Advice on custom print t-shirts for work
April 20, 2017 3:05 AM   Subscribe

I am in the NYC area and am looking to get t-shirts printed for myself and the rest of my coworkers. We will be wearing these for fairly strenuous outside work so they need to breathe well and be fairly sturdy. I'd like them to look good as well. Where should I get them printed, what kind of shirt fabric and what are things to keep in mind to make things look good?

We would probably be getting more than 20 shirts done, with a strong possibility of more if things work out well. We range in size from XL men's to S women's but could probably consolidate that if it makes it easier.

I could do single color or two color.

The printing would be two logos and some text for which I have high res files.

Can you recommend a place that will do this in the NYC area - if we have to pick things up, it would be preferable if the place was in southern Westchester.

What are things that I should be keeping in mind to make this work as well as possible?
posted by sciencegeek to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (2 answers total)
Maybe try an online tshirt site like and have them delivered? Their shirts are reasonably sturdy.
posted by mark7570 at 6:33 AM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have been dealing with getting custom shirts printed this week, so this sort of thing is on my mind. I don't have local recommendations for you, but here are some things to think about:

- Shirt type: "Looks good" and "strenuous outside work" might not be compatible. Most of the Looks Good shirts (American Apparel, Alternative Apparel, etc) are made of softer, thinner material and are not really the best to get sweaty (ie see-thru) in. To me, Work Shirt means your standard Gildan which is fine as they are pretty affordable and people are used to them.

- Sizing: Trying to figure out women's sizing threw me for a loop - just look and the answers to the question I posted, there is just no way to make everybody happy with size, cut, logo placement, etc. I ended up getting my design printed as a tote which was one of the compromise things that I now regret. There are certain minimums that need to be filled for each size (depends on your printer - ask!). You can get individual custom shirts done (direct to garment printing, for example), but that runs into $$$ (8$/shirt turns in to 20$ real fast).

- Number: You want to look at doing 4 dozen shirts or so to get a price break. Again, you can do fewer, but that raises the cost per shirt.

- Logos: If you are doing two print locations and two colors, then that's four silk screens that need to be set up which is 25$-35$ a pop. If you're looking to save money, try to consolidate either number of location or color.

- Logos 2: Is your logo a big one? Would it cover a large area? Is it light text on dark cloth? Using standard plastisol ink, that could create a plasticly "plate" like design that would not be breathable. I really like discharge inks, which are inks that bleach and re-dye the fabric to your color. After a wash, you can't really feel the ink there. Totally worth the extra 50c-1$ per shirt as it keeps stuff flexible.

- Future Shirts: Be sure to look in to how your printer treats reordering shirts. Some places only keep the screens around for a few months, so if you want more next year, you'll need to pay those setup costs as well. Also, and I literally just learned this yesterday, be sure to ask/record the color mix used on your shirts. I just restocked a bunch of S/M shirts and they came out several shades lighter than the originals. Not the end of the world, but an increase in inventory management on my part.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:37 AM on April 20, 2017

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