How Much Does Screen Printing Cost?
Screen printing is the process of using a woven mesh to support an ink-based stencil. This stencil can form and transfer any image or color onto any piece of clothing such as a hat, t-shirt, sweatshirt and more. This process usually works best when the article is made of a polyester material, but it can be done to other fabrics as well. Screen printing is a great way to create custom gear for your place of business, school or sports team.
How much is it?
- On average, plan on spending around $8 to $15 per t-shirt. Larger items, such as sweatshirts and hooded sweatshirts, can cost anywhere from $18 to $29 each. With most companies, the more you purchase at once, the lower the “per item” rate will go. Usually, you have to create an order of more than 100+ to see a significant discount. Do not forget to factor in the setup and color fees.
- For example, Cheapestees.com charges anywhere from $2.95 to as much as $7.95 per t-shirt. The cost will greatly depend on the number of colors and the number of t-shirts needed. This will not include the $35 per color, per side setup charge.
- Zazzle.com states that their t-shirts start at $11.84, but you can receive discounts by ordering a greater quantity.
What is going to be included?
- The price you are quoted for the screen printing should include the t-shirts as well.
- When having something customized, such as a t-shirt, the screen printing company will usually need the number of shirts, the number of colors that will be needed, the style, the type of material and how fast you need it back.
- When submitting a picture, most will ask that it is in a JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF or PDF form.
- Most will limit you to 8 colors to a shirt.
What are the extra costs?
- Most screen printing companies will want you to provide the artwork for the items. However, if you need them to create something for you, they can do it for a minimal fee.
- The more colors that you need, the more you are going to probably pay. On average, for each color, plan on adding at least $1 to $3 per item.
- An initial setup fee may be charged on top of the t-shirt price. This setup fee can cost anywhere from $10 to $45.
- The average turnaround time is seven days. However, many offer rush services that can result in a higher premium.
- Placing a photo on a t-shirt can be costly as well due to the color separation process.
- Larger sizes such as XL and XXL can cost an extra $1 to $3 more per shirt.
- Typical t-shirts are going to be the color white. However, customers are able to choose darker colors. Darker colors can cost $5 to $10 more per shirt, depending on the brand and style.
Factors that influence the cost:
- Article of Clothing. Screen printing can be done on t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweat shirts, tank tops, pants or sweats, hats, bag, etc. The piece on which they will do the screen print will determine the base price of the project.
- Color. The color of the item to be screen printed will affect the cost, since a white shirt is easier to print than a black shirt.
- Design. The more complex the design, the higher the price will be. More colors will also mean a higher price.
- Placement. Most screen prints are done on the front or back of the shirt. However, there could be print in other places such as down the sleeve, on the hood of a sweatshirt, or down the leg of a pair of sweats. Each location will require a different screen, which means the price will increase with each location.
- Quantity. Most print shops will have a minimum order (usually 10 to 15), but will give discounts for orders of 100 or more.
Tips to know:
- Be sure to read the fine print. Many screen printing companies are going to include setup fees and more.
- If you can, try to limit the number of colors. The fewer colors you have, the more you are going to be able to save per shirt.
- Know the turn around times. Busier companies can take up to a month to return your orders.
- Even if you are ordering a range of sizes from youth to adult, the print shop will use the same screen. This means that your design can not be any bigger than the size of the smallest shirt. The design may look normal size on a youth small, but may look vary small on an adult extra large. Consider having them make two different size screens; this should only cost you $50 more at the most.
How can I save money?
- Generally, the more shirts you purchase at once, the more you are going to save “per item.” Usually, large discounts can be had when you reach 500 shirts or more.
- The internet is jammed packed with companies that are willing to create your t-shirts. Make sure that you compare at least three to five companies. VistaPrint.com is known to have some of the lower prices when it comes to screen printing.
- Do your own design so that you do not have to pay someone to do it for you.
- There are many times that you can purchase the articles of clothing separately and then take them to the print shop to be printed. For example, if a store has a really good sale on sweatpants, you might pay less than you would if ordering through the print shop.