It’s been weeks. You think to snag your calculator and add up the hours it’s taken you to complete your t-shirt design, but your brain has switched gears.
Anticipation builds as you imagine your website flooded with orders for your new t-shirt. As many folks do, you rush to a fresh tab on your browser and type in the words ‘cheap t-shirts.’ After all, there’s no guarantee that these t-shirts will sell, and you don’t want to be stuck with a large order of expensive shirts. Right?
This is the mental trap that many folks fall into as they begin to add merchandise to their business or organization. Unfortunately, this mindset leads to one of two things: low sales or low visibility. T-shirts are often the one article of clothing people accumulate most over time, so the pressure to stand out with a strong design is already immense. If you present your hard-earned design on a cheap t-shirt, your odds of making sales drop dramatically.
The right mindset for t-shirts is to think of them as an investment in the future of your business or organization. Essentially, they are free advertising, and each t-shirt you sell is a potential ad for your business. This is where quality becomes crucial. If you’ve ever had a cheap t-shirt that didn’t quite fit right or was particularly uncomfortable, you know that it likely ended up being used as a painting t-shirt or getting donated to a local charity. Neither of these outcomes is ideal if you are investing in shirts as a potential form of advertising.
Quality t-shirts, however, have the opposite effect. They don’t fade or fall apart, and they tend to be the first ones you reach for when they come out of the wash. They may even become a beacon of your personal style. THAT is the kind of reaction you want your shirts to garner from others. Think of your t-shirt as a way to make an impression on your customers. High-quality t-shirts mean high-quality business.
So, how do you make sure your t-shirt is the first one people reach for? Follow these three easy tips:
1) Choose the right material.
The kind of logo or design you choose will determine the kind of fabric you require. For example, synthetic fibers are great for exercise gear because of their natural ability to repel water. However, these repellant features make it difficult for the shirt to absorb ink, resulting in low-quality printing. For screen printing, cotton fibers are the best material for color absorption and maintaining design details.
2) Choose the right brand.
Not all cotton t-shirts are made equal, and quality varies drastically from brand to brand. High-quality t-shirts are often dense, meaning you can’t easily see through the fibers when you hold the shirt against a light source. They are also typically soft and made with longer fibers. Gildan and Jerzees t-shirts are the most common screen-printing t-shirts in the industry. While they are a bit lower quality, they are extremely cost-effective for folks looking to give away a large number of t-shirts. If you want to up your t-shirt game, however, you might consider Next Level or Bella t-shirts. These t-shirts have higher density fibers that make them both comfortable and durable, long outlasting the other t-shirts in your drawer. Because of their density, the screen prints are smoother, more colorful, and finish with sharper details. If you are looking to impress your employees or clients with high-quality material, these are the shirts you will want to purchase.
3) Finally, determine your investment.
Now that you know the kind of material and the quality you are aiming for, you can determine a reasonable budget. Some businesses set aside a portion of their advertising budgets towards t-shirts and other merchandise. The key is to calculate what it will take to ensure a strong return on investment.
There is no one-size-fits-all (no pun intended) solution to finding the perfect shirt for screen printing. It largely depends on how you see the t-shirt being used and how you want others to feel when they wear it. What we can say for sure, however, is that a quality t-shirt will always end up on the top of the pile.