Apparel,New Ideas

Everything you need to know about ordering tee shirts

If you prefer not to read through this whole post and would rather talk to someone live right now, I can be reached at 317-257-3466.

There are a number of tee shirt buyers out there.  They are as follows:

  1. Those looking for existing designs in small quantities.
  2. Those looking for existing designs with modifications in small/large quantities.
  3. Those looking for custom designs either designed for them or they already have the art.
  4. Those who already buy lots of tees and know what they are doing.
  5. Those looking for unique imprint methods and designs.

We deal mostly with 2, 3, 4 and 5.  Here are some of the basics.

  1. Timing:  How quickly do you need them?  We keep in stock at least 2000 white tees that are available to be printed in 24 hours provided we receive camera ready art.  If you are looking for any other styles, we have access to numerous styles that can be at our facility within 1-2 business days.  Certain name brands may take a little longer.  Standard delivery time for new orders is 3-7 days.
  2. Imprint method: 90% of all apparel jobs are done with standard inks or embroidery.  A standard white tee shirt with a 1 color, one location print and a minimum order of 100 shirts are $3.00 each with a $25 setup charge(free setup with mention of this post).  There are typically up charges for sizes over XL.  If you are looking for high density inks or any number of the unique glitters or Bling (diamond stones), there are only a few decorators that offer those imprint methods.  Unique printing will  bring your delivery time closer to 2-3 weeks, depending on complexity.
  3. Artwork:  In order for any printer to do the job fast and right, they need Vector art.  This is typically provided as an Adobe EPS or AI file.  If you have an idea of what you want, it is best to hand draw it and fax or e-mail it to us or better yet, search Google images to find approximately what you are looking for.  We have artists that vary in range from $15 per hour to $75 per hour. When doing short runs, try not to get to detailed when creating a new design, however if you are running 500 shirts or more or are looking to resell your product over and over again, artwork is what makes the shirt.  Think of the tee shirts you own and which ones you wear the most.
  4. Printing on whites, lights and darks.  With traditional screen printing, when you print on dark items, this requires you to lay down a base coat and flash the garment.  What does this mean???  Let’s make it simple…  If you were printing a white logo on a black tee, you would print the logo once, pass it under a heat lamp, which makes the ink semi dri and tacky, which allows you to print over it again, relatively quick.  If you did not do this, your first white imprint would be dull.  A small portion of the black shirt would show through the ink.  Therefore, the shirt mentioned above would be considered a 2 color job and the cost would go up for 2 reasons.  First the cost of the extra printing and the second reason is below.
  5. Color of garment:  When dealing with T-shirts, whites and natural color tee shirts are normally the least expensive, while light color tees have an up charge, premium color shirts another up charge and darks yet another up charge.  Rarely have I seen this tiered pricing based on color with polo’s, but it is common with sweat shirts.
  6. Shipping:  For vendors like us that do 1000’s of shirts a week, many of our wholesalers will give us free shipping on orders over $350 from their warehouse to our screen printing facility.  After we complete the job, the is a cost for us to ship direct to you, unless you choose to pick them up yourself.  If it is a large order, it makes sense to pick up yourself or have the garments couriered for additional savings.
  7. Packaging:  If you are doing mass events bulk is the standard method.  But if you are using these as gifts, I normally recommend having them folded and bagged.  There is typically an extra charge of $.15 to $.25 extra, but it is well worth it.  Do not fold and bag for large events, as they are likely to create a lot of trash lying around.  Be sure to ask that each bag is marked with the size of the garment.
  8. Retail packaging:  There are a number of up-scale brands that we can order in small quantities, print and do our own packaging but for the full retail look, you may need to order a minimum of 72 or 144 pieces for the factory to do their own packaging.  What is the difference?  Factory packaging for brands such as Callaway, Ashworth, Cutter Buck, Tehema, Antigua, etc… have tissue paper used in the wrapping.  Some of these are also available in shirt boxes or branded bags.  We can create this image in house using your own branded boxes, color of tissue paper or custom bags, to achieve the rich look you may be shooting for.  We can also supply all of these packages.  Or for another twist, we can turn it into a compressed tee shirt in the design of one of your products.
  9. Fulfillment:  Fulfillment is really designed specifically to fit your needs and is quoted accordingly.  While some people are looking to do minimal fulfillment, a company like might be the best solution, but for those looking to ship 1000’s of shirts, there are likely better choices.

If you are looking for the creative ideas and high quality service, contact us at