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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried to find anyone discussing this and have not found one thread. So we are a pretty big printer, we do at least 100k shirts per year. I was wondering if anyone just creates their own tshirts from fabric? I know 1.50 isnt much for a shirt, but we could essentially make some profit and also have extremely faster turnaround time as we literally would just make the tshirts inhouse.

All you really need is to figure out where to buy the fabric, buy a fabric cutting tool (about 500 bucks) and a industrial sewing machine. (800 bucks)

With that said, we wouldnt do all colors, just blacks mainly as thats our top seller. I'd also want to train most of my employees on how to do it when we have some downtime. I've watched some youtube videos and I don't think you need to be a professional seamstress to sew a shirt together, its all the same movements once you get the hang of it and have some practice.

Any thoughts on this? Even if I broke even on the labor and costs to do this each day compared to 1.50 per shirt, I'd still want to do it as that way we dont have to rely on a shirt supplier and I'm also able to hire more people this way.
 

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I know 1.50 isnt much for a shirt, but we could essentially make some profit and also have extremely faster turnaround time as we literally would just make the tshirts inhouse.
I don't want to burst your bubble, but there is WAAAAYYYYYY more to making a run of custom blank tees than you realize. For starters, I don't see it being very easy to make a shirt within the US, in-house for less than the cost of a Gildan tee...
I've been working in the printing and cut&sew industries for over a decade and there is a lot that goes into the manufacturing of a blank tee:

You have to find the fabric you want, hope the mill has enough of it, make a sample pattern, have it graded for all sizes in the range, wash tests, dye lots... sooooo many steps to make sure that the shirts you designed fit the way they are supposed to and that the colors don't wash out, and that's not even the sewing!
Just take a look around the forums and see the threads where you have pages of users all stressing over the quality of the shirts they are getting from suppliers....Now imaging that you are the MFG of thousands of shirts that all have some slight error and now need to be returned..

That all being said, if you are passionate about making a quality blank, then do it! But if you are just looking to squeeze a few more cents out per piece you are printing, save you efforts for minimizing spoilage and mistakes around the shop and you'll have a better chance of coming out on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't want to burst your bubble, but there is WAAAAYYYYYY more to making a run of custom blank tees than you realize. For starters, I don't see it being very easy to make a shirt within the US, in-house for less than the cost of a Gildan tee...
I've been working in the printing and cut&sew industries for over a decade and there is a lot that goes into the manufacturing of a blank tee:

You have to find the fabric you want, hope the mill has enough of it, make a sample pattern, have it graded for all sizes in the range, wash tests, dye lots... sooooo many steps to make sure that the shirts you designed fit the way they are supposed to and that the colors don't wash out, and that's not even the sewing!
Just take a look around the forums and see the threads where you have pages of users all stressing over the quality of the shirts they are getting from suppliers....Now imaging that you are the MFG of thousands of shirts that all have some slight error and now need to be returned..

That all being said, if you are passionate about making a quality blank, then do it! But if you are just looking to squeeze a few more cents out per piece you are printing, save you efforts for minimizing spoilage and mistakes around the shop and you'll have a better chance of coming out on top.
Ideally we buy the fabric that has already been dyed. We are going to test the waters with only black as we dont want to jump and take on anything too crazy. Maybe even Medium, to XL sizes as well. Its not all about making more profit. As long as I can get the quality as good as gildan, we would be having a huge advantage and just much easier fulfillment if we can just make our own tshirts inhouse. Would save us a ton of labor costs in placing orders, 1-2 two day delays, and also allow us to hire more people.

But yes main thing is to find the quality fabric plus dyed. IF anyone knows of any suppliers please let me know!
 
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