How to Design Custom T-Shirts: A Step-By-Step Guide

Published On: June 1, 20230 Comments on How to Design Custom T-Shirts: A Step-By-Step GuideTags: Last Updated: January 29, 20243.8 min read

Customized clothing is a way to wear what you like and express yourself. The advantage of making a custom t-shirt is you can design something tailored to your style without spending a lot of money. Depending on the type of customized clothing, you can choose the color, fabric, designs, and more. With better designing software and the availability of brands that offer customization, designing a custom t-shirt has become more accessible.

family with custom t-shirts

If you have some ideas for t-shirt designing, here is a step-by-step guide on how you can proceed.

Choose the Right Fabric

Choosing a suitable fabric is a key step in making customized t-shirts. If you do not select a suitable fabric, the design may not appear as flattering on the t-shirt as you imagined. Typically cotton and polyester are the fabrics used in custom t-shirts. Polyester is commonly used in sportswear as it wicks moisture and is very lightweight. On the other hand, cotton is one of the most popular and versatile materials, commonly found in clothing and even bedding materials. T-shirts made of cotton are very durable as cotton is a strong material. They are also soft and easy to breathe in. However, a downside of selecting the cotton material could be that it can hold onto stains and even shrink after washing. You can also use a blend of cotton and polyester for an extra durable and breathable material. There are also tri-blends made from polyester, cotton, and rayon. T-shirts made of tri-blends are softer, wrinkle-resistant, comfortable, and offer more breathability. Some designing or printing methods may only work well for some fabric types, so that is something to keep in mind when choosing a material for your custom t-shirts.

Select a Color and Design

Picking the right color is an essential part of a custom t-shirt. Although you have the choice to pick any color, you should stick to a color that compliments the design you have chosen for the t-shirt. For example, if you are thinking of a dark-colored pattern for the t-shirt, a lighter color base for the t-shirt would complement the design. Similarly, if the design is lighter, you should choose a darker shade for the t-shirt. For the design, there are various online designing tools available which you can utilize to create the perfect design. There are a few factors you should consider when making the design for your t-shirts. This includes the theme of the design, size, and position on the t-shirt. The design could be your name, initials, an inspiring quotation, different shapes or patterns, or images. When you decide what type of design you want, you should also consider where you want to position the design. Most custom t-shirt designs are either placed in the center of the t-shirt or the top left or right corners, depending on the size of the design. You can also have the design in the back, beneath the collar, or in a full-back design. If you want to add graphics or images, ensure that the image has enough resolution so that it doesn’t look faded or blurry on the t-shirt.

making t-shirts

Understand the Types of Fit

T-shirts are available in different fittings, including regular, tailored, fitted, or oversized. The regular fit is also known as a straight or natural fit, and it is cut around the waist and chest so that the t-shirt is more roomy around the sleeves and body. Another popular style is tailored or fitted t-shirts, which are slimmer, especially around the waist and sleeves. The type of fit that would suit your t-shirt depends on your body type and the design of the custom t-shirt. Most custom t-shirts are regular sized but don’t hesitate to choose a t-shirt that meets your style.

Printing Methods

Digital printing is the most commonly used technology to create customized t-shirts. There are several methods of textile printing you can choose from. For example, there is Direct to Garment (DTG) printing, where the manufacturers use a specialized inkjet printer. By using this printer, the design is printed directly onto the shirt. This type of printed method is best for multi-colored and intricate designs.  There is also sublimation printing in which the design is printed on a specific type of paper and then transferred to the fabric using heat. Another method is the screen printing method, which is best for simple designs with limited colors. Apart from digital printing, you can also choose to get embroidery or airbrushing done on the t-shirt.

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