A great invention in terms of advertising marketing is certainly the creation of customized t-shirts to be used as gadgets for customers; but also to less commercial contexts, for example for the participants in a sporting event, a festival, for the staff of a tourist village or for the people involved in the realization of an event. The funniest T-shirt project is still the one related to fashion: the personalized t-shirt is in fact a garment that sets trends in all seasons. If you are thinking of making your own by making trendy T-shirts, discover everything you need to know by following these precious indications.
# 1 Custom t-shirts: who are they for?
The first question to ask yourself is this: who do I need the T-shirts I want to make by putting on my own? The question is natural because the T-shirt has a different use: you have to have a precise objective, not to find yourself with an excessive production or a wrong model. If the T-shirts you have in mind are promotional, know that the image and the writing will have a precise position: the staff shirts or sports uniforms have the logo on the front side of the heart, a logo on the sleeve and an inscription on the back. The gadget t-shirts instead, they have the decoration on the chest and on the back, which consists of the logo embellished with a writing, or a play of colors or other contour images. Finally, the t-shirts intended for the fashion world are absolutely free in the position of the graphics, but require originality and study of the major trends in fashion.
# 2 The graphics for your trendy T-shirts: 3 golden rules
Before rushing to design the t-shirts of your dreams, I remind you of some rules:
- There are laws on copyright and copyrights, so you cannot reproduce an image or a written already invented by others, because it would be a violation. But if you are fascinated by a T-shirt seen in the window, or you think that a company’s advertising T-shirt is winning, you are allowed to reproduce it by cutting 12-15% of the image. In other words, the graphics already used by someone else will have to be modified in part; better to invent with a chart something unique that you can protect in turn, by filing the patent.
- The print on the shirt will be in four colors but with the addition of White: it means that the colors of the image you will use will be Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White. This last color allows others to not be transparent on the fabric.
- Calibrate the size of the image with the Graph: you will have available a surface to be printed with mandatory measurements, generally corresponding to the A4 and A3 or 8 x 10 cm formats.
# 3 To print many T-shirts use screen printing: this is what you need
One of the two methods of Printing on fabric used today is screen printing, which allows printing on different materials, in large quantities. It requires a variety of machinery: a computer, a printer for printing plates, the screen printing carousel, the screen printing furnace to dry the t-shirts after printing, the intermediate drying hood, the Bromograph, which, through a light, affects the printing frame where the image to be reproduced is transferred. Furthermore, a tub for developing the frames, a tank for washing them, is provided by a hydro-cleaning machine and a hot air oven for drying them. Finally, small accessories for the colors, ie the spatulas to mix and collect the ink used by the frame, the doctor blade to spread the gelatin that fixes the colors on the shirt and the doctor blade to spread the colored ink on the frame during printing. A decidedly professional method, which requires a period of experimentation, creating few frames (corresponding to the models), suitable for those who have decided to set up on their own but without haste.
# 4 Do you need a sample of T-shirts to propose? Choose sublimation
As an alternative to screen printing, sublimation is a fast digital printing technique, exclusively on white polyester fabric, suitable for producing small quantities of personalized t-shirts. The graphic image is drawn on sheets of transfer paper, emitted by a fabric printer, connected to the computer and equipped with sublimation inks. Once the sheet is obtained, it is placed on the t-shirt and, thanks to a press heated to 170 °, the image is impressed in 45 seconds on it: with the heat the inks sublimate, penetrating into the fibers and fixing indelibly, without present relief to the touch. The method is recommended for those who print models that are very different from each other; the software of transfer of images on silk-screen frames or sheets are always included in the purchase of machinery. On the market there is also a printer for fabrics that, through special primer- impregnated transfer sheets, prints a personalized image on a dark or black t-shirt: know however that the use of the primer makes the fabric a little stiffer and lowers the colors to washing, because it prevents the penetration into the fibers. Another important fact is the predisposition, in the printer, of the covering white ink head, which must always be kept clean. This necessity causes an additional cost for inks and therefore for printing.
# 5 Custom T-shirts: where do I find the right t-shirts to print?
Now that you have invented an original graphic and you have decided the printing method to be adopted for your customized t-shirts, the problem arises of how to find suitable shirts, by type and cost. On the net you can easily find stocks of t-shirts produced by highly accredited brands, available in various models. Pay attention to the weight of the fabric, which ranges from 110 to 280, and must correspond to your molding machine. The composition of the fabric is also important: if you mold with sublimation, polyester will have to be prevalent on cotton. Finally, the price of the shirt is calculated in two ways: either per square meter of fabric or per package of 5-10 pieces each. In the second case you will need to be clear about the sizes you need.
# 6 The location and the team to create your trendy T-shirts
In terms of the most suitable location, much depends on the size of the printing machinery: in the case of screen printing you will have to use 380 V electric power and the safety regulations oblige you to set up three rooms, for about 100 square meters. The case of sublimation is different: you only need one environment of 15 square meters using 220V electricity. Also remember that the rooms must be well ventilated to dispose of the volatile substances contained in the products used to fix the color.
As for the team, the figures that must physically attend your workshop are:
- The operator of the t-shirt printing machine , which is also intended for the maintenance of the same, including the software
- The person in charge of storing t-shirts, who manages the purchases of the material and the orders, whether the sale takes place in a shop, or via e-commerce
- They are indispensable figures:
- An accounting secretary who looks after the tax aspects
- A Chart responsible for optimizing images and composition
- One or more creative designers who invent trend models especially on commission and develop templates to make a catalog
- A Social Media Manager responsible for advertising marketing and public relations
- An Influencer that you wear your models, writing them in his personal blog
These professional figures can easily constitute a winning team working remotely, administered and coordinated by you, hired for each individual project. Are you ready to get on your own by looking at the beautiful world of trendy T-shirts? Search for freelancers who can help you realize your dream!