We published our feature on the best websites to find your next cool T-shirt, but we realise it would also be helpful to know which T-shirt printing companies to go to with your own designs.
We've found 10 UK companies that cover or specialise in three main T-shirt printing methods - screen-printing, direct-to-garment or sublimation printing. Some deliver on the same day, and some you may need a little wriggle room for. Some companies offer sustainable or recycled garments, others a speciality range of inks and dyes.
Whether you’re looking to print a load of T-shirts in bulk to sell, or just one bespoke shirt as a gift, we’ve got you covered.
We've broken down the companies by the printing processes that they offer – with a bit of info about the differences between the processes. So first off, screen printing.
Although it's a little more expensive and time consuming, screen-printing will be your best bet in terms of quality for bulk orders and printing a design with only one or two colours.
Screen printing works by pushing ink through a mesh stencil onto the T-shirt. Each colour in your design needs a different stencil to be made. All of the required stencils are then lined up and printed on all the garments on an automated press using the same screens. Although this traditional process seems a little more laborious, those who do screen print are often passionate about their craft, saying it remains the best process for printing textiles.
Take a look at what these five screen printing companies offer.
Monsterpress has been screen printing for over 10 years now. They feel passionate about the quality they produce within a turnaround time of typically 7-10 working days.
You can choose to have your design created in premium standard, discharge, plastisol, plastisol transfers or waterbed inks, or from a range of speciality inks such as metallic, neon, CMYK on Heather and glow in the dark.
Check out their most popular clothes on the offers page to get an indication of their competitive rates. They also have prices for individual garments in an online catalogue to give you an idea of price difference. Monsterpress has a minimum order of 20pcs per design/garment, but recommend at least 25/50 for better price breaks.
It’s worth checking out some beautiful designs printed by Monsterpress on their Instagram account. A free mock-up kit, neck print guide or artwork guide for screen printing are also available to download from their site.
We featured 3rd Rail originally in our best websites to find your next cool T-shirt round-up, but 3rd Rail also provides a personalised screen printing service from their London studio.
As a similar service to Monsterpress, 3rd Rail will take your design and screen print it onto T-shirts (or sweatshirts if that’s your thing). They have a helpful range of standard artwork sizing templates - such as left breast, centre-chest or all over - to help you understand what’s going to work well for your design.
If you’re still a little stuck, check out their T-shirt mock-up kits and templates to make the design process a little clearer.
3rd Rail offers standard ink types such as plastisol, water-based, discharge and transfer, and also a range of specialty inks such as fluorescent, cracking, foil and reflective.
Everpress is a new online platform here to help you execute your own bespoke T-shirt series with no upfront costs. Simply upload your design, choose your garments and create your own campaign page ready for buyers to pre-order from.
The platform began in 2016 out of a desire to simplify the production and distribution of selling merchandise. Mainly focused on designers, illustrators and the music industry, Everpress aims to allow these professions to sell T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts directly to their individual communities and fans.
You can monitor live visitors and sales statistics from the comfort of your home with an online dashboard, and once the campaign ends, Everpress prints all the items in one batch and delivers them directly to buyers internationally. The production costs come out of the sales proceeds, and you take all the profits.
To get an idea of what this all looks like, check out what Everpress has done for it’s own 50/50 T-shirt campaign involving designs from Supermundane, La Boca and more for cancer charity Trekstock.
Blackwater Studios have specialised in screen printing T-shirts for more than 40 years, so it’s probably safe to assume they definitely know their stuff.
Proudly backing the perks of screen-printing over other methods, such as quality, volume and flexibility, Blackwater Studios offers a minimum order of 25 and a simplified online ordering format. Ask for a quote before placing an order, then choose from their comfortingly standard inks and screen print style collection. You can chose the size, colour and cotton of you garment accordingly.
They also offer some pretty sweet T-shirt printing deals, starting at 50 T-shirts from £180 with delivery and VAT included.
This textile screen printing company just outside Cardiff may be a little lesser known, but it offers some good opportunities for screen printing tees in batches.
With facilities to print small or large scale runs of products, and an in-house graphics team to help you out, you’ve got a few choices. March Asylum has a client base made up of fashion brands throughout UK and Europe.
The south Wales company says most of their jobs are printed on an automatic press, but they offer manual screen printing of smaller print runs and jobs with non-conventional print placements.
Just slightly more than Blackwater Studio’s offer, Merch Asylum offer 50 T-shirts with one colour print for £185. Although their website doesn’t have many examples of previous work, the best place to check out is their blog.
Direct to Garment (DTG)
If the screen-printing process doesn’t appeal to you, there’s the option of direct-to-garment (DTG) printing - best used if your design has lots of colours or you only want a small number of products. DTG comes at a slightly higher cost because of the technology used, but if you want to creative freedom to use as much colour as possible in your design, then it may be the way to go.
If you’re looking for inexpensive, direct-to-garment printing in the UK then Shirt Monkey are your guys. Working out of Cheshire for the last four years, this small company prints CMYK and white ink onto garments on almost any fabric type or coloured T-shirt using their fresh Kornit printers.
Shirt Monkey also offers to "fold and bag" each garment ready for selling, and for designers who may be looking to launch an online store, they offer full custom e-commerce design and setup.
Prices start as low as £3.25 for 50 or more garments (excluding VAT), and it’ll only cost you £5.00 if you want to print less than 10 tees.
The next two T-shirt printing companies have an emphasis on organic, fair-trade, sustainable and recycled clothing. If you want your design on an eco-friendly shirt, then take a look at the different garment options AM Custom Clothing and Rapanui Factory.
Both sell Bamboo T-shirts - a fairly new eco fashion choice. Bamboo shirts cost less than many other fabrics and don’t involve the use of pesticides and fertilisers in the process. You can read more about this on AM Custom Clothing’s blog. Rapanui Factory says wholesale organic cotton tees are their most popular item, but also offer sourcing in T-shirts if requested.
AM Custom Clothing offers screen-printing, dye sublimation printing and DTG printing, but what sets this company apart is their option of fair-trade, organic and recycled garments to choose from. Fair-trade fashion is an important ethos of theirs, and you can find out loads more information about where they source their materials and garments from on their blog and website.
If you want to print less than 25 plain items then it's easy enough to shop online, otherwise they advise you to ask for a quote.
Another multi-talented company committed to sustainability is Rapanui Factory. The factory was built for the Rapanui fashion brand, but has grown to cover screen printing, DTG and bulk T-shirt manufacturing. They’ve produced printed T-shirts for the likes of Lush, WWF and Bestival.
Rapanui Factory offers DTG printing for designs with lots of colour and short runs. With no setup charge, your artwork can have the choice of special inks with no set up cost. They even offer artwork guidelines - such as templates in PSD, AI and PDF format. Transparent PNG’s are the best way to get the most from DTG printing.
Sublimation printing is probably the most economical print method if you want a design that needs full coverage or all-over printing. This style of printing uses heat and pressure to transfer dye onto the garment. Your artwork is printed onto a sheet of high-release paper and transferred with the heat - the dye particles convert into gas where they bond to the fibres. The best part about sublimation printing is that your design won’t easily crack or peel off. It’s worth noting a true black can not be achieved with dye sublimation as the T-Shirts can only absorb a certain amount of ink.
The following companies offer screen printing, direct to garment and sublimation printing.
With previous clients like Facebook and the Tate, Printsome offers expert T-shirt printing service particularly for bulk orders with a standard turnaround of 5 to 10 days.
Ordering with Printsome in bulk will bring the price down, improve the consistent quality and broaden your options. They’ve got T-shirt brands ready for you to personalise with your design, and if you’re not sure which is best, their design team can help.
Although they cater to bulk orders - they take orders of a minimum of 10 prints - you can order less than 10 units with their Shop feature. This allows you to design, customise and buy online.
Their website is ver user friendly, with lots of encouragement to just give them a call and ask for a quote and a nifty option to have a live chat. But you can browse their catalogue first to get an idea of what they offer.
If you’re looking for a quick turnaround - as in the same or next day with a low-quantity run - garment printing offers screen-printing, sublimation and DTG with this in mind.
Although Garment Printing may have a strong pull toward promotional merchandise or T-shirt runs on a low budget, it’s hard not to get excited over their efficiency and the large amount of options on offer.
Take a look at some of their services and recent case studies.