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I've been searching for a quality screen printer at the right price, but I haven't found anything terrific. I have three designs, and want to print around 50 shirts for each design. The designs are one color, front only, and printed on American Apparel. Customink.com gives me $8.40 for 60 shirts, which seems pretty expensive. I called a local printer and recieved a quote that was a little higher. I'll just have to keep looking.

How much can you order shirts for?
 

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I started this whole ordeal by playing around on customink with a few shirt ideas but once I did the math (and risk assessment) I found myself ordering screening equipment and looking for cheap blank shirts.

Here's my take: I can order X amount of shirts (various colors, sizes, etc) and basically make them to order. My initial offerings are only limited to how many I want to make, photograph and put on the site. I don't have to order 60 of one design as there's no guarantee I'll sell all of them (sitting on a bunch of $8 shirts really negates any cost benefit of a low per shirt price) and it only gets exponentially worse as your design offerings increase.

So if you've got the time and the space (which I do) you might want to look into it. IF my demand gets to a point where I can no longer sustain a normal life I'll feel confident in making bulk orders from a local screener BUT I'll also have a much better gauge on what the market wants. As an added bonus, the first shirts will cost me nearly nothing to make and part of my business plan is mailing them out to various members of the community that I'm targeting.

Just my $0.02.
 

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There's the downside: A lot, and yes.

Another thing you might try with local shops is getting quotes where you provide the shirts. While some printers will charge more for the screening if you provide the shirt, often it'll still be cheaper if you get the shirts yourself for a decent wholesale rate.
 

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superTs said:
Customink.com gives me $8.40 for 60 shirts, which seems pretty expensive.
http://www.brunettotshirts.com/tshirts.htm advertises AA shirts at $8 a piece for white and $8.50 for colors with a 12 piece minimum.

Even if its $0.10 more per shirts, not having to order 60 a shot might make it worth while. (assuming the advertied numbers on the site are correct)
 

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superTs said:
How much did it cost for the screen printing equipment? Is the process difficult?
Screen printing is often described as expensive, but that really depends on what you want to do with it.

How much does it cost? Anything from a hundred bucks for a very basic kit, through to many tens of thousands.

Is it difficult? If you want to do simple one colour designs it's pretty easy. If you need to register multi-colour design it gets harder, especially if you don't have good equipment.

Screen printing equipment flexes to a budget surprisingly well. By that I mean, more or less whatever amount you have to spend, there will be a kit for that price that has more than a cheaper kit, and less than a more expensive kit.

Basically though, whether or not it's worth diving in to buying equipment mostly depends on how hands on you want to be, and how simple your designs are. If you feel comfortable with that, it's definitely worth a try.
 

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martin said:
http://www.brunettotshirts.com/tshirts.htm advertises AA shirts at $8 a piece for white and $8.50 for colors with a 12 piece minimum.

Even if its $0.10 more per shirts, not having to order 60 a shot might make it worth while. (assuming the advertied numbers on the site are correct)
If you were choosing between Brunetto and another screenprinter, and the price difference was $0.10, I would go with Brunetto.

I have quite a few shirts printed by Brunetto, and the printing on all of them is top quality. If I was US based and wanting printing done, they're who I would most likely go with.
 

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superTs said:
I've been searching for a quality screen printer at the right price, but I haven't found anything terrific. I have three designs, and want to print around 50 shirts for each design. The designs are one color, front only, and printed on American Apparel. Customink.com gives me $8.40 for 60 shirts, which seems pretty expensive. I called a local printer and recieved a quote that was a little higher. I'll just have to keep looking.

How much can you order shirts for?

Anywhere from the 6.00 to 8.00 dollar mark is what you can expect for that quantity of AA shirts. On a gildan you should expect to pay around 5.00 to 7.00 a shirt.

We are a screenprinting and sign making shop and we would charge around 6.75 a shirt for 60 AA's. If you don't need that many shirts shop around some screen printers thrive on the guys that don't need but a dozen shirts while other printers won't touch them.

My advice is don't buy alot of one design untill you know the market. You can always go with screened transfers and that way if a design does not sell your only wasting paper and ink and not shirts.
 

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superTs said:
How much did it cost for the screen printing equipment? Is the process difficult?
From what I've learned, the process itself isn't difficult.. getting the technique down so you don't mess up every other shirt takes some time.

As for cost.. I got a decent, new one-color stand for $69.00 off Ebay. I figure another $100ish for inks and various chemicals, screens run about $15 a pop, and another $50 in squeeges, etc. Seeing as how it's sunny out here 98% of the time I'm skipping the light box, and I'm going to *try* to find a way to cure the ink (dry it) without a flash dryer at least initially.

Before all the pro screeners get their panties in a bunch, remember that this is purely an experiment and I will go to a pro shop if I have to do more than 10 shirts at a time.. It's a way to show people exactly what they are getting without a huge outlay in shirts that may not sell. I have the capital available to do so, but for me it's vital to know the process and my market.

Most of the shirt companies I see that pop up on here only have pictures of their designs, not the actual shirts- marketing wise, that's an extremely hard sell. The bigger companies set a mood with their pictures and I think that the customer responds to that.. Models, scenes, and product all have to jive together. If you think I'm wrong, pick up a fashion magazine and show me an ad with some clothed dummies on a white background.

/rant
 

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monkeylantern said:
That's still a very hot sun! :)
If you'd care to read I've only suggested that only the emulsion would be subjected to the sun.. making the paint stick would be handled by an oven or two. :) ;)
 

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Chris said:
I started this whole ordeal by playing around on customink with a few shirt ideas but once I did the math (and risk assessment) I found myself ordering screening equipment and looking for cheap blank shirts.
What will an initial investment cost? And at what point should you determine to go that route? What was your difference in profit by getting the equiipment urself?
 

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Chris said:
If you'd care to read I've only suggested that only the emulsion would be subjected to the sun.. making the paint stick would be handled by an oven or two. :) ;)
I blame this on being drunk when I posted last on this thread :)
 

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[
I'm going to *try* to find a way to cure the ink (dry it) without a flash dryer at least initially.
You can use your home oven to Cure your shirts.
For flashing you need a flash unit..but I have heard of people using a heat gun to flash shirts .

The oven I have used when my dryer unit crapped out in the middle of a huge order...it works. I would suggest that you get a flash unit and you can use that to flash and cure your shirts.
 
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