How to keep t-shirt printing costs as low as possible

We are yet to meet someone who wants to pay more for something than they have to. Whether you are looking to purchase a product or a service, the final cost is very often a determining factor. Finding value for money not only feels good, but it is also good business practice. Here at 1WorldPrint, we thought it would be helpful to offer you some tips on how to keep the costs down for your next t-shirt printing project. 

 A lot of our clients come to us with a budget and it is our job to work with clients to ensure they get the best possible product at the best possible price point. Cheap t-shirt printing is not a keyword battle we will ever be involved in, as there are literally 100’s of these companies fighting that battle. We believe that the vast majority of our clients are returning clients due to the quality we offer, along with our service levels. As explained in a previous blog, there are many different variables you have to consider when you are looking to find the best printing company. Finding a cheap printing company is easy, finding a printing company that offers value for money alongside top-level customer service is not as easy. In this blog, we will be giving you tips on how to keep the printing cost as low as possible. 

The Basics:

Print Positions – we will start with possibly the most obvious. The more print positions you have, the higher the cost will be. If you are on a tight budget, try and think less is more. Some of the best prints we have been involved with have only involved one print position. Sometimes having more than one print position is needed, but ask yourself if you have minimised the number of positions.  

Quantity – as with a lot of things in life, the more you buy the cheaper the product becomes, and this is definitely the case with t-shirt printing. The setup cost for a small print run is the same as the set-up cost for a bulk t-shirt printing order, and buying in bulk also allows us the opportunity to ask for a discount on the blank garments from our wholesaler. Any saving we make is always passed on to our clients.

Colour Of Blank – the colour of the blank t-shirt will affect the overall cost of the job. The majority of wholesalers charge less for white and natural coloured t-shirts than they do for coloured garments. On top of that, it is also cheaper to print on white or natural garments, as with colour garments you require a base layer print, which is also known as a flash screen or a blocker. If you can make your project work on a white t-shirt and are on a budget then you are onto a winner. 

Optional Extras – if you are rebranding the garment, having the t-shirts sent out in a poly-bag with a size sticker on or simply adding a swing tag, ask yourself if this is 100% required. All these little extras add to the cost. Ask yourself if you could drop these little added extras, even just for a one-off.


Decorating Options:

Here at 1WorldPrint, we offer a wide range of printing techniques. This is one of our main USP’s and can save you a lot of money, as we are not tied into one printing technique and can even offer different printing within the same order. 

The three most popular techniques are Screen Printing, Direct To Garment (commonly referred to as DTG) and Embroidery. 


The most important thing to remember with screen printing is that the price is based on how many colours are in the design. A screen is required for every colour that is printed and the more screens you use the more costly the setup cost is, and the more costly the end print is. Often people think that the more colours they use the more eye-catching the design will be, but this is very often not the case. Less is more in some cases, and we have printed some amazing t-shirts for our clients using just two or three colours. The trick here is to have a creative design team and if you don’t then please speak to us, as we have an in-house graphic design team who are happy to advise or even make edits to your artwork if required. 


As this is a blog about cost savings please allow us to get straight to the most important factor when using Direct To Garment. Printing on to white garments will be approximately half the price of printing on to coloured garments, as with coloured garments you are required to place down a base layer (pre-treatment) to allow the print to attach to the fabric, and there is no need to do this with white garments as the ink sinks into white garments and becomes part of the garment. DTG is a technique that has come a long way in a very short space of time. Once only used for very small runs or when designs required full colour, Direct To Garment printing is now used on a much more regular basis and on lower quantities with designs containing numerous colours it can often prove cheaper than screen printing. 


For small, simple designs embroidery should always be considered when looking to cut costs. This cost for this technique is calculated on how many stitches are in the design. So the lower the stitch count the lower the cost. We do not recommend thin garments for embroidery, as they can be pulled out of shape and pluck very easily. Please only consider garments 180gsm plus.

Choice Of Garment:

The garment you choose to print on will be one of the biggest decisions you have to make, and there are a lot of things to consider. It is easy to get almost obsessed with pounds and pence and not think about the project as a whole. It is certainly worth thinking in broader terms and not for the here and now. For example, paying an extra few pence for a higher quality garment may seem like an unnecessary upfront cost, but if you consider you generally get what you pay for the more expensive garments are going to last longer, meaning you don’t have to repurchase as soon, or if you are retailing the garments you can sell them for a higher price.

There are so many quality garments on the market at the moment, with brands such as AS Colour and Continental Clothing offering top quality garments at an amazing price point. You will be pleasantly surprised at how small the price difference is between a lower range garment and the mid to high-class t-shirts on offer.

We do hope this has helped and want to remind you of the most important decision you have to make………..which printing company to use? All the groundwork and investigating you have done will be undone if you trust the wrong company with your project. Make sure you have a good chat, make sure you have a company on your wavelength and who want to help. Once you have chosen the correct printing company, there should be no reason to have to look anywhere else for the next projects. 

Please get in touch with one of our team if you have any questions or require any more information, and we will be happy to help. You can get a quote by clicking the Get A Quote button at the bottom. You can also email at: or call us on: 0208 064 1315.

Helen Anderton

Content Writer @1WorldPrint