Quite a few people wanted me to write this article when I proposed the idea for it so I decided to go ahead and do it.
When starting your clothing line, one of the many factors that come in to play is choosing what brand of apparel blank to print on. This is a big decision, there are many different levels of price, quality, material, and fit that you need to take into consideration before you order. But not to worry, I’m writing this article to help people just like you who need help picking what clothing to use. In order to keep this nice and neat, I’ll break down each part of a blank tee that should be looked into before choosing one.
This might seem like something that wouldn’t really matter because it’s “just a t-shirt” but this assumption is very untrue. The material of your tees will be felt by each and ever one of your customers, and they don’t want to feel some thick, rough t-shirt that shrinks to half it’s size when washed. Don’t go cheap.
The most popular material being used for clothing lines right now is 100% cotton, but keep in mind that just because a tee is 100% cotton doesn’t mean that it’s top of the line. We still have the quality factor to add in later. There is also a difference between 100% cotton and 100% ringspun cotton. Ringspun cotton is softer, feels nicer, and prints better.
Some other materials you might want to check out are cotton/polyester blends. A common blend that most people have heard of is 50/50 which is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. These blends are a bit softer, and the color is sometimes heathered with spots of other colors like grey or black showing up. Just a note, your typical heather grey shirt unless otherwise noted is 90% cotton and 10% polyester. Another type of blend that is growing more and more popular are Tri-Blends, widely known from American Apparel these tees are SUPER soft and have a stretchy feel to them. They are made up of 50% Polyester/25% Cotton/25% Rayon and they also typically show some specs of other colors as well. They are on the higher side in price but we’ll get to that later.
There are also organic cotton tees, which with my own experience aren’t much different from your normal 100% cotton tee, they’re pretty soft, but I’ve also had normal cotton tees that are even softer. I guess this really comes down to if you’re trying to be earth friendly with your tees, it’s more of a personal decision. Still, something to think about.
This part of a blank tee matters even more than the material. The way your tee fits should be aimed at who your target market is. If you’re selling to a street wear crowd you might want to go with a more baggy box cut tee or even some of those tall tees. If you’re aiming at people who buy funny shirts or tees with sayings on them then you’ll want to go with an all around blank that anyone would wear, not super fitted and not super baggy either. If your clothing line is meant for people who wear t-shirts everyday and want to look good in them, I would go with a fitted shirt, which is sometimes referred to as a tubular or fashion fit. Whichever fit you choose for your brand, make sure its one that your customers would wear, because if you don’t sell the kind of tees they like to wear, then they aren’t going to buy them.
Quality & Price –
These two things tie together because the price you want to pay in the end really relies on what kind of quality you want to offer. Obviously, you want to offer the best quality, but sometimes this isn’t in your budget and if you’re a brand who is just starting out then you’ll want to cut costs in anyway you can. If you have the money, then hey go for the best tees you can, if not, don’t even justify your brands quality for a better price, but more so try to find the best quality you can at a price that’s right for you. It will take some research but it will be well worth it in the end.
These are merely suggestions based on my own knowledge and experiences in the t-shirt business. I’ve been involved with t-shirts more than the average person(probably more than a healthy person should be) for about 7+ years now and I’m still learning more everyday.
I don’t know everything, and you might not all agree with what I said and that’s perfectly fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Please keep in mind that what shirt you print on is ultimately up to you, this article is only here to help guide anyone who may not know about the industry enough to make a choice.
Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know what you think about this article in a comment below, I would really appreciate your feedback. Spread the word to anyone you might know who’s working on a clothing line of their own.