send in a sketch or rough visual (please note it does not need to be artistic at all - that’s our job!) of how they would like the artwork laid out. Please also let us know what text, logos etc are required plus if you have any requirements for a special border etc.
With regard to the actual references; we can work from a wide variety of sources. These range from digital photos, actual photographs, post cards, guide books, sketches etc. When we are re-drawing the images there is not normally a copyright issue but we would advise if we thought there was a problem before commencing the design.

Q. I need your design team to come up with a design concept from scratch – is this possible?
A. Sometimes customers come to us with no clear idea of what they want or need us to construct their initial idea in to a design without having anything definite to show us. With a vast amount of experience in the giftware market we can draw upon our years of design experience and suggest various ideas. We are always happy to help in this way so please ask if you require assistance.

Q. I want to submit my own design – how do I do this?
A. You can submit either hard copy for us to scan (we can scan up to A1 size) or digital files. If you want to submit digital files please see the specifications below.

Q. What are your artwork specifications?
A. Please send digital files at no less that 300dpi at actual print size. We can accept pdf, jpg, tif and eps files plus Photoshop and Illustrator files. Please ensure any fonts are either rasterised or converted to outlines or alternatively please include the font folder in PC format. If you want to send in another file format please call to discuss suitability.

Q. Do you have templates for the various products so we can set the artwork up ourselves?
A. Yes we have templates for all the products. Please contact us and we can email them to you or they can be downloaded as PDFs from our Downloads Page.

Q. How can I send my artwork?
A. If your file is under 7mb we can receive it by email otherwise many of our customers are using free web services such as We Transfer, Mail Big File or Drop Box for larger files.

Q. Do I see a visual before ordering?
A. We always supply a visual before we print so if amendments are required they can be carried out at this stage.

Q. Once my design is complete can I use it on other items in your range?
A. Yes, the design can be transferred on to any of the giftware in our range and if the design is in single colour there is no extra charge for this.

Q. What are the lead times for the artwork stage?
A. For more straightforward jobs, just requiring a small amount of our design input, the lead times are normally 7 - 10 days approximately. For designs requiring our artists to actually draw the various scenes then we are normally looking at around 28 days approximately from receipt of order.

Q. What are the lead times once I confirm my design is ready to go to print?
A. Our despatch times from acceptance of the design for the textile items, paper products and garments are approximately 21 – 28 days. Mugs and melamine take around 28 days. However if you have a specific delivery date in mind, please let us know when you first order and providing it is realistic, we will make every effort to achieve this for you.

Questions About Ordering

Q. What happens once you have received my artwork and order?
A. We will send out an order confirmation in around 7 days from receipt of your order confirming the sample date, lead times for despatch plus details of products required, delivery addresses etc. Please check your order confirmation carefully and inform us if any changes are required at this stage.

Q. I have received my emailed visual/paper proof/sample and I am happy to go ahead – what do I do now?
A. Please contact us by email or return the confirmation form enclosed with the paper proof/sample to confirm your order. You can also confirm initially by phone too if you like so we can be getting on with your order whilst we wait for your written confirmation to arrive.

Q. What are your minimum order quantities?
A. Our minimum quantities vary from 25 to 100 items depending on the product ordered.  For details please refer to our price lists which are available as PDFs on our Downloads Page.

Q. Do your prices include vat?
A. No, our prices are exclusive of vat.  Vat needs to be added at 20% on top of the quoted prices.  If you need assistance with this please contact our Sales Team – they will be very happy to help.

Q. What constitutes a carriage paid order?
A. Carriage is free on orders over £300.00 goods total before vat. For orders under £300.00 please refer to our price list for carriage costs which is available as a PDF on our Downloads Page.

Q. When do I need to pay?
A. We do not need payment up-front. We send an invoice out when your goods are despatched. Our payment terms are then 30 days from receipt of invoice.

Q. How can I pay?
A. We accept cheques, credit card payment or payment by BACS. The BACS details are printed on the invoice.

Q. If I want to re-order do I have to pay any setting up costs again?
A. No you pay these on the first order only. We also keep your artwork indefinitely so any repeat orders can be made at any time.

 

Questions About Manufacture and Packaging

Q. I want to add my own sew-in labels – can this be done?
A. Yes we can add labels. We ask the customer to provide us with the labels to our specification. We are able to supply the names of label manufacturing companies we can recommend – please contact us for details.

Q. I want a specific handle length on my bag / a different sized apron / my labels sewn in to the seam in a special position / a product you do not already produce? Etc, etc
A. Please contact us as we have our own in-house sewing unit and can make your product to your specific requirements adding all sorts of bespoke features.

Q. I need my products packed in a specific way – can you do this?
A. Yes we have an in-house Quality Control and Despatch department that can individually package items as required. We can also print and attach swing tickets, barcodes, inserts, headers, wrap-arounds etc so please ask if you require anything along these lines too.


 

Commemorative Giftware Questions

 

Questions About Artwork

Q. I want you to produce a design from my references - what do I need to send in?
A. We will need a short written brief about how you would like your finished design to appear. Some customers also like to send in a sketch or rough visual (please note it does not need to be artistic at all - that’s our job!) of how they would like the artwork laid out. Please also let us know what text, logos etc are required plus if you have any requirements for a special border etc.
With regard to the actual references; we can work from a wide variety of sources. These range from digital photos, actual photographs, post cards, guide books, sketches etc. When we are re-drawing the images there is not normally a copyright issue but we would advise if we thought there was a problem before commencing the design.

Q. I need your design team to come up with a design concept from scratch – is this possible?
A. Sometimes customers come to us with no clear idea of what they want or need us to construct their initial idea in to a design without having anything definite to show us. With a vast amount of experience in the giftware market we can draw upon our years of design experience and suggest various ideas. We are always happy to help in this way so please ask if you require assistance.

Q. I want to submit my own design – how do I do this?
A. You can submit either hard copy for us to scan (we can scan up to A1 in size) or digital files. If you want to submit digital files please see the specifications below.

Q. What are your artwork specifications?
A. Please send digital files at no less that 300dpi at actual print size. We can accept pdf, jpg, tif and eps files plus Photoshop and Illustrator files. Please ensure any fonts are either rasterised or converted to outlines or alternatively please include the font folder in PC format. If you want to send in another file format please call to discuss suitability.

Q. Do you have templates for the various products so we can set the artwork up ourselves?
A. Yes we have templates for all the products. Please contact us and we can email them to you.

Q. How can I send my artwork?
A. If your file is under 7mb we can receive it by email otherwise many of our customers are using free web services services such as Mail Big File, We Transfer or Drop Box for larger files.

Q. Do I see a visual before ordering?
A. We always supply a visual before we print so if amendments are required they can be carried out at this stage.

Q. Once my design is complete can I use it on other items in your range?
A. Yes, the design can be transferred on to any of the giftware in our range and if the design is in single colour there is no extra charge for this.

Q. What are the lead times for the artwork stage?
A. For more straightforward jobs, just requiring a small amount of our design input, the lead times are normally 7 – 14 days approximately. For designs requiring our artists to actually draw the various scenes then we are normally looking at around 28 days approximately from receipt of order.

Q. What are the lead times once I confirm my design is ready to go to print?
A. Our despatch times from acceptance of the design for the textile items, paper products and garments are approximately 21 – 28 days. Mugs and melamine take around 28 days. However if you have a specific delivery date in mind, please let us know when you first order and providing it is realistic, we will make every effort to achieve this for you.

Questions About Ordering

Q. What happens once you have received my artwork and order?
A. We will send out an order confirmation in around 7 days from receipt of your order confirming the sample date, lead times for despatch plus details of products required, delivery addresses etc. Please check your order confirmation carefully and inform us if any changes are required at this stage.

Q. I have received my emailed visual/paper proof/sample and I am happy to go ahead – what do I do now?
A. Please contact us by email or return the confirmation form enclosed with the paper proof/sample to confirm your order. You can also confirm initially by phone too if you like so we can be getting on with your order whilst we wait for your written confirmation to arrive.

Q. What are your minimum order quantities?
A. Our minimum quantities vary from 25 to 100 items depending on the product ordered.  For details please refer to our price lists which are available as PDFs on our Downloads Page.

Q. Do your prices include vat?
A. No, our prices are exclusive of vat.  Vat needs to be added on to the prices quoted at 20%.  If you need any assistance please contact our Sales Team for advice.

Q. What constitutes a carriage paid order?
A. Carriage is free on orders over £300.00 goods total before vat. For orders under £300.00 please refer to our price list for carriage costs which is available as a PDF on our Downloads Page.

Q. When do I need to pay?
A. We do not need payment up-front. We send an invoice out when your goods are despatched. Our payment terms are then 30 days from receipt of invoice.

Q. How can I pay?
A. We accept cheques, credit card payment or payment by BACS. The BACS details are printed on the invoice.

Q. If I want to re-order do I have to pay any setting up costs again?
A. No you pay these on the first order only. We also keep your artwork indefinitely so any repeat orders can be made at any time.

 

Questions About Manufacture and Packaging

Q. I want to add my own sew-in labels – can this be done?
A. Yes we can add labels. We ask the customer to provide us with the labels to our specification. We are able to supply the names of label manufacturing companies we can recommend – please contact us for details.

Q. I want a specific handle length on my bag / a different sized apron / my labels sewn in to the seam in a special position / a product you do not already produce? Etc, etc
A. Please contact us as we have our own in-house sewing unit and can make your product to your specific requirements adding all sorts of bespoke features.

Q. I need my products packed in a specific way – can you do this?
A. Yes we have an in-house Quality Control and Despatch department that can individually package items as required. We can also print and attach swing tickets, barcodes, inserts, headers, wrap-arounds etc so please ask if you require anything along these lines too.

 


School Fundraising Questions

 

Questions About Artwork

Q. What free artwork kits are available?
A. There is a free artwork kit available for every product so please contact us and we will post them out to you as required.

Q. How many children can I fit on a tea towel, apron, calendar etc.
A. All our free artwork kits give exact instructions about the number of drawings that will fit on to each product.  (This can be downloaded as a PDF file by following this link to our Downloads Page). For example up to 300 drawings can be fitted on to a tea towel. Our Sales Team can advise you how many kits you will need when you contact us.

Q. When using the artwork kit for the tea towels can I take my drawings right up to the thicker outside line if I want one of your decorative borders around the edge?
A. Yes, take the drawings right up to the inside edge of the thicker line and we will then add your choice of border around the outside of the design.

Q. Can I add my own border to the outside of my tea towel, notelet etc.
A. Yes, you can take up to 3cm outside of the thicker line on the tea towel artwork kit to add your own border.

Q. Can you design a specific border, say, with the dates commemorating the school anniversary?
A. Yes we can, please contact us for details and cost.

Q. Can I send in my drawings for your design team to paste up instead?
A. Yes, but we do make a small charge for this service. Please call for a quote.

Q. I notice you asked for all the drawings to be in black felt pen but some of our children have used pencil and blue biro. Do we need to complete the drawings again?
A. Whilst pencil etc not ideal; because we have such expertise gained over thirty five years of reproducing children’s artwork we can cope with most types of drawings. So please do not worry, send the artwork in and we are sure we will be able to work with it.

Q. Can I phone for assistance whilst producing my artwork?
We have a team of designers, all experts in dealing with children’s artwork so please feel free to call in with any queries you may have. We are here to assist in any way we can.

Q. Is there any charge for adding the name of the school, logos etc.
A. No we do not make any charge for this. Please advise what text is required for the school name in ‘Special Instructions’ on the order form. Logos can be submitted as hard copy or emailed to us. Where the logo is concerned please try to find the clearest example to send to us.

Questions About Ordering

Q. How long will my order take?
A. We aim to despatch a proof within 7–10 days of receiving your artwork and then despatch of your order takes approximately 21 days from confirmation of proof.

Q. I need my tea towels more quickly. What is your 14 Working Day Service all about?
A. We offer a quicker despatch service for all our School Fundraising products if required. A proof of your artwork is not supplied with this service and instead we go straight to print. The goods are despatched approximately 14 working days from receipt of your artwork which in reality works out just under 21 days including the weekends.

Q. You have received my artwork – what happens next?
A. We will send out an order confirmation in around 7 days from receipt of your order confirming the proof date (if required), lead times for despatch plus details of products required, delivery addresses etc. Please check your order confirmation carefully and inform us if any changes are required at this stage.

Q. I have received my proof and I am happy to go ahead – what do I do now?
A. Please contact us by email or return the confirmation form enclosed with the paper proof/sample to confirm your order. You can also confirm initially by phone too if you like so we can be getting on with your order whilst we wait for your written confirmation to arrive.

Q. What are your minimum order quantities?
A. Our minimum quantities vary from 25 to 100 items depending on the product ordered (and 12 only for garments). For details please refer to our price list available as a PDF on our Downloads Page

Q. Do your prices include vat?
A. No, our prices are exclusive of vat so you need to add this on as an extra 20% on top of our quoted prices.  If you are finding this tricky to work out please call and one of our Sales Team will assist you..

Q. What constitutes a carriage paid order?
A. Carriage is free on orders over £300.00 goods total before vat. For orders under £300.00 please go to our Downloads Page for our PDF School Price List which details our carriage costs.

Q. When do I need to pay?
A. We do not need payment up-front. We send an invoice out when your goods are despatched. Our payment terms are then 30 days from receipt of invoice.

Q. How can I pay?
A. We accept cheques, credit card payment or payment by BACS. The BACS details are printed on the invoice.

Q. If I have sold out can I make a repeat order?
A. Yes repeat orders can be made at any time. Smaller minimums apply to many of the products so please contact us for details.