T-Shirt printer recommendations, please

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by nfable, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2007
    I've gone to the Goog, but hoping an esteemed member of MRF has has great experiences with a company first hand that will give me some options for sourcing inexpensive custom t-shirt solutions for a potential client. The client sez they have been quoted around $12/shirt and I'm awaiting to find out that source.

    Not interested in iron-on; must be quality that can stand washings & wear.

    Any recommendations welcomed!

  2. macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005

    It depends on what you're looking for...

    Silkscreening will always be the cheapest option, usually ranging between $5 and $8 per shirt, depending on the number of colors being printed, type of shirt, and number of sides being printed.

    Direct-to-Garment (aka DTG or Digital) will be more expensive, but unlike silkscreen, there is no heavy "patch" feel. It is essentially an over-sized inkjet printer that pulls the shirt into the bay and prints directly on the shirt with a water-soluble dye that dyes the cotton fibers directly. It will not crack or peel like a silkscreened shirt will over time.

    Pricing for both of these options will be affected by quantity of shirts as well - most silkscreen printers will have a minimum order requirement, whereas DTG can do one-offs.

    I used to work for a t-shirt printing company named Big Frog (www.bigfrog.com). They have stores located across the country, so you may want to see if there is one located near you, otherwise they can, and will, fulfill your order and ship it to you. You will want to ask them if they have the printer with the white ink, as that is needed to print on darker colored shirts (i.e. navy blue, brown, black, etc.) as the white ink will be layed down first and the color printed on top of it. The white acts as a "foundation" for the color so it doesn't get absorbed into the cotton and not show up.

    Hopefully this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  3. macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Custom Ink

    Take a look at Custom Ink (http://www.customink.com/)
    Our church just ordered about 35 Shirts with 2 color front printing (1 area) on a really nice 50/50 blend T and they came to about $9/ea. the more you order the cheaper they get.

    We have ordered from other places in the past but this is the best experience we have had yet. The service was fantastic and we received them 1 week after ordering with the free shipping.

    (and No, i don't work for them)
  4. macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    I'll second custom ink. Went with them for relay for life last year. They were wonderful to work with, both online and over the phone.
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2007
    Thanks guys, I will check them out - I also greatly appreciate any educational tid-bits like those given as my comfort zone for printing is brochures and the like to date.

    Any more sugs welcome!

  6. macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2013
    I've used TeeTick before and been happy. They do small custom orders, and will happily walk you through the process there in house.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    at the end of the hall
    I always go local. Look in your town and see what you can get. I recently got about 2 dozen shirts done, a mix of performance Ts and regular cotton, and the price was 20% less than any of the online places, and way easier to work with. Just my 2¢.
  8. macrumors newbie


    Mar 24, 2015
    You can check out a company called Big Frog. I used to work for them and the pricing is pretty decent, plus there's one (at least) in most states.
  9. macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2015
    N. Central Arkansas
    Check out local printers before you go the online route. I work for a place that does screenprinting, and I can't tell you how many times people have brought in designs they did on the Custom Ink website, then found out the charge would be more than they wanted to pay or it would take too long. Custom Ink farms out their printing. The printer has to make a profit, and so does Custom Ink. If there's a problem, a local company will usually bend over backward to keep you happy and deliver on time.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2014
    ys tnk
  11. macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2015
    I have a few Direct-to-Garment T-shirts. It's what Redbubble uses for my designs. I don't believe there's a great deal of difference in durability, although I've not owned them long enough to be 100% certain. It's a relatively new process, whereas I still have Screenprinted designs I created from the 1990's.

    The Direct-to-Garment process does have a couple of advantages. The obvious being small print runs are economical. Also you can produce full CMYK color, so your color palette (number of colors in a single design) is far not limited.

    Personally, I prefer Screenprinting. But then it's a technology I've used for almost 2 decades, so it's probably a preference based solely on familiarity. :)

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