T shirt Printing – how to get the best quality and value

How to get the Best Value Quality T shirt Printing and Cheap T Shirt Printing

(What’s the difference ?? - why we Guarantee our Results)

When Planning your T shirt Promotion or T shirt printing for your business, sports club or special event eg. Conference T-shirt to obtain best value from your T shirt buying, you will need to look at 3 Main Areas;

1)    Quality of the T shirt (mostly the Supplier and then the Printing)

2)    Colours – the Number, Size and Placement of how many Colours ?

3)    Existing Artwork and or Logo design – suitability for Screen printing

Quality of the T shirt (Supplier and Print)

It is highly recommended you buy your T shirts from a reputable importer/wholesale/supplier for several main reasons

  1. Quality Guarantee – those “in the Trade” reputable Importer/Wholesale/Supplier know that the T shirts they supply need to be suitable for Screen printing, Heat Transfer, direct to garment printing (in some cases), flocking and embroidery (aka decorating) – if the garment supplied is not suitable for its intended use – then you have a return path on the Garment. Those “in the Trade” suppliers will also tend to take particular care with the quality of their garments as they do not want container loads of T shirts being returned to them because they are poor quality and subsequent loss in future sales.
  2. Pre washes and softeners – those shirts from an unknown retail origin – Can be pre-treated to make the T shirt look and feel softer than the actual threads contained within – a chemical reaction can occur resulting in rapidly deteriorating,ink running and or general poor quality printing. Resulting in the printer never guaranteeing the print result on any non-trade supplied origin garments – due to the “Unknown” factor.

Quality Screen Printing

Know your Screen Printer, Print Broker – has he or she done plenty of similar jobs for happy customers ? (reputation) and does he or she work on reputation (trust) of supplying you the Best value quality option or is it simply the cheapest price = better ?  Are they committed to a long term relationship, or are they just in it for a quick buck? The best printed T shirt suppliers will give you a great price AND great quality, because they know that happy customers will be back again and tell their friends!

Colours – Number, Size and Placement

Take into consideration – the Colour of your T shirt and Use it to Save yourself Money !!  

For Example: if your logo is orange and black – Choose either a Black T shirt and print it Orange or better still an Orange T shirt and print it Black – Why ?

The cheapest way to print – will always be screen printing a dark colour on a light coloured T shirt – because it only needs One pass with the Dark ink to look good & get good coverage on the light coloured T shirt. A dark or black coloured T shirt will need to be printed AT LEAST TWICE to get a Good ink coverage of the lighter colour over the black (think about painting a black painted wall with white, how many coats do you have to give it before it looks a good white ?)

The greater the time & ink spent printing each T Shirt to get good coverage over a dark colour T shirt – adds to the cost and your price.


Each Additional Colour is an Additional Screen (Set Up and Process) = Costs More       

Each Additional Colour means Two things

  1. An Additional Screen needs to be Set Up (Artwork to film to Screen to print to Wash down) for that Colour
  2. The T Shirt is printed again (done again) with that colour to apply that colour after the first one has dried sufficiently.

More Colours = More Time & Set Up (the more complex the job) = Adds more to your Cost

BEST ADVICE = Try to keep your Number of Colours to a Minimum


T Shirt Colours – Size and Placement

Just as each colour dictates the number of screens (times a T shirt is physically printed) so does the size of the printing of each colour – for Example; if you are printing a logo on the left hand side breast pocket and the web site across the back of the shoulders – it may be possible to fit this all on the one screen (and save yourself the cost of an additional screen set up and print)

A large Graphic image for the back as well. When It won’t all fit on one screen means an additional screen and will require an additional screen with associated cost.

Front and Back – T shirts are NOT printed both sides at the same time. You have to wait for the front (one colour at a time) to dry before you can turn it over to do the back – double the process – double the time – not quite double the cost.

As a Basic Rule – try to work with (love) your printer or print proker to minimise the number of screens involved in your T shirt printing (time & effort in the set up and in the actual printing) to a minimise the Cost to get yourself the best possible value for money.

Artwork and/or Logo design – suitability

Screen Printing is not a full colour process – it is done one colour at a time - colour by colour into film then onto screen then onto the T Shirt – so does the artwork need to be provided !

Those familiar with printing understand that getting the artwork print ready can take most of to ½ the time to get the job done when it is not available in the correct format, colour breakdown, resolution and basically designed to be used for Screen printing.

If you do not have the artwork available from a previous screen printing job on file – you need to be very aware of the limitations and design requirements when specifying your for files to be designed specifically for screen printing.

Try to work with (love) your printer or Print Broker so that he or she can save you from known pitfalls, unnecessary artwork additional costs and design you the best possible value quality T shirt printing solution for you.








About Charlie Rainger

Independent & Flexible Printing in Cairns by Print Broker Network Regularly accessing over 200 different Printing suppliers with 1000’s of different Print machines & methods we efficiently achieve what You Want with Your Print We can explain a large range of alternative Printing Options and Solutions for your printing needs that takes advantage of the latest technology advancements and industry developments to meet both Your Budget and Time frame
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