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The slogan t-shirt is such a staple part of the modern wardrobe that most people don't stop to consider its history. However, garment printing has been around longer than you might think. Screen-printing was first introduced to Western Europe in the late 1700s when it was used to decorate silk for the wealthy. Before that, textile printing found its roots in 3rd century China.
Old-style custom printing reached its peak during World War II when screen-printing was used to convey propaganda messages on garments, posters, and flags. Since then, clothing customization has flourished to create the thriving industry we know today. Sufficed to say, the service we offer here at Discount Mugs has a rich and complex history, and its cultural importance is something we shoulder with pride.
Today, garment printing serves a very different purpose, and no bespoke clothing items is quite as popular as the printed tee. So, whether you're planning a sporting event, a company fundraiser, or an anticipated bachelorette party, we know there's nothing like matching team wear to bring people together.
Whatever style, design, or message you hope to convey, use this handy buying guide to help you make the right choice when designing your t-shirt.
Selecting an Image or Design
The first thing you'll want to do is decide which image or design will be featured on your shirts. You may already have a rough idea of how you want your garments to look, but you may be struggling to realize that vision without seeing a prototype. It’s easy to come unstuck at this point if you’re not a budding graphics artist, but fear not – this is where our expertise comes in.
Need help designing your Custom T-Shirt?
If you don’t already have a design in mind, you can choose one of our free, professional-looking templates at the click of a button. Our template designs are ideal for parties, fundraisers, sporting activities, and other occasions, particularly where large quantities of shirts are needed quickly.
Choose from a variety of themes for weddings, birthdays, bachelorettes, and more, and feel free to add your own text or customized detail. Once you've selected your template, you can play around with the look of your finished tee in our easy-to-use design lab.
Logos and Images
If you’re using a company logo or image, you can upload this quickly and easily to our site once you’ve chosen your garment style and material. Don’t worry about the finer details at this stage – those can be ironed out later, and nothing is final until we get your proof approval. It's important to note at this point that we do not accept designs with multiple advertisements or large amounts of text. In some cases, we will allow two simple logos on one side, but only if the imprint area (the space on which we're printing) allows it.
The overall look of your t-shirt will depend on many factors, one being the colors you choose to include in your design. When it comes to the shirt material, we have a large selection of t-shirt colors available, ranging from primary tones like red, yellow, and green, to more unusual shades like khaki and maroon.
If you’re creating a bespoke garment for yourself, all you have to do is pick your favorite color and get customizing. However, if you’re buying shirts in bulk, there are other things to consider. Firstly, you need to decide whether everyone in your team, organization, or group will wear the same color or whether you will offer a selection. Sticking to one shade will keep things simple if you’re short on time.
You also need to think about whether your chosen imprint color (the color of your artwork) will complement the color of the material you have selected. Again, you can use our design lab to make amendments as you go.
Choosing a T-Shirt Fabric
The look, quality, and price of your t-shirts will depend on the fabric you choose. Different types of materials are better suited for certain occasions and activities than others. Our classic t-shirts come in cotton, polyester, and blend fabrics that offer a comfortable fit and easy care features.
What is the best fabric for Custom T-Shirts?
Cotton is considered the king of all t-shirt fabrics, but it is also known to shrink quicker than polyester or blended material. On the plus side, 100% cotton is soft, breathable, lightweight, and highly affordable, making it the perfect option for bulk-buys. Consider opting for cotton shirts if your garments are only going to be worn and washed for a short time, e.g., for a bachelorette party or specific event.
Polyester is a synthetic cotton alternative. The benefits of polyester are that it dries quickly, doesn't shrink, and is more durable than other t-shirt materials. It may not be as breathable as cotton, but it does make for longer-lasting wear, especially for outdoor events and sporting activities.
Blended fabrics offer the advantages of both cotton and polyester. Not only are blend t-shirts lightweight and breathable, but they are also more wrinkle-proof and durable than cotton and more breathable than pure polyester. For these reasons, a blended material is a perfect choice for activewear. Here 9 other advantages of cotton/polyester fabric blends.
What is a good weight for Personalized T-Shirts?
Our t-shirts vary in fabric weight, from lightweight (3-5 oz. per square yard) to heavyweight (5-6 oz. per square yard) for value and durability. Our lightweight shirts are ideal for comfortable athletic wear, and they are also the least expensive option. Heavyweight shirts are also suitable for casual wear, but their durability makes them better at withstanding frequent washes.
Lastly, dry-blend fabrics help to keep moisture away from the body, so these are ideal for sporting events.
Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Custom Shirt
The fit of your shirt will determine its overall appearance and comfort, both of which are important for any occasion. Garments typically range from sizes S to XXL, depending on the brand. For exact sizing specifications, you can contact us directly. Here are the different fits we provide:
Unisex shirts provide a standard fit that can be worn by either men or women, as the shape doesn't differ from a classic men’s fit. Unless otherwise stated, they are not usually taped in any particular area, though some may advertise slimline collars or sleeves. Opting for unisex is your best bet if you’re placing a large batch order and you don't know exactly who will be wearing the shirts.
Women’s t-shirts are more fitted to specific areas, typically the bust and waist. They are contoured to fit to any frame, usually with a taped neck and shoulders.
Youth t-shirts fall into the categories of boys, girls, and unisex, and are unfitted unless otherwise stated. Like adult garments, youth t-shirts come in a choice of materials and styles.
What’s your T-Shirt style?
Whether you’re hosting a fundraiser, heading up a bachelorette party, or buying uniforms for your sports team, we know that personal style is important. The classic crewneck t-shirt is a popular choice, but if you’re looking for something a little different, here are just some of the unique variations on offer.
• V-necks: Great for group events and fundraisers.
• Scoop necks: A super flattering fit for all occasions.
• Dress shirts: Ideal for corporate gatherings or business merchandise.
• Polo shirts: Great for sports, merchandising, or group events.
• Long sleeve shirts: A casual look for colder weather.
• Short sleeves: A classic look. Recommended for wear in warm climates and sports.
• Taped sleeves/slimline collar: Offers a snugger fit.
• Chest pockets/ button design: Great if you’re looking for added detail.
• Jersey t-shirts: A stylish alternative for men, women, or kids.
• Tank tops/sleeveless: Perfect for bachelorette parties or gym wear.
We also provide a choice of other garments, including work wear, jackets, hoodies, aprons, hats, and more.
What are the different T-Shirt printing methods?
The finished look of your t-shirt will depend on the printing method we use. Here at Discount Mugs, our techniques include direct to garment printing, full-color screen-printing, and other specialist services to help your garments stand out.
Direct to Garment Printing
Also known as DTG printing, the direct to garment method prints full-color images with accuracy and precision. DTG uses inkjet technology (much like your printer at home) to digitally transfer the image onto your shirt, creating a soft feel that looks professional and stands the test of time. This method works best on 100% cotton material and is the best option for full-color logos and small batch orders. We offer DTG printing for designs with up to three colors.
Screen-printing is cost-effective, durable, and perfect for large images or designs. Here, the ink is applied directly through a small mesh onto the shirt, creating a crisp and clear finished product. Screen-printing is best for solid color logos and large batch orders. We offer screen-printing for designs with up to 4 colors.
Along with screen-printing and DTG, we also offer a professional embroidery service. Keep in mind that this method works best with solid color logos or large text rather than small details. Embroidery can be on the heavy side for t-shirts, so it is recommended to embroider a heavyweight material. Please note that embroidery will require a longer lead-time than printing.
How much do Custom T-Shirts cost?
On each product page, you will find our handy Price Estimator to help you work out the cost of your order. All you need to do is head to the "details" page of the product you wish to order, and fill out the form. This page will ask you to enter your desired printing method (as outlined above), lead-time (how quickly you need your order to be delivered), printing colors, image position, shipping method, and address. Once you have entered all of these details, you will be given an estimated price for your order.
Lowest Price Guarantee
Worried about sticking to your budget? We've got you covered. Here at Discount Mugs, we are proud to present ourselves as the most affordable t-shirt printers in the business. Don't believe us? You'll be pleased to know that we provide a 100 % low price guarantee. However, if you find one of our exact products offered at a lower price by a retail competitor, we will not only match their price – we will beat it by 10%.
Custom T-Shirt Shipping
If you need your t-shirts delivered within a particular timeframe, it's best to contact us directly. The estimated average production time of our t-shirts is 6-10 business days. However, this time frame is dependent upon the size of your order and the complexity of the artwork or printing method you have requested. Shipping is free on orders over $75.
Once you have placed your order, you will receive an estimated delivery date, which could change depending on how long it takes to finalize your proof (this will be sent within 24 hours of you placing your order). To check your estimated delivery date, you can log in to your account at any time.
Although our orders almost always arrive when they're expected to, there is never a guarantee. However, providing high-quality artwork and sending your proof approval back quickly will minimize the chance of delays in the production process. Should you require a guaranteed delivery date, we offer rush production for an additional cost. If you need your garments quickly, select a "get it by" date when placing your order, and we will guarantee that your order will arrive within this time frame.
Whether your t-shirts are personal or promotional, we understand the importance of accuracy, precision, and high quality when it comes to custom printed clothing. As experts in our industry, we strive for perfection in each of our products, inspiring companies and individuals alike to put their best foot forward. So, whether you wear your t-shirts for a trade show, corporate gathering, social event, or wedding party, all we ask is that you are as creative as we are and you trust us to help share your message.