4 answers

T shirt businesses

Asked New York, New York

Hi, im Shailah and im a 15 yr old who attends August. i have to create a business for my business class , and i chose to make t- shirts. My t-shirts are all cotton , and you can put whatever design, logo, or slogan on the t-shirt. I have a question about what will be the best way to get the design on the t-shirts because iron ons do not last that long. #design #artist #graphics #clothing

4 answers

J’s Answer

Updated Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Hi Shailah,

You should check out this website, which go through 10 ways of creating t-shirts:

  1. Silk screen printing
  2. Hand painting
  3. Tie and Dye
  4. Stenciling and reverse stenciling
  5. Bleaching
  6. Airbrushing and spraying
  7. Stamping
  8. Iron ons
  9. Embroidery
  10. Online services

Some of these methods are easier than others, but the costs also differ. I think you want your customers to be able to design their own t-shirts, which is a great idea, but you'll have to be careful about how to be profitable. If each of your customers wants a different t-shirt, and you only make 1 of each t-shirt, that will be more expensive per t-shirt than if you printed 100 t-shirts that were the same. You might want to check out the business model of threadless, which allows anyone to design a t-shirt, but asks the community to vote on their favorite designs (which are sold in larger quantities).

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Kat’s Answer

Updated Sunnyvale, California

I have ordered many shirts for my club and the best so far have been the screen printed shirts. However, it only makes sense if you are making multiple shirts with that design, since you will have to create a screen for each pattern. With that said, if using the right materials, the dye dries pretty quickly on the shirt with the help of a heat press, and it is "permanent". Very comfortable and doesn't fade.

Colin’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Screen printing is the way to go if you're making multiple batches of shirts and looking for professional quality and consistency. Learning to screen print is fun, but it's not cheap to buy your own 4 color press, let alone have a place to print and do your own screens. You can rely on a third party to do all the printing, but it will cost more in the long run and profit margins will be slimmer.

Threadless is great inspiration for designs, and for ideas on building a site to facilitate custom designs check out Zazzle http://www.zazzle.com/.

If you're making your own designs and original artwork you'll want to use Adobe Illustrator or a similar program so you can make designs that can be enlarged and resized infinitely to meet your design needs.

Juan’s Answer

Updated Tempe, Arizona

There's also sublimation which actually dyes the fabric. It does have its drawbacks. You can read more on dye sublimation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sublimation_printer. Good Luck!