So you want to start a t-shirt company. You have everything prepared (the cash, the designs, the name), but there is still one thing missing – the final product! There are so many blanks out there which makes it a difficult decision to choose the best one. Is there a best one? Or are they all the same? I believe that you should choose a style and a fabric which best suits your brand and target market instead of choosing a blank for the sake of having a blank to print on. I want to show you some of the best blank t-shirts that I prefer to use, especially for someone you is just starting out in the t-shirt business.
Next Level – 3600
The 3600 by Next Level is a standard design t-shirt, which is very soft and has a great fit. Over the last few years they are starting to align themselves in strong competition against American Apparel, and to be completely honest with you, I feel like Next Level does a much better job. There are plenty of colours to choose from and the high-quality feel is worth the price tag. An added bonus is that the Next Level tees have a tearaway tag, meaning that you can insert your own customised tag.
Bella+Canvas – 3001
The 3001 by Bella+Canvas is another strong rival to American Apparel and for good reason. There are definitely more colour choices than Next Level, but actually quite similar in fit and quality. It would be hard to choose between Bella and Next Level, but I do suggest that since Bella’s sizes are slightly tighter than Next Level’s, consider them for your women line.
Anvil – 980
The Anvil line in my opinion, is not a great option for a long-term successful business, but rather more of a good choice if you are making t-shirts just as a hobby. Although they set themselves up to rival American Apparel in style, the quality is not up to the standard that it could be.
American Apparel – 2001
This is the most popular t-shirt made in America. American Apparel set the benchmark in regards to quality and design for a plethora of other lines to attempt to follow. The tees have a perfect fit, perfect feel, and a wide range of colours to choose from. Rest assured that if people see that you are using American Apparel in your collection, that will know that it is going to of the highest quality. However, don’t think that you have to use American Apparel when starting out as many people think as they may not be in everybody’s budget, and there are definitely more cost-effective options out there.
Alstyle – 1301
Most designers have the Alstyle in mind when designing “street-wear” lines and has a much heavier feel than the other lighter designs we have already discussed.
Alternative Apparel – AA1070
Probably the only brand so far that has been able to surpass American Apparel in regards to quality, and has a perfect line for those in the crossfit market. However, with the higher quality expect a higher price tag.
So there you have it. These are my top choices for t-shirt blanks when first starting out, or when you are looking to make a change in direction in regards to design and quality. My suggestion would be to order samples from each brand that you feel would appeal most to you, and then have a feel for the design and quality yourself, keeping one thing in mind – your brand will be printed on one of these shirts, so take the time to choose the best one.