There is a wide array of options now days for getting customized clothing and this presents you with quite a cumbersome laundry list of choices. In this article I will break down a few of best methods for getting customized clothing, where you can get the best prices, and which techniques you should choose. I won’t go into every method in this article, but the basics will be covered.
So, how do you get customized clothing near you? Simple! Many shops on Google will be under printing shops, embroidery shops, or you can Google Screen Printing near me. If you are a business looking to get customized clothing near you the hands down best way is to Google either Screen Printer or Laser Etching shop near me (we’ll get into laser etching later).
What do we mean by custom clothing?
First off let’s start with what we mean by customized clothing. By customized clothing we mean putting your logo/image on a piece of clothing (that is already made) by way of ink, paint, vinyl, laser etching and other methods. We are not talking about the garment itself, for this type of customized clothing we recommend something like Etsy where you can find some of the highest quality handcrafted goods tailored to your specific dimensions. Especially if you need customized leather products, you will go down a rabbit hole of awesome.
Just One Customized T-Shirt.
A very common request for custom clothing print shops is “Can I get only one?”. Yes, you can probably get a single printed custom T-Shirt from your local print shop but you are better off getting it from somewhere else. Your local print shop is a master at Screen Printing and maybe Embroidery, however a one-off shirt is a different story. A single shirt is done with a technique called Direct-to-Garment or DTG. This is essentially a large printer that directly prints your image onto a garment. There are companies who have mastered the single print such as CustomInk, or VistaPrint and if you are looking to get a single garment printed for your Birthday, this is the place you should be looking. Side note: one-off shirts can also be done with Vinyl heat press, but you are very limited on colors. So, why don’t we just use these major companies who have perfected a single printed T-Shirt for larger orders? Surely they have perfected every other method as well, and that brings us to the next point.
Quality & Pricing. Let’s talk about Screen Printing.
Direct-to-Garment printing has huge advantages at low quantities but gets blown out of the water by Screen printing once we get to about 24-48 pieces. Like the big companies who have perfected the one-off prints, your local printing shops have perfected Screen Printing. With extremely accurate images, perfect lines, and a lasting image, Screen Printing is unbeatable in quality. One quirk with Screen Printing is that each color in your image needs to be separated out into different screens. Since these screens are done by hand generally for a reasonably sized order the maximum number of colors is around 7. A down side with this method is you now may be subject to setup fees for the number of screens. Where as DTG is quicker to produce a single garment, with Screen Printing you can produce around 1,000 garments in the same time DTG could do around 30-50. Another side note: Screen Printed garments last quite a bit longer through tough washer and dryer cycles than DTG, even when properly pre-treated. So unless you are trying to get a full color family portrait printed on a few shirts, using a Screen Printed method for your logo/image is the still way to go.
Another Great Option for Small Orders
Another option worth mentioning is Vinyl Heat Transfer that we mentioned earlier. This allows for a quick and easy custom T-Shirt at a very low price. Larger companies like CustomInk won’t use this method, but for a few shirts with one color it is probably the most cost-effective way to get shirts with a logo. The catch? 1 maybe 2 colors maximum, and anything over 12 shirts is an absolute pain to do. We have done a request of 1,300 Vinyl heat pressed shirts before, it’s a nightmare and not recommended for the sane.
Honorable Mention; Lasers Etching Apparel.
A fun method for getting your logo on a garment that will never fade and also produces a great image is using an Apparel Etching laser. This method uses a fiber laser that can permanently etch a logo onto nearly any garment. There are some drawbacks with this method, one being there is no color (unless using a multimedia method)! Etching on certain colors doesn’t show up that great either. A darker blue fleece jacket though, this looks spectacular and unique. If you want to see this in action, take a look Here