How Much To Print A T Shirt?

How Much To Print A T Shirt?

Are you looking to print custom t-shirts, but not sure how much it will cost? Well, you're in the right place. Printing t-shirts has become increasingly popular, whether it's for personal use, promotional purposes, or as merchandise for businesses and organizations. The cost of printing a t-shirt can vary depending on various factors such as the quantity, design complexity, printing technique, and the quality of the t-shirt itself. So, let's dive in and explore how much it truly costs to print a t-shirt.

Printing t-shirts has a rich history, dating back to the early 1700s when screen printing was first introduced in China. Today, there are numerous printing methods available such as screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, and heat transfer. Each method comes with its own advantages and costs. For example, screen printing is a popular choice for large quantities due to its cost-effectiveness, while DTG provides intricate details and vibrant colors for smaller orders. The cost of printing a t-shirt can range from a few dollars to upwards of $20, depending on the printing method, quantity, and complexity of the design. It's important to consider these factors and choose the most suitable method for your needs and budget.

How Much To Print A T Shirt?

Factors Affecting the Cost of Printing a T-Shirt

When it comes to printing a custom-designed t-shirt, there are several factors that can influence the cost. Understanding these factors can help you determine how much it will cost to print a t-shirt and make informed decisions. From the type of printing method used to the quantity of shirts ordered, each aspect plays a role in the overall pricing. Let's explore the key factors that impact the cost of printing a t-shirt.

Printing Method

The printing method is one of the primary determinants of the cost of printing a t-shirt. There are various printing methods available, each with its own pricing structure. Here are some commonly used printing methods:

  • Screen Printing: Screen printing is a popular and cost-effective method for large orders. It involves creating a stencil and pressing ink through the screen onto the fabric.
  • Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing: DTG printing uses inkjet technology to print designs directly onto the fabric. It is ideal for small orders or highly detailed designs.
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Printing: HTV printing involves cutting designs out of vinyl and heat pressing them onto the t-shirt. It is suitable for small orders and designs with solid colors.
  • Dye Sublimation Printing: Dye sublimation printing uses heat to transfer dye onto the fabric, creating vibrant and long-lasting prints. It is commonly used for all-over prints and polyester garments.

The printing method chosen will impact the overall cost, with some methods being more cost-effective for larger quantities and others being better suited for intricate designs or smaller orders.


The quantity of t-shirts you order is another significant factor in determining the cost per shirt. Generally, printing companies offer volume discounts, meaning that the more shirts you order, the lower the cost per shirt. This is due to economies of scale, where the fixed costs associated with setting up the printing equipment can be spread out over a larger number of garments.

If you are ordering shirts in bulk, you will likely benefit from reduced pricing per unit. However, it's important to consider your requirements and budget when deciding on the quantity to order. Ordering too many shirts could result in excess inventory, while ordering too few may be more expensive in the long run.

Design Complexity

The complexity of your design can also impact the cost of printing a t-shirt. Intricate and detailed designs often require more time and resources to produce, leading to higher costs. This is particularly relevant for methods like DTG printing, where each color and detail is printed individually.

If you have a simple design with minimal colors, it may be more cost-effective to opt for a method like screen printing, where the cost is mainly determined by the number of colors used. On the other hand, if you have a highly detailed design or a design with many colors, DTG printing or other digital printing methods may be a better choice.

Type of T-Shirt

The type of t-shirt you choose can influence the cost of printing. Different fabric types and blends can vary in price, with premium materials often costing more. Additionally, certain materials like polyester may require specialized printing methods such as dye sublimation, which can affect the overall cost.

It's important to consider the intended use of the t-shirts and your target audience when selecting the type of shirt. Depending on the purpose, you may have different requirements for fabric, such as moisture-wicking properties for athletic wear or softness for casual wear.

Additional Factors

In addition to the primary factors mentioned above, there are a few other considerations that can influence the cost of printing a t-shirt:

  • Color: Printing designs with multiple colors often incur higher costs, as each color requires a separate screen or ink pass.
  • Location: Printing on multiple locations of the t-shirt, such as front and back or sleeves, can increase the overall cost.
  • Special Effects: Adding special effects like metallic or glow-in-the-dark inks may come at an additional cost.
  • Finishing: Additional finishing touches like custom labels, tags, or packaging can also affect the final price.

These factors should be taken into account when planning your t-shirt printing project to ensure you have a clear understanding of the total cost.

Choosing the Right Printing Method and Quantity

Now that we've explored the factors that impact the cost of printing a t-shirt, let's discuss how to choose the right printing method and quantity for your needs.

Consider Your Design and Budget

Start by evaluating your design and budget. Determine the complexity of your design and the number of colors involved. If you have a simple design with few colors, screen printing may be the most cost-effective option for larger quantities. On the other hand, if you have a highly detailed design or a design with many colors, consider digital printing methods like DTG or dye sublimation.

Additionally, establish your budget for the project. This will help you determine the quantity of t-shirts you can afford to order. Keep in mind that ordering in bulk usually translates to lower costs per unit, so consider the balance between budget and required quantity.

Evaluate the Purpose and Target Audience

Next, consider the purpose of the t-shirts and your target audience. If the shirts are for a one-time event or promotional campaign, you may not require a large quantity. However, if you plan to sell the shirts or use them for ongoing branding efforts, ordering a larger quantity can help reduce the cost per shirt and ensure availability.

Get Quotes from Printing Companies

Once you have a clear understanding of your design, budget, and quantity requirements, it's time to gather quotes from printing companies. Reach out to multiple companies and provide them with all the relevant information, including your design specifications, desired printing method, and the number of shirts you plan to order.

Compare the quotes received, taking into account the pricing structure, quality of work, and turnaround time. Don't simply choose the lowest price; consider the overall value provided by the printing company.


The cost of printing a t-shirt can vary depending on several factors such as the printing method, quantity, design complexity, and type of t-shirt. It's important to carefully consider these factors and make informed choices to ensure you get the best value for your money. By evaluating your design, budget, and target audience, you can select the most suitable printing method and quantity for your needs. Collect quotes from printing companies, comparing prices, quality, and turnaround time. With careful planning, you can create custom-printed t-shirts that meet your requirements without breaking the bank.

How Much To Print A T Shirt?

Printing Costs for T-Shirts

When it comes to printing t-shirts, the cost can vary depending on several factors. The type of printing method, the number of colors used, the quantity of shirts, and the complexity of the design all play a role in determining the final price.

Printing methods such as screen printing, direct-to-garment printing, and heat transfer have different pricing structures. Screen printing is cost-effective for large quantities, while DTG printing is suitable for small runs with vibrant colors and intricate designs. Heat transfer is ideal for individual customization and low quantities.

The number of colors used in the design also affects the price. More colors require additional screens or setups, which can increase the cost. Additionally, the quantity of shirts ordered often impacts the price per unit. Bulk orders typically enjoy discounts, making them more economical.

Complexity of the design refers to the amount of detail and intricacy involved. Designs with fine lines, gradients, and multiple colors may incur extra charges due to the additional time and resources required.

It is important to request quotes from multiple printers to compare prices and services. Each printer may have different pricing structures and options. By considering these factors and finding the right balance between cost and quality, you can determine the best printing solution for your t-shirts.

Key Takeaways: How Much To Print A T-Shirt?

  • Printing a t-shirt can cost anywhere from $5 to $25 per shirt, depending on various factors.
  • The quantity of shirts ordered can affect the price, with larger quantities often resulting in lower costs per item.
  • The complexity of the design and number of colors used can impact the printing cost.
  • The type of printing method chosen, such as screen printing or digital printing, can also affect the price.
  • Additional costs may include setup fees, artwork fees, and shipping fees, so it's important to factor these in when determining the total cost of printing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Printing custom t-shirts can be a great way to promote your brand, team, or event. But one of the most common questions people have is, "How much does it cost to print a t-shirt?" Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the printing cost of t-shirts.

1. What factors determine the cost of printing a t-shirt?

Several factors influence the cost of printing a t-shirt. The primary factors include:

  • Quantity: The more shirts you order, the lower the cost per unit.
  • Design Complexity: Intricate designs or those with multiple colors may require more time and resources, increasing the cost.
  • Printing Method: Different printing methods, such as screen printing, direct-to-garment printing, or heat transfer, have varying costs.
  • T-shirt Quality: The type and quality of the t-shirt you choose will affect the overall cost.

These factors, along with additional customization options like additional prints or special finishes, can influence the final price.

2. Is bulk printing more cost-effective?

Absolutely! When it comes to printing t-shirts, ordering in bulk typically offers the best value for money. Printing in bulk allows printers to optimize their resources and reduce costs. As the quantity increases, the cost per unit decreases, resulting in significant savings.

Moreover, printing large quantities of shirts at once saves time and reduces setup costs, contributing to the overall cost-effectiveness of bulk printing.

3. What is the average cost for printing a t-shirt?

The average cost of printing a custom t-shirt varies depending on factors like the printing method, t-shirt quality, design complexity, and quantity. On average, you can expect to pay between $10 and $25 per shirt for a small batch order of around 20-50 pieces. However, printing in bulk can bring the cost down to as low as $5 per shirt.

It is important to note that these are just average estimates, and prices can vary significantly depending on your specific requirements and the printing company you choose.

4. Are there any additional costs to consider?

In addition to the basic printing cost, there may be some additional costs to consider, such as:

  • Artwork Setup: If you need assistance with designing or preparing the artwork, there may be a setup fee.
  • Special Finishes: Certain finishes like foil printing, embroidery, or specialty inks may come at an extra cost.
  • Shipping: If you need the shirts to be shipped to your location, shipping charges may apply.

It's advisable to discuss all potential costs with the printing company before finalizing your order to avoid any surprises.

5. How can I get an accurate quote for printing my t-shirts?

To get an accurate quote for printing your t-shirts, it's best to reach out to a printing company directly. Provide them with detailed information about your requirements, including the quantity, design specifications, t-shirt type, and any additional customization options. They will be able to give you a customized quote based on your specific needs.

Remember to compare quotes from multiple printing companies to ensure you're getting the best value for your money.

To summarize, the cost of printing a t-shirt can vary depending on several factors. The type of printing method, the complexity of the design, the number of colors, and the quantity of shirts ordered all play a role in determining the price.

It is important to consider these factors when budgeting for custom t-shirt printing. Additionally, reaching out to different printing companies and requesting quotes can help you compare prices and find the best deal. Keep in mind that while cost is an important factor, quality should also be considered to ensure you get a well-printed and long-lasting t-shirt.