“It’s ready”, you whisper to yourself. You look to your window and notice the soft, glowing blueness of dawn seeping through your blinds. You’ve just spent hours finishing the t-shirt design that’s been haunting your mind for the past couple of days and images of people wearing your custom t-shirts start flooding your mind.
What’s next? You have the design, now you need the screen printed t-shirt. When starting your own custom t-shirt line, it’s important to understand how large a part the quality of your garment plays in the success of your brand. You may have a stylish design idea, but if the t-shirt your graphic is printed on doesn’t feel good or fit well, will people wear it?
For example, if you’ve ever walked into a grocery or convenience store, you may have noticed a rack of screen printed t-shirts for sale. The shirts usually adorn a magnificent bald eagle with piercing, patriotic eyes and an American flag as the backdrop or even majestic wolves howling at a full, pale blue moon. Awe-inspiring as they may be, these types of t-shirts are typically sold at a very low price. If you’ve ever tried any of them on, you’d understand why. “Boxy”, “ill fitting”, and “stiff” could be adjectives used to describe them. They’re not necessarily the pinnacle of trendy fashion.
In contrast, the t-shirts typically found at premium clothing retailers can be described as the opposite: soft, comfortable, with a great fit. The quality of the material used to make the t-shirt makes the difference between what is considered “retail quality” and “economy quality.” It also plays a part in how much a custom t-shirt will be worn.
If the shirt fits, feels and looks good, then, chances are it’s going to be worn over and over again. It becomes a tool used to represent the wearer’s identity and personality. Custom t-shirts made of a lower quality material are typically unflattering. In essence, the quality of the t-shirt will determine whether it will be constantly used as part of an outfit or something to be worn only around the house.
When creating a successful clothing line, budgeting will always dictate the decisions you make. How “much does this cost? If I spend X amount of dollars on this, will I get a return on my investment?” After all, you’re not running a charity here. Well, unless you’re literally running a clothing charity, but you get the point. Obviously, premium quality t-shirts are more expensive than your standard quality t-shirts. So, is it worth paying more for a retail quality shirt?
There’s a term used in the marketing world called Cost Per Impression or (CPI). It’s normally used in online advertising and refers to cost or expense for each potential customer who views the advertisement paid for. It’s a way to determine whether the number of views for an ad substantiates the cost of paying for it. In this case, we’re looking at screen printed t-shirts. Every custom t-shirt your company produces can be considered an ad for your brand.
Standard Quality T-Shirt
If you go the “standard t-shirt” route, you’re going with a second-string player. Still, a solid choice for its purposes but there’s a better option for a retail clothing brand. The standard shirt may not have the best fit and feel. It won’t be as soft and it won’t have that coveted tailored fit.
Therefore, the chances of it being worn often decrease.
Retail Quality T-Shirt
Let’s flip the script and say you go with the retail quality shirt or “premium” option. The cost per shirt is more expensive. However, the material feels, fits and looks a lot better. The quality increases the likelihood of the shirt being worn more.
Another thing to consider when choosing a custom t-shirt for screen printing is durability. Lower quality t-shirts that are 100% cotton tend to shrink more often after several washes. Because of this, they usually end up in a donation box, at a Goodwill, or as a wash rag.
Now think of your favorite custom t-shirt and the number of times you’ve worn and washed it. Chances are it still fits the way you like. The longer a t-shirt lasts, the more it gets worn and the more it gets worn, let’s say it together, “the more impressions it will get.”
More impressions justify the extra cost of the retail quality t-shirt. If your custom t-shirts aren’t being worn, then you’re missing a vital part of the marketing for your brand. Fortunately, there are various shirt manufacturers that provide retail quality t-shirts at affordable prices. We’re talking soft, light, nicely cut t-shirts that will help represent your brand to it’s fullest potential. Here are a few:
For those starting out in the custom t-shirt industry, it’s always tempting to prioritize savings over quality and that’s understandable. However, it’s important to consider the part quality plays in your customer’s decision to purchase your product, wear your product, and possibly re-purchase from your brand again. If you’re in for the long haul, getting educated on the various types of screen printed t-shirts will help your brand succeed.
Here at Oh Boy, we can help you with that. Contact us with questions about screen printing for your brand.
YATHARTH JOSHI says
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Oh Boy! Print Shop says
Glad to help!
This is very nice post. It is also very helpful for us. I have been searching this types of article. Some days ago I read an article about t shirt, but this post is better than post.
Derek Dewitt says
I am thinking about getting custom t-shirts for my friends and I, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about how shirts that are 100% cotton tend to shrink in the wash. We’ll look for somewhere that has premium quality shirts so that this doesn’t happen to us.
Oh Boy! Print Shop says
We would be happy to help you with your custom t-shirt order. We are a t-shirt printing shop. Good luck with your project!
Tony Eberle says
Nice and informative share. The vivid description makes more comfortable to read and thoroughly I enjoyed it.
Oh Boy! Print Shop says
Tony, thank you for the feedback. We’re glad you found the post to be helpful!
Ava Murphy says
I do agree that it’s important to consider the durability and quality of the T-Shirts that you will use for custom printing to make sure that they won’t easily shrink after several washes. My family is planning a reunion party, so we’re looking to have custom T-Shirts to be printed. Since we want to be able to use our custom shirts for a long time, we will make sure to choose T-Shirts that are durable and was made of high-quality materials. Thanks!
Great guidance. Cost Per Impression or (CPI) is what I learnt from this post. The combinations and the fitness are pretty well guided. Thank you for sharing the valuable advice.
Oh Boy! Print Shop says
Awesome, glad to help!
Braden Bills says
I want to have some custom t-shirts made. It makes sense that I would want to get the right clothes to print onto! I’ll be sure to find something that doesn’t feel too stiff or anything. That way it will be nice and easy to wear.
Wade Joel says
I never knew there was a quality of shirt between retail quality and economy quality. I definitely want to make superior quality shirts for my business that give a lasting impression! Thank you for your tips, I will keep this in mind when I get my business shirts made.
Swaham Artesign says
Standard and retail quality t shirts sound to be interesting concepts. This post gave me much detail information regarding it. Also the difference between both is easy to understand. Thanks for such informative post.
Gillian Babcock says
My cousin is part of the baseball team and he wanted his team to have their own shirt. It was explained here that it will be best to print in a retail quality custom shirt. Moreover, it’s recommended to go to trusted shops when planning to have custom printed apparel boxes.
Michael Lee says
I like that you said that a good shirt becomes part of people’s identity. I have been thinking about getting a custom shirt made from apparel screen printing. How you bought up the Cost Per Impression really opened my eyes, I like the idea of thinking like that.
Caden Dahl says
I honestly agree with you that if the quality of the shirt if higher, then it does have a better chance of being worn. As you said here, the longer a shirt lasts, the longer it’ll get worn. Now it will be a little bit more expensive due to the higher quality material but I wouldn’t mind paying for something that would last longer.
Sam Li says
I agree with what you said about durability and it’s a crucial factor to consider when creating a custom t-shirt. I think that shirts with motivational sayings are great because they inspire others. If I were to purchase such a shirt, I would make sure to contact a store that can hook me up with the best shirt out there.
Callum Palmer says
I’ve done some custom t-shirts in the past but this was a very long time ago and they didn’t turn out that well. I’m wanting to get them redone finally and I want them to have a high amount of quality. As you said here, it would be a good idea to go with higher quality materials if you want the shirts to last.
Thomas Jameson says
It’s good to know that investing in high-quality, custom print t-shirts will pay off when the shirts are worn more often. My wife has been looking for a way to promote an event that she volunteers for, and high-quality t-shirts seem like a great way to do that. I’ll be sure to pass this information along to her so that she can look into her options for printing t-shirts.
Amanda Pride says
That way it will be nice and easy to wear. You can also use custom boxes for your brand advertising.
Ron Booker says
I like how you mentioned that low-quality T-shirts tend to shrink more often after several washes. My friend told me that he wants to make some custom shirts for the work team with the logo in them. I’m going to suggest him making his own custom shirts for better durability fabric designs.
Sarah Smith says
I really like the idea of a custom T-shirt. It would be great to have a motivational one for running. I’ll start looking for some quality T-shirts.
Christina J. Banks says
You are absolutely right. I am also using a Champion t-shirt for all of my clients and they are happy with the quality!