Best T-Shirts for Screen Printing

threadbird custom apparel screen printing
There are tons of different t-shirts brands out there, so don’t feel bad when you have no idea where to start when ordering yours. Hopefully this guide can help you out. Here are our four best t-shirts for screen printing:
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Best Printing Styles for Screen Printing

There is an ongoing debate over the best way to screen print. Threadbird Printing has been working to develop an answer so that we can continue to deliver the best possible product to our customers. What we’ve found is that each style has its pros and cons and there is not one perfect process. It also comes down to who is doing the actual printing (there are good printers and bad printers) and what the customer is looking for. Personally, I like my prints to be soft, either no-feel or with a slight hand (barely any feel). However, some customers associate a thicker print with higher quality.

One of the things I love about screen printing is the science behind it. The ink, as well as the shirt itself, have such an effect on the end result. The shirt color and fabric can affect the outcome of the print. An experienced printer knows this and can help you better understand what results you will get. For example, some people believe you can only use discharge on 100% cotton shirts. This is not true; however, discharge does work “best” on 100% Cotton. On tri-blends or 50/50 blends, a discharge print will come out looking faded and vintage which may be the look you are going for. If you are not looking for a vintage print and want to use discharge ink, 100% cotton is the only option.

So, let’s take a look at the 4 most popular print styles today: plastisol, waterbase, discharge and hybrid.

Plastisol

Plastisol screen printing is the traditional style of screen printing that has been around forever. It is the most commonly used ink for screen printing because it is the cheapest and most user-friendly. It works on all types of fabrics, produces bright colors and is perfect for color matching. Like the name implies, plastisol inks are essentially plastic. The major downside to using plastisol inks is that the thickness of the ink can make the final print a bit on the rough side, which can feel heavy and less breathable. Colors can also bleed together when they touch and you do not get as much detail. Very detailed prints with small dots or lines may not print well.
Plastisol
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5 Financial Mistakes For New Clothing Companies

We work with hundreds of different clothing companies every month.  Over the years we have seen lots of people with aspirations of starting their own clothing company have their dreams come crashing down around them, losing thousands of dollars along the way. There are many different reasons why this happens, but oftentimes, it’s a case of unrealistic financial expectations. Here are 5 mistakes I have seen time and time again.

Not Enough Money

So, you got a $300 tax refund? Why not start your own clothing line and  turn $300 into $100,000? While I won’t say it’s impossible, I will say it’s not likely. $300 will barely get you 50 printed t-shirts, which doesn’t leave enough money for a website, marketing, paying designers, etc. Plus, having a single t-shirt design doesn’t make you a clothing company. First, research how much it’s going to cost to launch your brand. How many designs you are going to start with? How many of each design will you print? What other expenses might you have along the way? If you don’t have enough money to do what you want right now, just wait and keep saving. This will give you more time for planning and research.
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Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton Comparison Chart

You’ve heard us say it before… not every t-shirt is created equal. When you start brainstorming your next order, you will be confronted with a long list of available garments in each Fabric category. This week, we’ve created a comparison chart to highlight the 6 most popular garments in the “Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton” category. In short, Ring Spun Cotton is a tighter, stronger weave with a softer feel. In the apparel industry, Ring Spun is often referred to as Fashion Fit. These shirts are a nice step up from your Basic Cotton shirt and are often preferred in the Clothing Industry.

In the following chart, we have listed the 6 most popular Ring Spun Cotton Short Sleeve T-Shirts, showing their price per garment based on the number of colors in the print. To help you better understand how to use this chart, let’s take an example:

Acme, Inc. wants to print a 2 color design on the Gildan 64000. Using the following chart, they would find G64000 under the header ‘2 Color’. The price per garment is $5.85. Since they are printing 100 shirts, they would multiply $5.85 x 100 shirts to get their total of $585.

Be sure to read the Manufacturer’s description following the chart to find out more about each particular garment. Please email us any time if you have questions about a particular garment or if you would like a recommendation.

Chart Comparing Short Sleeve Ring Spun Cotton T-Shirts

American Apparel 2001

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.3oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 100% Fine Jersey Cotton (Heather Grey contains 10% Polyester). Durable rib neckband. Made of 100% fine ring-spun combed cotton, this lightweight fine jersey is exceptionally smooth and tight-knit, making it a perfect surface for screen printing.

Anvil 980

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 100% Combed Ring Spun Preshrunk Cotton Jersey. Side seamed with shoulder-to-shoulder tape. Double-needle stitching on sleeve and bottom hem.

Canvas 3001

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.2oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | Comfort and style with a super-soft drape you want to sleep in. 30-single 100% combed and ring-spun cotton 4.2oz shoulder taping.

Gildan 64000

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | Narrower 3/4″ rib knit collar. Deluxe 30’s ring spun softness. Euro style fit in neck/shoulder/sleeves. Seamless double needle collar. Taped neck and shoulders. Double needle sleeves and bottom hem. Quarter-turned to eliminate center crease.

Next Level 3600

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.3oz | 100% RIng Spun Cotton | 100% Combed Ring Spun Jersey Cotton. Set in collar.

Tultex 0202

Manufacturer’s Description:

Weight: 4.5oz | 100% Ring Spun Cotton | 30/1’s fine knit jersey. Tubular construction. Ribbed crew taped neck and shoulders with double needle sleeves and bottom hem. Tear-away tag. Reactive dyed. Dischargeable (Heather – 90% Cotton/10% Polyester).

 


Unisex Shirts… Not Really.

The term Unisex in the garment world means that it will fit most “everyone, male or female. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be flattering. With current trends in fashion, most people are looking for a slim-fitted look. Unisex shirts will be slim and fitted on some, mostly men, but they will not be slim and fitted on women. Let’s face it, men and women are built differently, so doesn’t it make sense that clothing is built differently for men and women? Most people want garments specifically cut for their fit, and most, if not all garment manufacturers know this and make a “Unisex” (or men’s cut) shirt and a Women’s cut shirt. Read on to see how unisex shirts fit!

The 6 most popular Unisex soft style ring spun cotton shirts in the printing world are listed below, along with their women’s equivalent.

American Apparel

American Apparel 2001 – Unisex (Men’s Cut) vs. AA 2102 – Women’s Equivalent

American Apparel 2001
American Apparel 2102

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Fibrillation in Screen Printing

Why does my new shirt look old? There is a simple one-word answer for this question: Fibrillation. To simplify a complicated issue, fibrillation in screen printing is when the fibers of a garment stick through the print, giving the shirt a post-washed or vintage, faded look. It is often mistakenly assumed to be an ink problem such as wash-out. The difference between wash-out and fibrillation, is that wash-out tends to happen in patches, whereas fibrillation appears as a more even “faded” look to the print. See the gallery of photos below – a real life example of fibrillation: