T-SHIRT / BLANKS IDEAS, ATTRIBUTES and some comparitive PRICES.
Generally alot of people in learning to screen print are wanting to build T-Shirt or homewares brands. Usually the way it goes is you are focused on your art and therefore explore and do a course or two and apply your art to a pre-made blank whether that is a Tea Towel or T-Shirt. As people progress they may start to make their own for many different reasons but this page is to help you make good sound choices based on cost and fit and image.
I also have to apologuise as much of the info is based off Australia and even Sydney centric ideas but it will highlight the industry and how some of it works for wherever you are in the world.
For instance – when you are starting out you will buy from a wholesaler (like the Print Edition Store) that has accounts with the bigger suppliers as they buy alot but they will then sell you shirts at much better prices than retail so you can print and enter the market competitively.
So a producer pays for fabric / cutters and makers and imports the shirt for $4 and sells it to a wholesaler for $6 who sells it to you for $8 … simple.
If you are big enough and pass the application for account rules you can buy direct from the suppliers. From here you know your base cost and can start to estimate the different stages of production an dhow profitable it is and how sustainable it is.
As a general rule a cheap shirt $6 may be more profitable but a customer may not buy from you again as they think the shirts are poor quality as opposed to a premium shirt for $8 – 10 which they really like and wear all the time … so they buy their shirt because it fits well but they also like your art.
In the U.S. there is also a very heavy following of American Apparel and Fruit Of The Loom – the later being pretty big in Europe too. I’m also told that the Australian business size for Gildan is smaller than the Disney account so as you’d expect the range they keep in America is more diverse. In the U.S. I’d expect pricing to be more competitive than Australia simply as there is less freight.
Making your own T-Shirts! This is pretty big but very doable. Firstly you need to really commit before going down the track of buying fabric, creating designs, pattern making, grading, cutting and sewing and all that entails but it does become yours – all yours. It’s worth looking into the pricing in your particular country for what is termed CMT (cut & make) and also into pattern makers. As a price comparison in Australia in contrast to $10 for a premium imported T-shirt you start here.
Pattern – $200 – 300 / Grading (expanding that pattern out to sizes you require) $100 / Fabric (1 – 1.2 metres / 3 ft) $4 – 8 per metre per T-shirt / Cutting and sewing of bulk T-shirts (minimum 50 pieces to even talk to decent makers) $6 – 8 per shirt.
Print Edition supply 3 brands of T-shirts as a rule. Minimum of 20 per colour & style – Each have their qualities and attributes.
Our main offering is ANVIL / GILDAN / AS COLOUR / SPORTAGE.
Click here for ANVIL – http://www.anvilknitwear.com.au/
Anvil Made by ‘Superior Activewear’ is a premium fashion based and styled brand. Very suited to modern life they have fashion cuts, lighter fabric and are generally a very good shirt to wear. They come with all the qualifications and work practice specs including pre-shrunk.
Click here for GILDAN – http://www.gildan.com/
Gildan is known as the biggest supplier in Australia with 1.5 million tees in stock at anytime. Therefore they are the brand that many of the huge touring acts of the world print onto as ‘Gildan’ can supply literally 10,000 – 50,000 shirts (Purple if you want) overnight. So it’s not surprising if you have an ACDC, U2 or Coldplay T-shirt that is Gildan. Always a favourite with entertainment brands and touring acts of any kind.
Click here for Sportage – http://sport-age.com/
Sportage are a premium imported brand of t-shirt. They print, shrink and fit well and are very popular around here. Generally speakimg they are a very robust, good quality shirt, which are very popular with uniforms and sports teams.
As a more robust shirt as opposed to fashion they are great for uniforms and also have Hi-Vis and some aprons.
Click here for AS COLOUR – http://www.ascolour.com.au/
AS Colour are a great brand and t-shirt. They have great comtemporary cuts, fabric weights and colours. Easily the most popular shirts / hoodies in street and fashion circles. They also have a re-labelling service (but please note that you need to be super organised and work way ahead of time to use this service). AS Colour have retail stores if you want to go see products in the flesh. You can see their range online HERE.