There can be an overwhelming number of options for custom screen printing and embroidery. Whether you are screen printing a new design with your own label or embroidering jackets for your sales team, you have unique needs for your custom t-shirt project.
Fortunately, we compiled a short list of things to consider to help you find the best, highest-quality custom printers available.
Here are some key points to consider.
Of Course, Read the Reviews
Not all reviews are reliable. You know, as well as anyone, how some people can have an off day, be impossible to please, or even target a small business.
Still, overall, online reviews on Google, Facebook, or Yelp can help.
Rather than just “go with the most stars,” though, read a few to see what people are saying. Are they talking about projects which are similar to yours? Do they give specifics (that show they are real customers), instead of just leaving stars and moving on?
Ideally, the best t-shirt companies will inspire a few customers to give you an accurate account of their experience with a company.
And if they do have negative reviews–how did the company respond? Did they seek to make it right? Sometimes things go awry, but a reliable t-shirt company will work to fix mistakes.
Next, Really Dig into Their Expertise
Yes, there is an abundance of screen-printing places near you, but they are far from created equal.
To find the best custom screen printing and embroidery company, determine their expertise as it relates to your project:
- Can they provide samples of similar projects (at least photos or online)?
- Can they speak intelligently about what you have in mind?
- Do they have the equipment for your job, and can they tell you about their equipment (or give you a video/visual tour)?
A t-shirt printing company might be perfectly fine for someone else, but if it is really the best custom printer for your task, they will have the equipment and expertise it takes for the job you have.
They might even be able to issue you some words of caution about your project. They should have a sense of the best inks, threads, materials, or design to meet the needs of your job.
For example, you might want to screen print on a material that would not show your colors well. If they know their industry, they will point you in the right direction to get exactly what you want.
At this point, when you talk about equipment, it’s also a good idea to talk about the timeline for your project. Even if a t-shirt company can print 100 shirts, they might not have the equipment to do 1,000. Also, depending on your project, you might have to pay extra to move to the head of the production line. Those are important timeline points to consider.
Ideally, your timeline should line up with a t-shirt company’s abilities and expertise.
Consider a Test Run
Some companies can show you samples of projects similar to your own, such as through a video chat.
Another option is to do a test run. You could get a single sample fabric swatch, in some cases, such as certain embroidery projects, or you could do the smallest run that makes sense for your project, like initially printing just 10 t-shirts and if that goes well you actually plan to print 500.
If you have printed custom clothing in the past, and you had any dissatisfaction with your experience, talk about it as part of your test run. Your next t-shirt project and printing company might do a better job, but they need to know what did not work.
Consider Local Expertise
When you search “custom t-shirt printing near me” you should get local options, particularly when using features like Google Maps.
Using a local printer supports your own community– developing the kinds of local relationships which spread word-of-mouth and generate referrals across industries.
What’s more, when you use a custom t-shirt printer near you, you get local expertise and local personality.
While everything in the world might be available online, there’s not the same level of accountability you get in a local community. All the online reviews in the world don’t mean as much as the review of your own local colleague who tried that company!
So, if you are in the Clearwater, Florida, or Tampa Bay area, give us a shout at T-shirt Labs. We do what we love and love what we do…and we think you will too!