I want a t-shirt screen printed. Now what? Here are some questions to ask
Do any of the idea’s/scenario’s sound familiar?
- My child’s team needs new uniforms.
- We need t-shirts for an upcoming fundraiser.
- I have a cause to bring awareness to.
- I have a company event to promote.
- I want to raise brand awareness for my company.
- I have a race to run?
Now that the idea is established its time to find someone to bring it to life. Who do I call? What will it cost? How does it work?
We hope you will call us. Our goal is that you will hire us. We also want you to find the right screen printer for your job, so here are a few questions we recommend asking to whoever brings the ink to the squeegee and your vision to the tee.
- Do you have a minimum? – Most screen printers do, and at Print Specialties, our minimum is 6 t-shirts.
- What type of ink do you print with? – Not all inks are the same and the type of ink used changes the feel of the end look. Plastisol ink ( the most common) lays on top of the fabric, where water based ink stains the fabric and makes for a much softer end product. There are advantages and disadvantages to using both and we are happy to discuss and recommend based on the needs of your project.
- What type of t-shirts do you print on? “Huh? What does that mean?” Well, it means that not all fabrics are created equal and in some cases, you might be better off with a t-shirt that is 100% polyester, rather than a blend or 100% cotton. Then there are different types of cotton. Pre-shrunk, organic, ring spun, combed. At Print Specialties we will work with you on finding the right t-shirt that fit’s within your budget and meets your needs. This question also goes hand in hand with the ink question above. If the ink used isn’t compatible with the fabric it is placed on, the end product may not be what you want.
- What type of screen printing press do you use? This question is like asking a car owner about their vehicle for many screen printers. Reasons vary from functionality, speed, options, cost, to performance. We enjoy the “craft” of screen printing, and there is a great satisfaction in “making” a shirt for our clients. One of our presses and this bloggers favorite, is a Riley Hopkins JR. 4 color, 2 station press. I love the micro registration, the ease of use and that it is a “hands on” press. If it were a car, I imagine it to be a Fiat 500 with a manual transmission. Not overly flashy, but compact and fun.
- Do you print the t-shirts in house? Yep…it’s a question to be asked and yes, we do print in house. See above where I described my favorite press? It is a 4 color press, which means it can only print 4 colors or in 4 color process (which we won’t dive into explaining on this post). If you have a print with 14 colors, we may not be the printer for you, but we probably know who to call.
- What is your turn around time? At Print Specialties our standard turn around time is 1 to 2 weeks, but will facilitate rushes when we can. We have a background in managing events, so know how important it is to have your t-shirts, hoodies etc…on the day called for and strive to meet all deadlines. Screen printers have a bad reputation for being slow, non communicative and sometimes even late getting t-shirts to their client. Our goal is to change that reputation by being fast, communicative and ahead of deadline whenever possible.
- Are there extra fee’s involved? Some screen printers charge a set up fee and/or a screen charge. Both set up and screen fees are included in our pricing and are not an additional fee. We do charge extra for ink changes, water based inks and occasionally a design fee, due to the additional labor involved.
- How do you pack your t-shirts? This may seem like something very small, but if you have a lot of shirts to hand out or sort, wouldn’t it be nice to know how they will arrive? At Print Specialties, our t-shirts are bundled 5 at a time according to size and each box will designate what’s inside so you don’t have to rummage through 5 boxes to find the 2 extra small tee’s that you ordered. Not the way you would like them packed? Just let us know.
- Do you deliver? Yes, at Print Specialties we will deliver to your door within the Salem-Keizer area free of charge and we can ship t-shirts most anywhere for an additional fee.
- Do you only print t-shirts? If a screen printer can print on a t-shirt, they should be able to print on other items as well and it can save time and money to have multiple items printed at once. At Print Specialties we can print on most anything from scarves, grocery totes, to flannel pajama bottoms.
Did we miss a question? Most definitely. These are just a few to touch on, but we are always available to answer any questions you might have about screen printing, embroidery, promotional items or where to find the best cinnamon roll in the Willamette Valley. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] and thanks for checking out Print Specialties.
These are great questions to ask! There are so many different reasons why people want shirts (as you list), and it’s important to find someone great to take care of your specific needs. I think your question about what kind of shirt they print on is great especially. The last thing you want is a stiff, itchy shirt, after all. Quality is definitely important if you’re going to invest in custom apparel.
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