T-Shirt screen printing is becoming more and more popular in the modern world. Plenty of young entrepreneurs are starting to take interest in this line of business, but screen printing can be perilous. There are many big decisions to make that can have a big impact on the quality of the final product.

Best Blank T-Shirts for Screen Printing

If you’re looking to start your own clothing line, you need to consider a big variety of factors to ensure you provide good quality products at affordable prices. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the different factors that go into a good T-shirt as well as looking at a variety of commonly-used brands. Hopefully this information will help you to find the best blank T-shirts for your screen printing needs.

What Goes Into Making a Great Blank T-Shirt?

First of all, let’s look at what goes into a T-shirt. One of the top concerns for most screen printers is the material being used. Too many people simply ignore this part of the process, but the average customer will easily be able to feel the difference between good quality shirts and those which are made from weaker materials. The majority of shirts are made form 100% cotton, but cotton can be treated in a variety of ways that affect its quality.

For example, ringspun cotton offers a softer feel for the wearer and clearer printing too. Another option for T-shirt material is the 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester. These shirts are usually softer. Nowadays, Tri-Blends are also being used which contain cotton, polyester and rayon. These T-shirts are becoming very popular for their flexibility and soft texture.

Next, you need to consider the fit of a tee. Everyone wants to have clothes that fit well, so this is a very important aspect. In addition, different audiences will desire different fits. If your T-shirts have a particularly urban theme, they should have a slightly baggy fit. Regular tees should be used for geeky or pop culture-based designs while smarter T-shirts should be well-fitting.

You also need to decide on a quality to price ratio. Every T-shirt seller wants to offer great quality products, but this isn’t always possible depending on your budget. You should therefore try to manage your budget effectively, offering the best quality you can afford at prices your customers will be willing to pay.

standard brands of blank t-shirts

Standard Blank T-Shirt Brands

Now let’s look at some brands to help you find the best blank tee for your printing needs. First of all, there’s the standard brands. This includes Fruit of the Loom, Anvil, Gildan and those sorts of names. These are probably the most commonly-used shirts in the screen printing business as they offer good value.

They tend to be 100% regular cotton, which means that they aren’t the very best quality and may fade or shrink over time. However, they should suit most screen printing companies. They are very cheap to buy and will be able to last for a reasonable amount of time. If you’re looking to print simple designs, particularly aimed at younger people, then these tees are ideal.

american apparel blank t-shirts

American Apparel Blank T-Shirts

Next, we have American Apparel, an increasingly popular brand for screen printing. American Apparel is a globally-recognized brand which offers a wide variety of good quality tees. Their T-shirts can be made from ringspun cotton but will also come in 50/50 or even Tri-Blend varieties if you’d like to spend a bit more money.

They are also available in almost any color imaginable. Naturally, with better quality comes higher prices. If you want to use American Apparel shirts then you’ll need to invest more money, but these shirts will certainly prove popular with your customers.

alternative apparel blank t-shirt

Alternative Apparel Blank T-Shirts

Now let’s look at Alternative Apparel. This is probably the next step up from American Apparel in terms of quality and price. The shirts of this brand are of excellent quality; they feel soft and smooth for the wearer and fit nicely. It’s worth mentioning that Alternative Apparel use a slightly different sizing system to other brands, so be sure to pay special attention to that if you choose to buy these T-shirts.

Overall though, the quality of Alternative Apparel shirts isn’t a major upgrade over American Apparel, so this brand isn’t widely recommended.

Tultex Blank T-Shirts

You might also consider Tultex. The shirts from this brand fit nicely, are made from 100% ringspun cotton and look good overall, making Tultex quite an attractive option to many screen printers. Essentially, this company tries to offer the equivalent quality level of a brand like American Apparel for a lower price.

This does come with a few problems; for example, the sizes tend to be a little bit inconsistent and the shirts may shrink after several washes. However, if you can’t afford one of the better brands then Tultex is a great value choice.

Alstyle Blank T-Shirts

The final brand we’re looking at today is Alstyle. In a similar fashion to Tultex, this company tries to offer great quality at low prices. Once again, this is a noble goal but involves some compromises. Alstyle tees have a high chance of shrinking over time and tend to not always fit perfectly.

They are also made from lower quality materials, with the brand choosing to use regular cotton over the ringspun variety. Overall, Alstyle shirts don’t quite manage to capture the look or feel of the more expensive brands. If you’re hesitating between Alstyle and Tultex, the latter is probably the better option.

As you can see, there are many important choices to make when trying to find the right blank T-shirt for screen printing. You’ll need to consider each aspect of a shirt carefully and match it to your audience. People who are looking to sell humorous T-shirts to students could easily get by with one of the budget brands, while those endeavoring to offer higher quality options may want to consider Alternative Apparel. Either way, you should always consider your options and calculate your budget before making any decision.