Why is allover printing for t-shirts so rare and hard to find?

There are actually two major ways for allover t-shirt printing to be done. Both ways are equally as rare but for different reasons. The first way to is print on the t-shirt fabric before it is cut and sewn into a t-shirt. The other way is to use a very expensive machine that can cover the whole t-shirt for print. We will briefly take a look at each option.

Cut and sew projects are now being done almost exclusively outside of the United States making it an imported product. When the t-shirts are being imported after having been manufactured outside of the United States, there are a few major rules that have to be followed. The first being the minimum t-shirts per order usually begins in the thousands. The other major problem with importing t-shirts is the turnaround time. You are looking at a minimum of three months from receiving an approved project. The product have to be produced from scratch and then boated in and passed through customs. There is a lot of red tape involved and most most manufacturers require a hefty payment up front. All of this without you being over there to watch quality control.

The other major reason that allover t-shirt printing is hard to find is because of the expensive machinery required to do it with blank t-shirts that have already been cut and sewn. This special type of machinery can cost over $100,000 to purchase and it can also be very difficult to use and maintain. The machinery itself also requires expensive accessories to go with it, like larger screens and film machines. Most screen printers are reluctant to make this capital investment because allover t-shirt printing can be viewed as a printing trend that comes and goes at times.

Considering these two options and the hurdles that are an inherent part of each it is understandable why it is so difficult to find a US screen printer who is able to do all over prints. It is generally much easier for the screen printer to simply do regular or oversized prints and not have to deal with the extra headaches involved in all over prints. If you have an all over design that you want to get printed it might be worth exploring ways to alter it to make it merely an oversized print, that doesn’t cross the seams, instead. You might be surprised by how well it can still come out.

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