Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS:
I already sell my art on prints, why should I sell it on t-shirts?
Can I use your service if I do not live in the United States?
Can I use your services if I already have an existing clothing line?
Who owns the rights to the art I submit to DropShipDTG for printing?
I like to sell my stuff at craft fairs, festivals, conventions, etc. Do you do bulk printing for stuff like that?
This seems too good to be true, what's the catch?

PRICING/SHIPPING/LOGISTICAL QUESTIONS:
How much is this going to cost?
Isn't screen printing cheaper?
How do I get my orders/packing slips/art files to DropShipDTG?
Can I give DropShipDTG promotional materials to include in shipments?
How do I get my order status?
How long does it take DropShipDTG to ship an order?
Does DropShipDTG guarantee date-specific delivery of orders?
Where does DropShipDTG ship?
Will customers know the order came from DropShipDTG?
What do you do about returns, exchanges, or lost packages?
How is sales tax handled?

QUESTIONS ABOUT PRODUCTS WE PRINT ON:
What kind of shirts do you print on? What colors and sizes are available? Can you provide sizing specs?
Can I select specific blank items for DropShipDTG to print on?

QUESTIONS ABOUT PRINTING:
Are mock ups really required?
What kind of files do you accept?
How big can I make my designs? Can you print to the edges of a shirt?
Can you do all over prints, back prints or sleeve prints?
Can you print anything that is 12.5" x 15.5" or smaller and doesn't go over seams or the edge of a product?
I made a slight change to a design you've printed for me in the past, but I don't feel like updating my product photo/mock-up image. Is that a problem?
Do you offer relabeling?
How is your print quality?
What type of designs look best with digital printing?



I already sell my art on prints, why should I sell it on t-shirts?
Apparel is much easier to sell than home decor, but don't just take our word for it: check out sales reports from some of the biggest department stores. Apparel and accessories outsell home decor across the board for major retailers. If you're already successfully selling your art on posters and prints, adding t-shirts to your product offerings should generate even more sales and make you a lot more money. For more on this and other great reasons to get started today, check out our list of great reasons to work with us.

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Can I use your service if I do not live in the United States?
Yes! Our service is a terrific way for designers outside the US to sell goods to US customers without expensive international shipping. Please note that we will need you to provide a US-based return address for your orders. USPS requires a US-based return address for all shipments and you will need a return address that USPS can use in the event that you have packages that they cannot deliver due to an invalid customer address. If you do not have a US-based address you can use, we suggest signing up for a mail forwarding service within the US. Here are a couple of examples of such services:

Reship.com (allows you to set up a mail box for $5 and then you only pay them if/when there are packages to forward to you in your home country.)

MYUS.com (one time $10 set up fee and no other charges until you have a package they need to forward to you in your home country.)

There are quite a few companies that provide a similar service. A search on Google for international mail forwarding services should provide you with plenty of options. Once you have chosen a mail forwarding service to work with and procured a US-based return address you are welcome to sign up for our service. Please note that accounts that sign up without a US-based return address cannot be activated until a US-based return address is provided.

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Can I use your services if I already have an existing clothing line?
Of course. Our service is a great way to fill in inventory gaps if you've run out of a size before you can screen print more of a popular design. We're also a great way to test new designs before you screen print to make sure the design will sell. Even if you screen print your best sellers and ship them yourself, testing new designs and filling inventory gaps with us allows you to make more money and sell more items than you do today. Never miss another sale because you are out of a size. Never get stuck with dozens of shirts that aren't selling.

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Who owns the rights to the art I submit to DropShipDTG for printing?
You do. DropShipDTG does not assume any intellectual property rights to your art when we print for you. Submitting your art to us for production only grants us license to print your art as you have directed in your orders.

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I like to sell my stuff at craft fairs, festivals, conventions, etc. Do you do bulk printing for stuff like that?
Yes. However, all bulk orders (12+ items in a single order) MUST be submitted a MINIMUM of SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE THE ITEMS NEED TO SHIP. Not seven business days before the event; seven business days before they need to ship to you FOR the event.

DTG printing is more flexible than screen printing, but it is also slower, so we need more notice for larger orders so we can schedule production for bulk orders along with our regular drop-ship orders.

Like with regular non-bulk orders, you won't be invoiced for bulk orders until they ship, so if you can provide even more notice than seven business days, please do.

Please be aware that DropShipDTG CANNOT fill bulk orders submitted between November 15th and January 1st. Our priority during those six weeks is printing and shipping orders to your customers during the holiday season. If you have holiday shows on your schedule, please submit orders no later than 11/1

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This seems too good to be true, what's the catch?
There is no catch, really. We've been in the apparel business for 5 years and own our own graphic tee company. We use the same exact blank shirts and equipment to produce apparel for our own brand that we'd be using for your shirts. When we started our own label we used a service just like DropShipDTG and it helped us to learn what sells without losing money.

These days many of the shirts we sell are screen printed because we know they sell well enough that we'll make our money back quickly. The other shirts we print using our Direct to Garment (DTG) printer. We don't use our DTG printer all day every day for our own graphic tee company, so we launched this service to help other designers and keep our DTG machine occupied. The upside for us is that our machine makes us money printing for you when we're not using it. The upside for you is that you get to start selling apparel with no up front costs. It's a win-win.

We're happy to fill sample orders so you can check out the shirts and our print quality. You can even talk to some of our existing customers if you'd like. In addition to our own website, we sell on Etsy, so you can check out all the reviews customers have left about our shirts right here.

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How much is this going to cost?
We offer discounted pricing based on your printing volume. It doesn't matter if we are printing different designs, it's based on your overall volume for the week. Let's say you have 8 designs for sale and you sell one of each design this week. Here's your cost:

8 blank shirts x $3.00 = $24
8 prints x $12.00 = $96
$96 for prints + $24 for blank shirts = $120.00

If you sold those 8 shirts for $25 each you would receive $200 from customers. Your bill for the shirts would be $120 and you'd make $80 in profit. Shipping is charged separately, so be sure to charge your customers for shipping. To view our full rate card with details on discounts and shipping please check out our rates page.

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Isn't screen printing cheaper?
Screen printing is definitely cheaper per piece. Whereas a screen printer can print hundreds of shirts in an hour, our machine can only print about 6 shirts per hour. The labor and materials cost is higher with Direct to Garment (DTG) printing. All of that said, screen printing might not be the most profitable solution for you.

Let's look at two scenarios:

1. Screen Printing: Let's say you have 5 designs and you decide to screen print instead of using our DTG service. You will probably pay about $5 per shirt with screen printing once you've paid for blank shirts, screens, printing, etc. Screen printers also usually have minimums, so let's say you print 75 pieces of each design, each design will cost $375.00. If you do 5 designs you'll spend $1875.00 total to get those shirts.

Now you have to sell the shirts. Imagine one design does pretty well but you run out of mediums and larges almost immediately and barely sell any of the smalls and XLs. Now you have to spend another $375 to restock those sizes. Imagine the other designs just sell okay and one is a total dud and no one buys it. If you sold an average of 1 shirt/day for $25 for the next 2 months you've only sold 60 of the 375 shirts you paid for and you've made back just $1500 of the $1875 you spent to print your shirts. You're still down $375 AND you already need to spend $375 to re-print your most popular design because you're out of sizes. So 2 months into this business model you're down $750 and you've sold 16% of the inventory you paid for.

2. Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing with DropShipDTG: You still have 5 designs but instead of screen printing you have them printed as they get ordered and DropShipDTG prints and ships the shirts. You quickly learn one of the designs isn't popular and thank goodness you didn't spend $375 screen printing it because you'd never get your money back. One design sells really well and your customers keep ordering mediums and larges, which is no problem since you have an unlimited number of medium and large shirts so you never miss a sale because you're out of stock. The other designs sell okay but you realize it would take you several months to sell a few hundred pieces of those designs. At the end of 2 months if you sold 60 shirts you'd have spent $900 to sell $1500 worth of t-shirts. You'd have a $600 profit in 2 months and you've sold 100% of the inventory you paid for. You also have no worries about dead stock no one is buying and no worries about running out of a popular shirt.

DTG printing removes the element of risk when it comes to selling t-shirts. We've made it impossible for you to lose money and impossible for you to lose sales due to inventory shortages. Certainly if you have a design that sells all day every day it makes sense to screen print that design. Until you've gotten to that point with a t-shirt design, why gamble? Why not test the market first and make sure those shirts will sell quickly enough to keep your business profitable.

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How do I get my orders/packing slips/art files to DropShipDTG?
We recommend transmitting files for items like packing slips and art files via your preferred web-based file-sharing service. There are many sites online that provide file storage and sharing service for free, including DropBox.com, DreamHost.com, BlueHost.com, and MediaFire.com. Once you've created your account you'll find there are two ways to provide us with your orders:

1. You can enter each order individually via a web form while logged into your DropShipDTG account

2. You can batch-upload all the orders at once via a .CSV file. Both options are available for logged-in users.

IMPORTANT:
When providing DropShipDTG with a packing slip, please make sure it always contains your order number and the recipient's shipping address. These 2 pieces of information are required on all packing slips in order to ensure accurate preparation of your shipments.

Order numbers should always be unique for every order. Re-using order numbers can result in confusion and errors during the printing and packing process, so please make sure every order has a distinct order number assigned to it.

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Can I give DropShipDTG promotional materials to include in shipments?
Absolutely! However, we strongly recommend that you stick to light-weight items like stickers, postcards, or pinback buttons to minimize your shipping costs. For more information on sending promotional materials to DropShipDTG, please contact us.

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How do I get my order status?
Order status can be checked at any time by logging in to your DropShipDTG account. Order statuses are always updated in real time.

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How long does it take DropShipDTG to ship an order?
3 to 7 business days*. We rarely need the full seven business days to ship an order, our average turnaround time is 3 to 4 business days, but it can take up to the full seven business days during busier times of the year (such as the holiday season), or if the particular item you've ordered isn't available from one of our local supplier warehouses and needs to be shipped to us from another city or state.

* Please note that a "business day" is any weekday, Monday through Friday, that is NOT a major holiday within the U.S. If you submit an order on a Friday, the following Monday will be the first business day from when you placed the order, and DropShipDTG will have until the Tuesday after that to ship the order — Monday = 1, Tuesday = 2, Wednesday = 3, Thursday = 4, Friday = 5, Monday = 6, Tuesday = 7. If a major holiday falls on the Monday after you submitted that order, then Tuesday would be the first business day from when you placed the order and the following Wednesday would be the seventh business day from when the order was submitted.

Also note that once we ship an order, DropShipDTG has NO CONTROL over how fast it gets to you or your customers. When an order is marked as "Shipped", you can access it through your account dashboard to get the tracking number for the package, but any issues with slow or non-delivery once a package is shipped must be taken up with the appropriate shipping agency -- USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.

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Does DropShipDTG guarantee date-specific delivery of orders?
NO. Once we release a package to a shipping agency, we have NO CONTROL over how fast they deliver it to its final destination. With the exception of the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year's Day in the U.S.), the United States Postal Service averages 3-5 business days to deliver First-Class Mail packages and 2-3 business days to deliver Priority Mail packages. The only thing DropShipDTG promises is to print, pack, and ship your orders within 7 business days of submission.

Keep in mind that these are AVERAGES; as mentioned above, delivery speed slows down considerably during the holiday season because of the spike in shipping volume around the globe. If date-specific delivery is a "must" for a certain order, we recommend contacting us to get rates for FedEx -- in our experience, they're the most reliable shipping agency when it comes to date-specific delivery. However, please keep in mind that FedEx is often (re: always) much more expensive than USPS.



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Where does DropShipDTG ship?
We ship all orders from our office in southern California, just outside Los Angeles. We ship worldwide and you can choose between USPS first class and priority shipping for both domestic and international orders. Please be aware that your international customers may be charged customs fees, we cannot calculate or pay these fees for your customers.

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Will customers know the order came from DropShipDTG?
No way! Your customers are YOURS; the only people who know we exist are our clients. Your order will be sent completely blind using YOUR return address, YOUR marketing materials (if provided), and YOUR packing slip. Your customers will never receive anything that in any way references DropShipDTG.

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What do you do about returns, exchanges, or lost packages?
DropShipDTG is not responsible for returns, exchanges or lost packages. We make sure all parcels are handed off to USPS and scanned into their system, but we recommend purchasing shipping insurance to guard against package loss. Accepting returns or exchanges is entirely up to you and should be handled between you and your customer. We do take great care to avoid misprints, mis-shipments, etc. but if we mess up we will cover the replacement costs.

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How is sales tax handled?
If you are based in California and have a resale certificate please contact us and provide a copy of your resale certificate. This will allow us to exempt you from sales tax for parcels we ship within the state. (This also means you are responsible for collecting sales tax from your customer and paying the state BOE.)

If you are NOT based in California we will have to charge you sales tax any time we ship a parcel within the state of California. Sales tax is calculated based on your item charges plus 10%. Let's say we shipped a parcel for you to a customer in Los Angeles, if the product fee is $3 and the printing fee is $12 then your taxable amount is $15 + plus 10% (or $1.50). We would charge you 9% sales tax on the $16.50 total, which means your tax for that item would be $1.49. The good news is you do NOT have to set up any accounts with the state of of California or deal with any of the state's red tape regarding sales tax, we take care of it for you. You are also allowed to charge your customer for this tax cost. Californians are used to the state sales tax rate so this won't be a surprise for them.

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What kind of shirts do you print on? What colors and sizes are available? Can you provide sizing specs?
Our basic mens tees, ladies tees, and hoodies are made by Tultex. Our tees are preshrunk and made of super-soft 100% ringspun cotton, and our hoodies are an 80/20 cotton-poly fleece blend.

Our basic mens tees run true to size; our basic ladies tees run smaller since they are a juniors fit. Our hoodies have a unisex fit and run slightly small. We offer a few other types of imprintables such as totes, kids tees, ladies vnecks and made-in-the-USA tees by American Apparel. For details on all of our imprintables please visit our product offerings page for sizing charts and details on our product color/sizing availability.

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Can I select specific blank items for DropShipDTG to print on?
Not at this time. We currently offer mens, womens and kids tees, hooded pullover sweatshirts, totes and a few other types of tees in an assortment of sizes and colors. We may be open to allowing you to select additional imprintable products to ship in the future, but we will roll new products into our offerings based on demand.

What this means is if you really want to print on organic tank tops, but can only send us 2 or 3 orders for that item per month, we probably won't be able to stock that item just for you. However, if you're able to send us 10 or 20 orders for an off-menu item every week, it's more likely that we'll be able to accommodate your request. If you are requesting an item a lot of other customers would like us to offer, that will be considered also.

In either case, it never hurts to ask! Send us your requests, and if we can't accommodate them today, we might be able to in the near future. We will periodically use these product requests to survey our customers and see which items have the most demand. New items requested by many customers, or a few high-volume customers will get rolled into our offerings the fastest.

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Are mock ups really required?
Yes. We refer to them for scale, placement, and color. Please don't link to a product page containing a product pic, instead link to the actual product photo, or the image won't show up in our system. Incorrect order submission delays not only orders shipping to YOUR customers, but to our other clients' customers as well, as contacting you to confirm or verify incorrect order details interrupts our production schedule.

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What kind of files do you accept?
DropShipDTG accepts a wide range of file types, including .psd (Adobe Photoshop), .ai (Adobe Illustrator), .tif, .eps, and .pdf. However, please note that all files received are converted into .psd (Adobe Photoshop) files prior to production, as that is the native file type that works best with our printers' software. We CANNOT accept GIFs or JPGs.

All art files submitted MUST adhere to the following specifications:

  • Minimum resolution of 300 dpi/ppi -- any lower and you'll get fuzzy, grainy, pixelated prints.
  • Transparent backgrounds -- this means no solid colors behind your art. If you're familiar with or working in Adobe Photoshop, this means you should see a white and gray checkerboard pattern behind your art.
  • Files MUST be in CMYK color mode (NOT RGB) — no computer monitor (or set of human eyes) is the same. Colors vary in how they appear. Printers print with CMYK inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black), so working with your file in CMYK mode will give you a better idea of how the final print will look. We also STRONGLY recommend working from the built-in Pantone Solid Coated Color Book in Photoshop when selecting colors for your art (rather than just the Color Picker window). Doing so will guard against the slight changes in color output that can occur during printing and curing of your designs on the garments. If color matching is a priority, we suggest getting a physical Pantone swatch book -- you can buy them used on Amazon pretty cheaply -- so you have a better idea of how colors will look when printed in the 3D world. Computer screens are full of lies.
  • Make sure fine details in multi-color designs printing on dark garments have a MINIMUM WIDTH of 8-10 pixels. We choke back our under base by 3-6 pixels to guard against the white ink in the under base from "peeking" out from beneath the color inks. If the choke is the same or greater than the width of an element in your design, no under base will print, and any color ink that prints over that area on a dark shirt will not show up.
  • All text MUST be converted to outlines in your preferred graphics program prior to saving and sending download links to us. While we do have hundreds of fonts installed on our computers, we don’t have them ALL, and if you use a font in your design(s) that we don’t have installed, our computers will replace them with a completely different font that will look nothing like your original design.


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How big can I make my designs? Can you print to the edges of a shirt?
This depends entirely on what items your designs are being printed on; due to variations in garment construction (such as deeper collars, pockets, etc., some items have smaller imprint areas than others). We also request that any art files sent to DropShipDTG include a 0.25" "buffer zone" between your art and the terminal edges of your files. Please note that we cannot print over seams or to the extreme edge of a product. Please refer to the chart below for maximum imprint sizes (prints for these items can be smaller than listed imprint areas, but may not exceed them):

  • CREW-NECK T-SHIRTS — ALL SIZES: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • FLEECE CREW-NECK SWEATSHIRTS — ALL SIZES: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • LADIES V-NECK T-SHIRTS — XXL: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • LADIES V-NECK T-SHIRTS — XS - XL: 9.25" x 12"
  • LADIES SCOOP-NECK TOPS — M - XXL: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • LADIES SCOOP-NECK TOPS — XS - S: 9.25" x 11.5"
  • JUNIORS (LADIES) TANK TOPS — S - M: 9.25" x 11"
  • JUNIORS (LADIES) TANK TOPS — L - XXL: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • UNISEX HOODED SWEATSHIRTS — ALL SIZES: 9.25" x 11"
  • UNISEX TANK TOPS — ALL SIZES: 12.5" x 15.5"
  • COTTON CANVAS TOTE BAGS: 9.25" x 11"
PLEASE NOTE: If an art file is submitted for an order and exceeds the maximum imprint sizes listed above, DropShipDTG reserves the right to re-size said art file to fit within the dimensional constraints listed above AT OUR DISCRETION and WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.

However, DropShipDTG will NOT re-size art files to approximate the scale depicted in your mock-up images. If you link us to an art file that is 4" x 6", but your mock-up depicts a print that is closer to 10" x 12", WE WILL PRINT THE 4" x 6" VERSION. As the artist, YOU are responsible for sizing your art to your desired dimensions.

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Can you do all over prints, back prints or sleeve prints?
We cannot do all over prints or sleeve prints. We aren't able to print over seams or to the far edges of shirts. For projects like that you may want to look into screen printing or sublimation printing.

We can do back prints, that's pretty much the same as printing on the front of the shirt. That said, because it's like printing on the front of the shirt, the cost to do that second print area is the same as the cost to do the first print area. If you are having us do a front and back print, be sure to multiply the print cost by 2 to determine the cost to print the shirt.

If you are placing an order through our web form or sample order form, you can request a front and back print using the item type "bonus print" to signal to us that your shirt will need a front AND back print. See image below for example of how you can order a front and back print on a shirt.

Please use the mock up URL field to let us know what the two print areas look like. For example, this is a perfect mock up image for a print that needs a front and back print. You'd just provide a link directly to a gif or jpg like the one below in your mock up URL field.



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So you can print anything that is 12".5 x 15.5" or smaller and doesn't go over seams or the edge of a product?
Pretty much! However (and this is a BIG however), DropShipDTG will NOT print anything for you that violates United States intellectual property laws. So please don't send us art depicting Hello Kitty, Batman, Star Wars, etc. We can't print these things for you unless you can provide DropShipDTG with documentation showing that you have an official licensing agreement with the legal owners of the intellectual properties in question. If you have licensing agreements for copyrighted or trademarked works, please forward those to DropShipDTG for review so we can work with you to print your licensed art.

Please be aware that having us print copyrighted or trademarked work that you DON'T have permission to produce or sell puts both you AND DropShipDTG in legal jeopardy. We cannot assume this type of liability, so please plan to print ONLY your own original works, works you have official licenses to produce or works that reside in the public domain. Using celebrity likeness, copyrighted material, trademarked material, etc. without permission is a violation of US intellectual property law and simply calling it "fan art" or "parody" does not make printing such material legal. For further clarification on how US law views parody, fair use and intellectual property infringement please consult an attorney.

While we're on the subject, please don't ask us to print anything racist, bigoted, misogynistic, or otherwise demeaning to any individual or group. Be sweet!

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I made a slight change to a design you've printed for me in the past, but I don't feel like updating my product photo/mock-up image. Is that a problem?
Yes. Unless you let us know in the "Special Notes" field when you're submitting an order that the art file has been revised, the original version is what will be printed because we save the output settings for every new design we print to save time the next time you submit an order for it.

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Do you offer relabeling?
We can relabel your tees. However, this is only recommended if you expect to do a fairly high volume of shipping. This is due to the fact that relabeling has an upfront cost associated with it, plus a small fee associated with each item we relabel. It's only going to make sense for you to pay for thousands of labels for us to keep on hand (plus our fee to apply them) if you expect to sell a lot of shirts. If you are looking for a more cost effective way to brand your shirts while you're still building your customer base, consider working your logo into your designs. If you do expect to ship a high volume of shirts, and would like more information our relabeling service, please contact us for details.

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How is your print quality?
We think it's pretty top-notch. We use FreeJet 330 TX direct to garment printers, the same printers for our own private label, and we wouldn't use it if we didn't love the print quality! We can produce vibrant, bright, opaque prints — even on dark shirts. Our printer uses water-based inks and generates very little waste, making our print process very eco-friendly. Even better, our finished prints have a nice and soft hand-feel. (Prints that don't require any white ink/underbase will have the softest hand-feel. Prints requiring white ink/underbase will have a little more of a hand-feel but even those prints are still softer than a traditional plastisol screen print.) We're happy to send you a sample order so you can take a look at the print quality first-hand.

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What type of designs look best with digital printing?
Thanks to recent advances in digital printing technology, you can print just about any design and have it look great with a digital printer. Extremely fine details can be a little more difficult, and busier designs tend to age the best. And like with any printed t-shirt, we do recommend that you wash your shirts in cold water and tumble dry low or hang dry. This will help keep the prints looking their best the longest, as well as prevent the shirt color itself from fading prematurely.

If you're a rebel and don't want to follow our suggested laundering methods your shirts will still be fine in the short term, though they will look begin to look older faster. As with all textile printing methods, designs that have a more distressed/vintage look or feature a lot of detail tend to look best as they age, while designs composed of large, flat areas of solid color will look worn faster.

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