To create a T-shirt that stands out, explore these fun and cost-effective options.
Specialty Inks: “Liquid silver, metallic gold, clear ink, glow in the dark – they’ve all been a huge hit for us this year,” says Jesse King, director of operations at WearMagic (asi/45180). “The collegiate market loves the glow in the dark because they order shirts for basketball and hockey games where they turn off the lights to announce players and all the shirt designs can be seen.”
Laser Etching: With its high perceived value, laser etching lends itself to performance pieces made from 100% polyester. “Laser gives a really fantastic tonal look, and it’s cost-effective,” King says. “It’s a fraction of the run time, requires no materials like thread or backing, and it allows great margins for sales reps.”
Discharge: “For a softer hand, discharge printing, which removes dye from a colored shirt, is a great option,” King says. “It creates a much thinner and softer decoration because you’re taking off a layer as opposed to adding a white underlay.”
Custom pockets: “Take price off the table by offering a solution like a T-shirt with a contrast-color pocket,” says Gina Barreca, director of marketing at Vantage Apparel. “We allow distributors and decorators a dozen mix-and-match color options, and you can get creative with the print – design on the body, design on the pocket, design across both. It ends up looking very custom, and it’s not shoppable like basic T-shirts.”