T-shirts are big business - in 2016, the global t-shirt market stood at US$ 185.1 billion. And it’s no wonder, as t-shirts are everywhere. They’re convenient, easy and cheap to produce, comfortable, and have become perhaps the biggest opportunity for screen-printed graphics in human apparel.
Hot on their heels is the hoodie, which we’ll also be discussing in this article. And not far behind is the tote bag, but we don’t wear those nearly as much.
In this article, we’ll be addressing those of you who want to start a t-shirt business, and those of you who want to sell t-shirts alongside your other products. Last bit sound odd? Well, remember twenty seconds ago, when I was talking about how t-shirts are everywhere? T-shirts are one of the best opportunities for advertising around.
Think about it: a t-shirt with your business’s name or logo gets worn and goes about the world, being seen by whoever its owner spends time or rides the bus with. And brand merch always helps to build a relationship between customer and business, whether you sell bagels or books.
Especially in this day and age, where bricks and mortar retail is under so much pressure, as well as small independent businesses: branded t-shirts can be a way for customers and patrons to declare allegiance to their favourite coffee shop or brewery. Selling branded totes or t-shirts to values-minded customers can provide them with a statement of purpose, and everyone wins. Not only does your reputation spread further, but it can be a handy extra cashflow.
Organic Tees printed with Waterbase Ink (most nature-friendly available). for a local watch company - Rhuse Movement.
Speaking of which, if you want t-shirts to fly off the shelves, then they need to be good. Today’s consumers want to buy things they’ll hang on to, so your design needs to be in good taste, evergreen, and top quality. For tees, this will mean 100%, heavyweight cotton; for hoodies and jumpers you’ll be wanting to make sure they’re lined in proper fleece for that extra snuggle factor, the one that makes a jumper the beloved go-to Sunday item of clothing that stays in someone’s possession for upwards of twenty years and gets super soft with over-washing.
And, with durability in mind, you’ll want your design to be screen-printed. This means it will withstand many a hot wash. Because of the particular nature of screen-printing, make sure your design is quite simple, with bold colours. Keeping this in mind will help make it more striking and therefore memorable. And memorable is the name of the game!
Here at The Fabric Printer, we will be able to help you every step of the way. If you don’t know the slightest thing about screen-printing and have no idea for a design, we are happy to help. In the meantime, check out our beginner’s guide to screen printing to learn all about it!
And if you’re a graphic designer who wants to convert their art into something t-shirt-ready, we can assist with that too! We’ll be able to go through every single detail with you, from the exact colour you want to the exact positioning of your design, to trends. While we’re on the subject of trends, you don’t have to think too far ahead because the lead times on t-shirt production are so short you can go from placing your order to putting them into the hands of grateful customers in a matter of weeks.
The great thing is that we’re based in Perth and love lending a helping hand to local businesses. If you’re based nearby, you can give us a call and head onto our premises for a run-through and a chat with one of our helpful customer service colleagues. Or, if you’re further afield in Australia, you can reach us by phone or e-mail. We have over twenty-five years’ experience helping people’s apparel orders succeed and would love to do the same for you!