The question of minimum order quantity of custom printed apparel is not as simple as it may seem. We get asked this question quite often and that is why we decided to write this article to answer it once and for all.
In certain cases, we are able to fulfil even orders of one single product, however, these situations are quite rare. This is caused by technological limitations of individual printing methods. Our machines and equipment allow us to offer these methods of printing:
Feel free to click any of the links above. They will take you to a section of our website, where you can read more about individual printing methods. Each of these printing methods has its own technological procedure that has to be followed in order to create a high quality printed shirt or other kind of apparel.
Because of these procedures, we are not always able to fulfil small orders. It comes down to the fact that certain steps need to be done regardless of the quantity of items ordered. Therefore, small number of products are just too costly to produce in certain situations.
Screenprinting and quantity limitations
We will use one of the most popular printing methods, screenprinting, to explain the minimal order quantity. Screenprinting is great, however, we suggest it as a go-to printing method only for orders of 100 pieces of clothing or more.
When we want to print a design on a fabric using screenprinting, we first have to create a mesh what will be used to transfer paint onto the fabric. What’s more, when creating designs containing multiple colours, we have to create one mesh for each colour that will be applied.
However, once the meshes have been created, they can be used over and over again. That is why screenprinting is suggested to be used only for bigger orders and it is certainly not suitable for the small ones. Using screenprinting to create only one custom printed T-shirt would simply make it too expensive.
Read more about this method in our article on screenprinting.
What about other methods of printing?
You can find the suggested orders quantities in the list below. Keep in mind that these are just default values and the actual number can differ from case to case.
- Screenprinting: at least 100
- Sublimation print: at least 10
- Direct Print: 1
- Flex & Flock: suitable for small batches under 10 pieces
- Transfer: suitable for medium size batches (20, 30, 40 etc.)
As you can see, when using direct print, we are able to fulfil even the smallest orders. It is because the design is printed directly onto the fabric (as the name “direct print” suggests) and almost no other steps are required.
Feel free to contact us in case you need any kind help or advice. We will gladly provide you with information you need to make the right decision.