shirt printing

Dear Lazyweb,

What's your preferred source for t-shirt printing?

Our current supplier costs us $10 for a single color on black, 10 business days turnaround. The printing is good, and the shirts are high quality, but that still sounds expensive to me. Are there better options?

(Please don't suggest "Cafe Press" or "stencil them yourself".)

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20 Responses:

  1. pdx6 says:

    East Bay Screen printing, that's what Codecon used this year. I don't know pricing. They're selling 3 color t's for $25.

    • jered says:

      I was just going to say that. We used them for CodeCon and they did something ridiculous like 24-hour turnaround for us (because we were lame). I believe their pricing beats your current supplier, too.

  2. dtk says:

    tnt screen printing oakland

  3. gse says:

    My band has been using Mammoth in Alabama. Not local, but they do excellent work, are very responsive, and I've had shirts turned around in a few days when we really needed it. We've gotten nice buttons from them too.

    IIRC we pay about $7/shirt for American Apparel black with gray ink, but we do short runs.

  4. drkscrtlv says:

    Seatthole. We go with the 72 shirt special but as they mention on the prices page, their printing prices are even cheaper for bulk orders >250.

    • elliterati says:

      I have also used Seatthole a number of times, and they're great. Even with shipping to Chicago, they come out cheaper and quicker than any of my local options.

  5. Try andy's tees over in Concord. I did all my shirts them, turn around was ok, mostly because I did embroidery and printing together. Everything I did was 2+ colors and under $10 for 3 dozen per size (sml).

  6. twiin says:

    Acme Prints are incredible. You can get 50 black shirts with 1 ink for under $5 a shirt.

    I ordered about $500 worth of Very Fancy Shirts with Very Fancy Inks while on tour a few years ago with them, and the type of shirt I special-ordered didn't work out -- the print faded terribly upon wash -- and they reprinted and shipped my order on new Very Fancy Shirts to the next date on my tour schedule in 3 or 4 days turnaround, at zero cost.

    They are the bests.

  7. sorry i didn't write you back earlier- i have a good guy in LA whose prices are reasonable, quality is good, and will probably cut you a good deal. i will give you his info by email in a bit.

  8. kou says:

    Best way to cut costs and still have professional printing is to purchase shirts in wholesale from an e-company, then send to a local print house for color application. Total cost is about $1-3 for blanks, then about #3-5 for printing. (For runs <20 pcs. self-printing really is viable). Choose any color you want.

    Last one I used, I think, was "Shirt Supplier" (no affiliation), plus a local shop. My favorite media is Gildan Ultra heavyweights; they're also the cheapest and yet they are thick and nice.

  9. boldra says:

    Have you given any thought to where the shirts are coming from and under what conditions the workers made them?

    • fo0bar says:

      I only buy Certified Vegan t-shirts from No-Kill screen printers.

    • Who do you recommend for that? The two big ethical T-shirt outfits I know of are Gildan and American Apparel. Gildan outsources to sweatshop-friendly countries but claims to do personal inspections of the working conditions. They claim to. American Apparel is creepy for lots of well-known reasons, but as far as I know they are committed to paying a living wage and following US labor laws, and the workers at least theoretically have recourse to the courts if Dov tries any bad touch.

      • Acme Prints listed above has a very impressive list of suppliers; looks like their cheapest is a Gildan, but they also have AA and Bayside (union made in USA). Their interactive quote page is very cool, you can see exactly what your ethics, if any, are costing you!

  10. fatherbingo says:

    How many do you need and what's the design? I have a supply of Xactos and cans of spraypaint. Give me an idea of what you're looking for and I'll see if I can do better than $10/shirt. Samples of my work:

  11. bifrosty2k says:

    I have a guy, local, fast, good.
    They're a small shop - Linzee.

    I know the owner pretty well, chances are you've met him too.

  12. rapier1 says:

    Personally, I don't know but my friend's band probably prints up ten thousand a year or so. I could ask if you like. Of course, they're very politically correct so I know they pay a premium for their shirts - I think they're union made or fair trade or made by graduate students taking a year off to work for the rights of oppressed slugs or something like that.