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Choosing Screen Printing Over Embroidery

When you want to have a design placed on fabric, you are faced with a myriad of possible choices. Yet, two of the more common ones today are also among the oldest forms of printing. They are embroidery and screen printing. Both are popular; both have their advocates, but each should be employed in specific instances.


Embroidery has been used for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest methods used to put a design on fabric. It is also among the simplest. It simply requires a needle, thread, and the surface upon which to stitch the design.

The original process was simple. You:

1.Created a design – either mapping it out on paper as a pattern or retaining it in your head
2.Chose the colors of thread you wanted to use to create the design
3.Sewed or stitched (embroidered) the design carefully onto the fabric.

In some instances, you actually had to dye the threads and cloth before you began the slow but exacting process of recreating the design on the fabric.

The invention of sewing machines made the process easier, but the work is still considered to be very precise. The look is perceived as being classic and even classy when compared to other forms of printing on fabrics. The raised surface provides the design with a 3 dimensional look that appeals to those who want their graphics to come alive and/or the text to leap off the fabric.

Yet, technology also saw to the production of lightweight material that can not withstand embroidery work and has limited applications in items such as T shirts. If you decided to wear a T shirt that had been embroidered extensively, you would find yourself having issues. The material would not hang properly and could possibly pucker unattractively. Tearing is also possible because of the weight of the threads on the lighter material.

Screen Printing

If you are looking for a T shirt that acts as a canvas for your design, you are more likely to consider screen printing. This is particularly true for large runs of items. You can cover the back, the front, and use the sleeves inexpensively for large lots. This makes for affordable team or group T shirts that you can order in bulk.

Screen printing allows you to look more relaxed or even casual. This is, after all, what T shirts are made for.

With screen printing, you can easily add a logo, design, text, or graphics on almost any garment – although it works best with cotton and other sweat shirt material. However, it is the most highly recommended method for T shirt decoration.

Defining Vintage T Shirt Designs

We have all heard the word “vintage.” There are vintage shops of various types all across America. In fact, vintage stores are found throughout the world. Yet, the term is thrown around casually, without much attention paid to what exactly the term means. While it may not be true when it comes to vinyl, it is certainly valid when you hear the term “vintage T shirt designs.”

What Does Vintage Mean?

If you are like me, you want to have terms explained as simply and accurately as possible. You want to be able to understand in plain language what a word means. While the word vintage is used to describe many items of the past eras, this is not exactly what it means. In fact, the word is often confused with and misapplied to the term “retro.”

The term vintage refers to items that were produced after the 1920s. Before this period, the term applied is “antique.” The clothing, furniture and often other items are vintage up to any date that precedes the current one by at least 20 years. The products do not need to be worn or used to be called vintage. The word “retro” applies to a new item that resembles, copies, or mimics a style of an era in the past. It can refer to any item that mimics any period from the beginning of time. For example, you could wear a retro T shirt with a design from the late 1800’s or one featuring an ad from the 1960’s.

What Are Vintage T Shirt Designs?

To an extent, vintage T shirts designs are a combination of the retro and vintage definitions. Vintage T shirts are not a vintage T’s. They are not made in the appropriate eras. Vintage design T shirts are ones you have made or are made today. They are not retro, but feature a design that is considered vintage.

Vintage T shirts frequently are graphic T shirts featuring a vintage design. The picture or photo would be old as would any form of graphics, motto, or adages. Old slogans, old comic book covers, or characters –or even a retro advertisement. As you can see, this is where the lines between vintage and retro T shirts blur.

Why You May Opt for Vintage T Shirts Designs

There are many reasons why you may prefer to wear vintage T shirt designs. Overall, vintage style clothing continues to attract fashion designers over the ages. Vintage style, vintage inspired, or vintage reproductions on your T shirts remind us of the past. We may choose the designs based upon a love of color, a preference for specific graphics – e.g. the psychedelic abstracts of the 1960’s, or a favorite motto or design. Unlike many of the original vintage memorabilia, clothing or furniture, we can afford vintage T shirt designs.

The “Rightness” Of Customized Team T Shirts

If you are a member of a team or putting together one, you need to come up with a look. You can throw together basic color schemes or have everyone wear the same style shirt. In fact, there are several ways you can go about getting that team look. Yet, one seems to be more popular and considered better than others. This is arranging for customized team T shirts.

What Are Customized T Shirts?

Customizing a T Shirt refers to what is done to a regular t shirt of any style. First, you make a decision on what style of T shirt you favor and then come up with a design, slogan, or motto to personalize the T shirt. Afterwards, you present the idea to the actual designer or T shirt company.
In general, whether you come up with the design or the company does, there is some talk about its practicality. If it appears to be able to accomplish its task, then the arrangements are made. You hire the company to run off a certain amount of T shirts sporting the designated design, motto or logo. The end product, in your case, would be customized team T shirts.

Factors in Creating Customized Team T Shirts

When it comes to choosing the right customized team T shirts, you have a number of factors to take into consideration. Among them are:
Actual Design: This is the most important, as it can determine whether you require extensive work –back, front and shoulders, or minimal personalization. But ask yourself: can embroidered patches do the job or will you require graphics, large numbers and/or team logos? Are you going to feature a sponsor on the Tees?

  • Availability: If you want a specific design, it may require increased customization. Customized team T shirts may require less intensive customization if certain aspects of the design are readily available as clip images.
  • Size: Can size help determine what printing style you can use? Embroidery is best for small designs and patches; screen printing can handle larger surfaces.
  • Amount: The larger number of T shirts you request for a run using silk screen printing, the less expensive it is. How large is your team?
  • Style: What style of T shirt do you want the team to wear? Will they all be in crew, v, or scoop? This will create a uniformity but may not be suitable for everyone.

Why Buy Customized Team T Shirts?

Customized Tee shirts can be the perfect fit for you and your team. They provide you with a uniform look that can still express who your company or charity is with clarity and uniqueness. If you want, you can even tailor the look to suit the individual preferences of your team mates by allowing them to pick the actual style of T shirt.

How To Find The Right T-Shirt Design/Print Company

As you wander through the retail outlets at your local mall or strip plaza, one thing becomes crystal clear. These shops are increasing in number. Yet, it is also obvious that not all print shops are the same. They provide different services and, from the product you have glimpsed, varying quality. Some have access to wholesale T shirts, thereby reducing the cost and allowing them to mass produce your designs. Others have only a limited selection of product, and can only make a single T-shirt at a time.

Finding the Right Company for You

I cannot tell you what company will measure up to your demands. This is personal and I simply do not have all the pertinent data. I can, however, suggest what you should look for when shopping around for a T-Shirt. It begins with making sure you know what you want. This is important because different print companies use different processes. They also may or may not be able to let you use an original design. This says nothing about whether they can draw on wholesale T shirt supplies to help you find the right one at the right cost.

Points To Consider – Including Wholesale T Shirts

When it comes to finding the right company to produce your t shirt or shirts, consider the following as a brief guide. Look at such factors as:

  • Amount: How many T-shirts do your need? If you require more than one, perhaps it is best to look online for someone who has access to wholesale T shirts, to help you reduce the overall cost.
  • Design: Do you have a design in mind? Is it original or readily available on the net? Is it licensed? Do you need a company that can simply reproduce or replicate the design, or one that will work with you to make what you want come alive on your T shirts?
  • Time frame: Do you want your T-shirts by, like, yesterday? If so, you need to talk to a company such as One Hour Tees that specializes in accomplishing this. If you have more time, your options are greater.
  • Costs: If you don’t have a budget, you should at least prepare one. You need to look at the above factors and see if they can all fit into your budget. In most shops, the design cost rises if the company needs to deal with an original design. However, the time frame is longer increasing the cost. And, if you’re after a single T, it would be much cheaper than buying several –unless the company has access to wholesale T shirts. If this is the case, it will definitely help you reduce the overall cost.

A Final Note

The easy access to printing technology has led to a surge in the amount of printers and suppliers. It has also, not surprisingly, resulted in increased providers and manufacturers of wholesale T shirts. Online and in the mall, they give you a chance to explore the possibilities before you commit yourself to a single company that will offer you exactly what you want.

Famous Tee Shirts

Because we love T shirts, we wear them as casual and semi-casual garments. Some of us are never even seen without them. And, when it comes to T-shirt fashion, the variety lends itself to our personalities. We can opt for plain solid or striped Tees. We can also decide to personalize them even further. T shirt printing can help us express ourselves in any number of ways. In fact, for over a century, T shirt printing companies have created memorable phrases and designs that have become collectibles or, at least, have expressed the sentiments of the time.

Early T Shirt Printing Content

While the army and navy may have popularized t-shirts for the working class, Hollywood made use of basic T shirt printing lettering and designs to advertise their movies. The now famous The Wizard of Oz, released in 1939, features three men wearing simple green Ts sporting the slogan “Oz.” They are found in the scene where the Scarecrow is at the Wash & Brushup Company in Emerald City. This is now a rare collectible.

The media are also responsible for featuring another now famous Tee shirt. On July 13, 1942, LIFE magazine featured what has become known as the first printed tee shirt on their cover. It showed the Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt. This may have been the first printed tee but, as we all know, it was not the last. T shirt printing became a popular media for companies as a means of advertising and personal expression in that century and the next.

The 1950’s: Enter the Mouse

Perhaps, the earliest most famous character to be printed on a tee was a Walt Disney Character. Mickey Mouse began to appear on Tees designed by a company known as Tropix Togs in Miami, Florida. Its founder was Sam Kantor. For decades, this company was to hold the exclusive rights to printing all of Walt Disney’s characters including Minnie, Mickey, and Davy Crockett. Printed T shirts were fast becoming a profitable business venture.

T Shirt Printing from the 1960’s Onward

When we think of the 1960’s, we think of tie-dyes. Yet, this era also saw the introduction of several famous printed slogans, some resulting from the new screen-printing process. Warren Dayton, famous for his psychedelic poster designs, came up with the iconic (and now classic) Cesar Chavez T shirt. Other printed designs from the 1960’s and 1970’s that remain memorable to this day feature such pop culture greats as the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones.

In the 1970’s, while political protest messages still remained, we find T shirt printing and designs that remain popular. The smiley face and its opposite are two. The Rolling Stones’ “tongue and lips” logo are another. In the 1984’s, the word “Relax” (which featured on a song banned by various radio stations) was printed on T-shirts in large capital letters. Both the song and the t-shirt became popular, reaching number one ‘on the air’ and on the street.

Yet, among the most prolific expressions of the times we still find in use are based on the campaign created for New York City by Milton Glaser. This is the “I Love New York” t-shirt with a small heart symbolizing “love.” It has since appeared on t-shirts all across the US, Canada, and other cities around the world.

T Shirt Printing Today

Today, T shirt printing encompasses a variety of materials, styles, and types. We proudly wear Tees boasting our support of various causes – political, social, or otherwise. We advertise for companies, and even place photos of those we love on our T shirts. In fact, T shirts insult, express, declare, and explain a lot about us – often with only a single printed word. This is something that can be easily accomplished by contacting a company such as One Hour Tees.

The Art of Screen Printing T-shirts

The screen printing of T-shirts is both a science and an art – just ask the experts at OneHourTee and other companies. It requires skill, as well as finesse. It also demands that attention be paid to detail. When we are shopping for the right t-shirt, or looking for someone to provide us with that perfect product, it always pays to understand exactly what is required of someone or some company that does screen printing.

What Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing, or serigraphy, is a process through which an object – often fabric, but also paper, metal, china or plastic– is decorated with graphics, a logo, or printing. It accomplishes this by pressing ink through a woven screen or mesh. Areas of the screen are blocked off using a stencil. This allows the application of different colored thick ink to penetrate the material. The result is an image or wording that has a raised appearance.

Screen Printing – A Brief History

When screen printing T-shirts, a company is providing you with the most common method used to date to produce work on a commercial basis. Yet, surprisingly, the technique is not new. It dates back more than two centuries, specifically to China, where they created a screen using human hair and a wooden frame. The stencil comprising the design consisted of leaves.

The Japanese made an improvement on this method by replacing hair with woven silk from silk worms. This resulted in the name by which we know it today: silk screening. However, printing T-shirts was not part of this process until the 20th century, when Samuel Simon of Manchester England (1907) registered the first commercial patent for the process. His work, together with that of San Francisco’s John Pilsworth, laid the basics for what was to become a thriving industry.

Pilsworth invented the Selectasine method. This allowed several different colors to be utilized. The method contributed much to the Art Deco period of the early 20th century. Without his contribution, we would never have had that famous “Uncle Sam Wants YOU” poster of WWI. The method is also responsible for the existence of colorful movie posters from the period, and for the lettering on Tanks and other army vehicles during WWII. In fact, the personnel for D-Day adopted silk screen printing. T-shirts worn by the GI’s bore the words “U.S. Army Property.”

Screen Printing T-Shirts Today

Since then, the process has evolved, with more technology for creating newer methods to perform this old skill. Plastisol, discovered in 1959, added a new and more durable and pliable ink. It became one in a series of trendy inks that have come in and out of fashion, particularly when it comes to screen printing T-shirts. We may opt for metallic ink, consider a certain image or logo our favorite, and change our minds about whether this or that design sends an appropriate message. Yet, we no longer marvel about how technology has changed the process so that it no longer resembles its origins. Still, the overall intent and technique remains the same. The more we change, the more the procedure adapts to produce what it was intended to do in the first place: create and recreate a design for us to appreciate, discuss, and reflect upon.

Four Methods of Creating Custom Made T Shirts

If you’re considering purchasing custom made shirts for an event or a team, you should understand the possible methods used to get what you want. With computer technology adding to the older existing methods, you now have many choices. Which type will work best will depend upon several factors, including what you want done and which method a professional printing company like One Hour Tees offers.

Creating Custom Made Shirts: Silk Screening or Printing

This is by far the most common way used to create custom made shirts, and it’s perfect if your design only requires a couple of different colors. It is also for those who want their design or lettering to have a raised feel and appearance. The advantages of this method for any producer include speed and cost-effectiveness. You will be wowed by the durability of the imprinted designs, as well as the vivid colors.


If you have a dress, shirt, hat or jacket on which you want to place a specific image or lettering, companies such as One Hour Tees suggest a technique called embroidery. This is either done by hand, or by using a specific machine. T-shirts may pucker as a result of the process, which may limit the bulk production of custom-made shirts. The cost is also a factor in reducing its overall popularity.
Nevertheless, if you want something embroidered, it can be done. Simply stick to smaller designs. Alternatively, ask whether you can combine this method with silk screening to achieve a unique design.

Digital Printing

Technology has resulted in many advancements in printing. Among them is the now common Direct-To-Garment (DTG) digital printing. It is subdivided into two types:

  • Dark Direct to Garment Printing: This is an expensive form of DTG printing, and a variation on light DTG digital printing. It can successfully achieve a colorful image on a black t-shirt without the use of appliqués or iron-ons.
  • Light Direct to Garment Printing: It does not use white ink, and it is best if you choose light colored custom made shirts. The color choices are amazing and very numerous.

Unlike with a few other methods, DTG custom made shirts do not crack or peel as time passes. The ink remains solid as it is embedded into the fabric of the shirt.

Heat Transfers

If you have an image in mind, one that is readily and commercially available, one of the more common methods to transfer it to custom made shirts is through heat transfers. Heat and pressure are the basic requirements to successfully transfer the image. If this is a method you’d prefer, first make sure you or your company chooses an expert in the field. The results can vary, and you could get crooked images and wrinkled t-shirts resulting from someone who is less than professional.

If you’re planning on a single design, or want to create a uniform look for a group by applying a log or image to custom made shirts, consider and weight your options. Be sure to talk to someone who knows the different methods, such as the professionals at One Hour Tees. Listen clearly to what is said, do your own research, and only then go ahead with your plans.

Learn How To Screen Print Your T-Shirts

If you love custom shirts and want to do a few on your own at home, it isn’t impossible to set up a simple screen printing system. However, and just to be clear, it isn’t going to be identical to what we use because we do our shirts on a professional quality automated system.

The ideas and the concepts are still the same and if you are patient, willing to practice a bit, and have a good eye for detail, this can be fun thing to do. It is going to be messy, we are warning you right from the start, and you will need to buy some special supplies before you get started.

How To Profit Big From Cheap T-Shirts

Some of our best customers are people that use their artistic talents and vision to create one of a kind t-shirts that they market online. With the ease of setting up an online store and our low, low prices for shirts and printing, this is an extremely easy and low cost option for starting your own business.

However, as we have found, there are some things that you do have to keep in mind. These are practical, handy tips for your t-shirt business, but they can also apply if you want to branch out and handle other custom printed apparel, which we are more than happy to work with you on, as well.

Explore Your Personality With Custom Shirts

Most of us are always looking for ways to be just a bit different than those around us. Some people, although not everyone, may want to really flaunt their uniqueness and originality in a much more noticeable way.

We have found that custom shirts are the best option for the very independent and those that just want a bit of a change from the norm to show their personal style, their passions, their sense of humor, and even what matters most to them.