Why You Can’t Get One Screen Printed T-shirt

Why You Can't Get One Screen Printed T-shirt

We are back with a quick informational post about why you can’t get one screen printed t-shirt. We know that this post will help a lot of potential customers understand how ordering custom t-shirts works.  Today’s topic will be why you can’t get one screen printed t-shirt. A lot of time we will get a request for a customer wanting just one screen printed shirt rather it be a sample, or all they really need is one. More than likely they are not aware of other printing processes, or they really want it screen printed. Well we are going to summarize the steps in making a screen printed t-shirt.

When making a screen printed t-shirt there are a few steps before it goes to press.

  1. Preparing artwork. Artwork might need to be separated (more on this later)
  2.  Printing transparencies. These printed images will be burned into the screen
  3. Preparing the screen. Screen needs to have emulsion added and completely dried before adding transparency.
  4. Exposing the screen (burning image into the screen to prepare for print. The more colors the more screens.
  5. Washing out the screen to knock out the burned image. Then waiting for the screen to dry.
  6. Now we add the screen to the press, register and align the image and begin printing.
  7. Clean up. Cleaning screen getting them ready for the next project.

That’s a lot of work for one t-shirt! That is the reason why most screen printers say no to your question of why you can’t get one screen printed t-shirt,  or you will be charged a pretty penny for this to be done.  With everything there are always exceptions.  If the printer already does high volumes of custom shirts for you then it is up to them if they would like do this. They know you are more than likely going to order them anyways, so they can keep the screens, or will charge you a lower price.  Maybe a printer only does this on the side and does not care.   As you can imagine each step has cost  involved with materials and of course time is money.  If you are approaching a professional screen printer rather they work from home, or the big warehouse printer in town it all comes down to those seven steps listed above. Hopefully you now how a better understanding of how a screen printed t-shirt is made, and why you can’t get one screen printed t-shirt.


Now say you still want a sample shirt or just one shirt. You still have options! Heat transfer vinyl is a great way to quickly and efficiently to create one ofs.  Vinyl comes in a variety of colors, and textures.  Be sure to ask you printer if this is something they offer. Read more about heat transfer vinyl here.


Dye sublimation is also another great option if they are on light color shirts. There are a couple restrictions so be sure to check out this blog post on how  dye sublimation t-shirt are made.


Finally there is DTG (Direct to garment).  DTG prints ink directly on the garment.  Ask your printer if this is something they offer!


If you have any on why you can’t get one screen printed t-shit or about the options of printing processes we use feel free to contact us!




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Leave a comment