First of all – I’m not a big fan of heat transfers. I have had a few problems with shirts made that way in the past, with designs being destroyed in no time. However, I’ve learned it was mostly because of my indolence – guess I should have actually read what is written on the label (maintance / washing / ironing…). I also think this is the main reason why people are more attracted to buying shirts which are silk-screened or printed some other way. Well, they say only fools don’t change their opinions – and how about you change yours?
Not while ago I was approached by Athens, Greece apparel called Arteefact with a review request for one of their tees. Since I had the privilege to choose – and since we like to have a diversity of shirt reviews here at Tee Zine – I chose the women-styled tee called “In Wonder”, which is a three-color vinyl design printed onto white or black shirts (our choice was a black tee). Now, I must state that the whole philosophy behind Arteefact is that they aim to change the way the vinyl is used on garment, and with this design that aim is even harder to reach because of a lot of curves used in the design and the interaction of 3 colors / 3 parts of the cutted vinyl. Upon unpacking the parcel it was more than obvious that they have managed to create a really great looking design. It was also obvious that Arteefact is paying an attention to details, which will be discussed later.
It was the time to try the shirt on. First impressions were that the shirt is very tight and very soft at the same time, and the feeling is almost like you’re not wearing anything. It’s mainly because the shirt is made of lycra in huge percentage (I couldn’t find the info on shirt labels nor on their site, but the shirt is extremely elastic – I guess it’s a mixture of lycra and cotton). And since I know it’s very important for a lady to feel comfortable in these kind of shirts I give a big thumb up to Artefact for the choosing of a garment!
The design itself looks really great, all delicate and dreamy, and I guess it would grab an attention of anyone who feels young – although it’s obvious this is mainly a “girly” design that not many men would pick. To me it is almost impossible how they’ve managed to plot such ticklish curves from vinyl. Plus – Arteefact states they use one of the thinnest vinyls around, so it’s a double win. You can feel the extreme softness of a transferred vinyl beneath your fingers, which changes my perception of heat-transfered designs and shirts made that way, especially since other designs of that kind often feel thick, which may look displeasing.
I already stated Arteefact is paying attention to details, and one of the examples is a back print on each one of their shirts. In case of this particular shirt they’ve printed their logo on the very bottom edge of it. Not only that – each one of their shirts is numbered (our review sample is numbered #406), which means you’ll receive a shirt which is made especially for you. That’s the way Arteefact operates with every one of their orders: when you choose your style, design, color and size from their online shop – your shirt is being made by plotting the design, weeding unnecessary details and transfering it onto garment. That’s why Arteefact numbers their products (even though I don’t like to talk about these kind of shirts as “products”). We loved this particular detail and it’s position at the back of the shirt, which is both unique and eye-catching.
Apart from preparing their shirts especially for the person who ordered them, Arteefact is also open for your own ideas. That means – if you have a concept for a tee design, just email them and they will be more than happy to make it happen (if so – please inform us ). This approach have it’s own logic – Arteefact exceeds the term “our label” to “my label” (from your perspective). And there’s not many apparels doing it, right?
In my opinion, self-awerness is very important for a label, especially for the starting one. Otherwise the label may loose it’s own identity among dozens of labels out there. Seems like Arteefact knows this very well, judging by their simple logo with a safety pin image. It’s very convenient because the label becomes recognizible very easily. Arteefact shirts have their own neck labels where the logo is on one side, and the link to their website on the other. Plus, they’ve also attached a cardboard label / visit card to the shirt, stating “you’re not the clothes you wear”, which I think is rather cool and – most of all – true.
With all this being said, I think Arteefact really has the power to change your perception of heat-transfered tee designs. Plus, they’re aimed to create really outstanding designs, where you can’t help but ask yourself “how the hell did they manage to cut out THIS out of vinyl”?! Just head over to their website and you will see it for yourself. This also shows Arteefact has it’s own design signature, paying extra attention to the lines and shapes. On the other hand, I know some people will have a problem with the use of vinyl. Myself not so much (I’m much more concerned about the huge amount of nylon shopping bags in my country). I look at that this way: if maintained properly, the shirt should last for years because of the specific characteristic of vinyl (fading / abrasion / stain resistance among all). And if you outgrow your shirt in the meantime – you can always give it to someone else. I know I enjoyed my father’s clothes “from back in the day”, ha ha…
“In Wonder” tee is available for 20 Euros through Arteefact online shop. Go there and gift yourself with an opportunity to try something different and unique.