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Small online retailer looking to start printed clothing - 1 print at a time do-able?

 
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Old August 5th, 2019 Aug 5, 2019 7:20:29 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Small online retailer looking to start printed clothing - 1 print at a time do-able?

Hello,

We have a small online e-commerce website that we run from home and get around 5-10 orders a day. We keep stock at home and pack orders each night and post next working day. We however get regular requests for clothing for our niche market. We have no idea how popular this will be so I would rather start sensibly and not spend too much up front.

So I looked extensively into Direct To Garment Print On Demand services but the cost to do this does not make much sense. I think kids clothing would do well but it would cost us roughly £10-£12 a t-shirt and turnaround times were a bit slow 3-4 days. For a decent profit margin, we'd have to sell for £15-£20 which I feel is too expensive, especially for a kids t-shirt.

Now I have been researching Screen Printing quite heavily with the idea that we could keep blank t-shirts at home and have screens made up for the simple designs (1 colour, 2 max) we sell. As and when an order comes in, we could print that 1 t-shirt and wash out ready for next time. The costs seem much better here. If we ignore our one off capital expenditure costs like a small manual printing press, design and screens (hopefully between £100-£200), blank t-shirts would cost around £3 meaning we could potentially sell kids t-shirts at almost half the price of a DTG printed one £10-£12 each, much more reasonable.

Looking for some advice:

- Is having screens made up and printing just one t-shirt at a time too much hassle to do? Bearing in mind, this may not be a problem if it does well and we get some decent sales for them.

- What manual printing press or starter kit would you recommend for use in a limited space environment?
 
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Old August 5th, 2019 Aug 5, 2019 9:27:36 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small online retailer looking to start printed clothing - 1 print at a time do-able?

I do not have a lot of knowledge on heat press Vinyl but looking into doing this form of t-shirt decoration. This requires a vinyl cutter and a heat press which are a bit pricey but no where near other options. The per item cost of doing vinyl heat press prints are very low for limited production numbers. Another option is to have heat adhesive screen printed prints contracted out and just require heat press to attach to the shirt. The beauty of this is that you have a stack of prints to attach to any size or color of search so your stock of screen print heat transfers can be applied to all your shirts and other items. I am in the process of setting up a shop based on this in the near future.
 
Old August 5th, 2019 Aug 5, 2019 6:04:38 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Small online retailer looking to start printed clothing - 1 print at a time do-able?

Yep, gotta agree with Tom, heat pressing vinyl is a much better option for small production runs, especially if initial demand is an unknown, than screen printing on many levels but particularly with not having to deal with chemicals & the costs associated with creating screens.

If you want to maintain your next day shipping, with vinyl you only need to have created the design to advertise your product as available (as long as you have the apparel blanks & equipment to produce it) whereas with screen printing you would already need to have the screens made, and if you only sell a low number of any given design you may not recover your setup expenses per design.

If you're not familiar with the process Siser have created some good instructional videos here.....http://www.siserna.com/videos/
 






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