Contrary to the beliefs of some, ordering custom apparel is not like buying clothes at Walmart. When you order t-shirts with your artwork on them, you want your finished products to look like everything you’ve ever dreamed of—not like you took a $4 t-shirt and slapped a logo on it. As you’ve seen, there are a lot of t-shirt printing companies on the interwebs. Each one offers different services, benefits, and levels of quality. That being said, you don’t want to go with the first custom apparel company you see, and you definitely don’t want to go with the cheapest either. Finding a t-shirt printing company that consistently produces high-quality garments can be harder than it seems. With all of the t-shirt printers out there, how can you safeguard your order and make sure you’re getting exactly what you want?

You can lower your risk of disappointment by educating yourself on what to look for in a custom apparel partner.

After all, knowledge is power. Once you can identify the green flags, choosing a t-shirt printing company will be a breeze—we promise.

Here are 8 factors you should consider when choosing a t-shirt printing company:

1. The pricing structure

Once again, going with the cheapest option is a bad idea. You might think that saving a few bucks is worth the risk, but if it comes at the expense of the t-shirt quality, you will regret it.

Listen, if you’re balling on a budget, we get it. In that case, it’s definitely worth your while to understand more about the pricing structures of the custom apparel companies you’re considering.

For example, factors like:

Cost per shirt

This is the benchmark you’ll use to determine whether a company’s t-shirt prices are fair. When evaluating the cost per shirt, you should also consider how many t-shirts you’re ordering. The cost per shirt is especially important to keep in mind if you are ordering in bulk.

Price breaks

Many custom apparel companies (including us) will offer price breaks when you order a higher quantity of shirts.

Minimum order requirements

Some t-shirt printing companies have a minimum order requirement, while others don’t. This is something you’ll want to be aware of before you place your order.

Printing method

As a rule of thumb, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is cheaper for low quantities of shirts. For bulk orders, screen printing is the more economical option.

The bottom line is that you should have a clear understanding of the t-shirt printing company’s pricing structure before you place your order. This will help ensure that there are no surprises when it’s time to pay the bill.

2. The printing methods offered

Not all t-shirt printing companies are created equal. In fact, some t-shirt printers only offer one printing method, while others offer a variety of options.

Screen printing and DTG are the two most popular t-shirt printing methods. DTG is best for photorealistic prints, while screen printing is better for more simplistic designs.

Here at Scrappy Apparel, we offer screen printing because it produces vibrant, durable prints and it is extremely cost-effective for bulk orders like we mentioned earlier.

You can read more about the pros and cons of each printing method in our recent blog, 5 Industry Secrets Other Apparel Printing Companies Won’t Tell You.

3. The quality of the finished products

This is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing a t-shirt printing company. After all, you want your t-shirts to look amazing, right?

There are many factors that determine the quality of a t-shirt printing company’s finished product, but here are a few prime examples:

The garment quality

Did you know that 95% of custom apparel horror stories begin with poorly made garments? (JK, we just made that statistic up—but in all seriousness, low-quality garments are bad news.)

The point is that you should always check the quality of the t-shirts before you place your order. A good t-shirt should be made of high-quality fabric that feels soft to the touch. It should also have a comfortable fit and be true to size.

Here’s a tip: Order samples from the t-shirt printing company you’re considering so you can check out the quality of the products before you place a bulk order.

order samples

The printing quality

In addition to the garment quality, you should also make sure that the custom apparel partner you choose can produce incredible prints. The ink should be applied evenly and there should be no gaps in the design. T-shirt printing is an art form, so make sure you choose a company that has a positive track record of producing WOW-worthy work.

The level of experience and expertise of the team

This is another important factor to consider when choosing a t-shirt printing company. You want to partner with a company that has a team of experts who are passionate about their craft. The last thing you want is to hire a team that doesn’t put any love into their work. After all, you believe your designs deserve all the love in the world, right?

4. The garment patterns, fabrics, and inks you’ll have access to

T-shirts are not one-size-fits-all. (And we’re not talking about shirt sizes, either.) Garment patterns are the shapes that t-shirts are cut into. They often vary by brand and t-shirt style.

For example, a men’s t-shirt pattern will be different than a women’s t-shirt pattern. And a long-sleeve t-shirt pattern will be different than a short-sleeve pattern.

The t-shirt printing company you choose should offer a variety of garment patterns so you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

In addition to garment patterns, t-shirt fabrics and inks also play a crucial role in the quality of the final product.

Scratchy, rough fabric is no bueno. And lackluster inks will make your t-shirt design look, well, flat.

The t-shirt printing company you choose should only use the highest quality fabrics and inks. This will ensure that your t-shirts are comfortable to wear and look great wash after wash.

Additionally, your custom apparel partner should share their expertise to help you make the right fabric and ink decisions for your project.

For example, discharge inks are a good option if you’re looking for a vintage t-shirt look. And water-based inks are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a soft, natural feel.

5. The vibe you get from the customer service team

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again:

Vibes don’t lie.

The team you work with should make you feel good.

Email responses should be prompt, clear, and helpful.

You should never feel like you’re being brushed off or that your questions are being dismissed.

You can tell a lot about a company by the professionalism of its customer service team. So if the vibes aren’t good, it’s time to look for love (meaning t-shirt printing services) somewhere else.

Our expert customer service team is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. (Talk about a triple threat!)

With us on your side, you won’t have to worry about anything. We’ll answer your questions about every stage of the process—everything from pre-production to delivery.

Get in touch with us.

6. Turnaround time

Have a tight deadline? Then make sure to ask about turnaround time. T-shirt printing companies often have different turnaround times for different t-shirt styles.

Ask the t-shirt printing company how long it will take them to produce your order. And be sure to ask about their rush options if you need your t-shirts in a pinch.

At Scrappy Apparel, our turnaround times vary by service. However, we will say that if we had to face The Flash in a production race, we’d bet on our team.

7. Shipping logistics

Mama always said, “It’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

When it comes to t-shirt printing companies, this couldn’t be more true.

You want to partner with a company that will make the shipping process as smooth as possible. Let’s take a look at some important shipping factors to keep in mind:


Some t-shirt printing companies charge extra for shipping. We get it, but personally, we wouldn’t do it.

Moral of the story: don’t get nickeled and dimed by your t-shirt printing company. Choose a partner that offers free shipping.

(P.S. We offer free shipping to the USA for all custom apparel orders. You’re welcome.)


When your t-shirts are shipped, you should receive a tracking number so you can keep an eye on their whereabouts. This will give you peace of mind and help you plan accordingly.


Don’t let your order get ruined by a packaging disaster. Your shirts deserve to arrive safe and sound.

Choose a custom apparel partner that will take the time to package your t-shirts with care.

At Scrappy Apparel, we fold and polybag all orders so they are retail-ready and protected from the elements.

8. An ordering process that prioritizes your satisfaction and peace of mind

Disorganization is the enemy of success.

That’s why we have developed a proprietary system that streamlines the ordering process and guarantees your satisfaction.

Our Brand Building Process (BBP) is designed to bring your custom apparel vision to life. We eliminate the margin of error through an extensive pre-production review, so you know exactly what you’re getting before your order is fulfilled.

And it gets even better—you know exactly when you’ll get your order, too. You can say goodbye to delays, backorders, and broken promises. Your shirts will arrive at your doorstep on time, every single time.

You could say our BBP is your new BFF.

Should you choose Scrappy Apparel as your t-shirt printing company?

We think so. But if you still aren’t sure, let’s take a closer look at what our custom apparel services can do for you.

Here’s an evaluation of our services based on all the criteria we just went over:

1. Pricing structure

All our services have different minimum order quantities (MOQs), so the number of shirts you want will help determine which service is best for you. For example, sublimation has a much lower MOQ than screen printing.

Additionally, we offer price breaks on higher quantities of shirts. As the quantity goes up, the cost per shirt goes down. It’s pretty cool how that works, huh?

2. The printing methods offered

We currently offer screen printing, but not DTG printing. Therefore, our services are ideal if you are ordering in bulk and your design doesn’t have a million colors in it.

In case your design does have a million colors in it, we also offer sublimation printing. Oh, and BTW, that service has a much lower MOQ than screen printing. It’s the way to go if you have a lower quantity order.

3. The quality of the finished products

Quality is our middle name. When you work with us, you get the best of the best—no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs.

4. The garment patterns, fabrics, and inks you’ll have access to

We source garment patterns that you can private label, which is perfect if you have a clothing brand that you want to look super legit.

Our Peruvian Pima Cotton is the softest cotton in the world. If you don’t believe us, try it for yourself.

The inks we use are vibrant and soft to the touch. They’re luxurious without the luxury price tag.

5. The vibe you get from the customer service team

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new prospective customer or a loyal Scrappy Apparel fan. You’ll get the same 5-star service from our team.

So, don’t be shy. If you have a question for us, ask away!

6. Turnaround time

We are proud to say that our turnaround times are fully transparent and accurate. You can count on our deliveries to be on time or early—every single time.

7. Shipping logistics

We offer free shipping to the USA, and we fold and polybag all orders.

8. An ordering process that prioritizes your satisfaction and peace of mind

Our Brand Building Process (BBP) will save you time and energy. Instead of chasing around unresponsive customer service teams or worrying about where your order is, you can place full trust in our proven custom apparel process.

Just submit your project details, receive your quote, approve your pre-production layouts, and crack open a cold one while we handle the rest.

Our custom apparel experts are eager to begin working on your project.

If you’re ready to work with a company that is just as enthusiastic about your custom apparel order as you are, we’re the team for you.

Let’s get your project rocking and rolling.

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