T-Shirt Screenprinting!
December 28, 2006 2:00 PM   Subscribe

I want to get a large quantity of t-shirts made for my start-up company.... any recommendations?

I am looking for best quality, cheapest price, and fastest turnaround...

Don't have very much in my budget so any tips on getting a good deal would be appreciated too.

posted by Gankmore to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How large a quantity is large? What's your budget? Do you need original graphics created or designed, or do you have the design ready to go? Are we talking one color ink on white shirts, or something more complicated in terms of colors?
posted by decathecting at 2:01 PM on December 28, 2006

also, what's your location?
posted by twistofrhyme at 2:08 PM on December 28, 2006

Merch Direct
posted by blueplasticfish at 2:09 PM on December 28, 2006

Response by poster: Looking for about 3000 shirts to start... the design is ready to go... I think it would be like a 2 or 3 color logo across the front. I have some other designs that I eventual want to make t-shirts of that are a bit more complicated color-wise but that is a future project.

anyways, I just want plain white t-shirts, nothing fancy.
posted by Gankmore at 2:11 PM on December 28, 2006

Response by poster: located in the Bay but these shirts would be going to Kansas
posted by Gankmore at 2:14 PM on December 28, 2006

I've used Graffic Traffic in Oakland before, and they've always been both good quality and inexpensive.

If you can provide your printer with color separations, that tends to help cut down on the price regardless of the printer (assuming they're done right).

Also provide them with a "mock up" file that shows how you want the finished shirt to look, with the size and placement of your artwork on an illustration of a t-shirt. Less guess work for them is good. Adobe Illustrator comes with a t-shirt template, so I typically use that.
posted by nadise at 2:52 PM on December 28, 2006

You may get a better price overall by buying direct from a wholesaler like Bodek & Rhodes or Broder Brothers. Plain white t-shirts start at around $.99 each on a wholesale basis. There's always something on sale... Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, or Jerzees. There are really lightweight shirts avail, like 3 or 4 oz, but you may want to consider normal weight shirts, like you'd find in a Target or Walmart. Those are 5.3 or 6 oz.

A plain tee is usually about 5.3 oz, and if you're familiar with a Hanes "Beefy" tee, that's about 6 or 6.1 oz. Those will be a little more expensive.

I suggest you call one of the wholesalers, say you're a reseller, and ask for their best price on 3000 shirts. If the price is much higher than $1 each, ask to speak to a manager. If you live near one of their warehouses, you can pick them up and save on shipping too. Then take them to a screenprinter and they will just charge you for the printing.

I'm not sure that you will save money by buying the shirts yourself, but it might be worth exploring. I expect that screenprinters know that the public is unaware of how cheap plain white shirts are.
posted by kdern at 9:18 PM on December 28, 2006

missionimprinables.com and your local screenprinter or if you don't feel like dealing with all that and want to use a middleperson mixedbaggifts.com does the shirts and jackets for shows like Sopranos and the like. But all she's going to do is call missionimprintables and take them to a screenprinter in Gardena :)

posted by legotech at 10:16 PM on December 28, 2006

Response by poster: found great prices on buxtonbrown.com.

thanks everyone for the help.
posted by Gankmore at 3:07 AM on December 29, 2006

Although you may not check back, I just wanted to note that we used Buxton Brown for a large t-shirt order for our martial arts school and were VERY happy with them. Even with shipping to CT (i think they're in Florida?) their prices were very competitive.
posted by MsElaineous at 6:11 AM on December 29, 2006

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