Call us on 01628 308810

Free Delivery to UK Mainland on all orders over £100

Contact Us

Buying cheap printed t-shirts – what’s the best print method?

Many businesses are looking for cheap printed t-shirts every day for many reasons.  It may be that you are hosting a one-off event or looking for low-cost giveaways for your event.  Finding cost-effective and affordable options for creating cheap printed t-shirts is crucial. Printing t-shirts in large quantities can quickly become expensive, so it’s important to explore methods that allow you to create high-quality custom designs without breaking the bank. In this post, we’ll explore some of the cheapest and most affordable ways to print t-shirts for your business.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a popular and cost-effective method for creating custom t-shirts and workwear in bulk. This printing method involves creating a stencil or “screen,” and then using it to apply ink onto the fabric of the garment. While there is an initial investment in setups costs for screens, the cost per shirt decreases as the quantity increases, making it a great option for businesses looking for affordable ways to create cheap printed t-shirts.

One of the benefits of screen printing is that it provides a durable and professional-looking finish, which is ideal for workwear that will be used on job sites or in other demanding environments. However, screen printing may not be suitable for small quantities of shirts and can be time-consuming to set up.  If you are looking for small quantities or have a large number of colours in your artwork then screen printing is not the best option.

T-Shirt screen printing
Vinyl Transfer t-shirt printing

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)

Heat transfer vinyl is a popular and affordable method for creating custom designs on t-shirts and other garments. This method involves cutting designs out of vinyl using a special cutter, and then using heat to transfer the vinyl onto the fabric. HTV is a great option for printing small quantities of shirts as it doesn’t require extensive setup time.

One downside of using HTV is that it may not be as durable as other printing methods, particularly when exposed to heat or friction. This method is better suited for promotional or casual clothing rather than workwear. However, it is a great affordable option for creating custom t-shirts for events or giveaways.

Direct-to-Garment Printing

Direct-to-garment printing is a newer and more affordable technology that involves printing directly onto the fabric of the garment using a specialized inkjet printer. This method is great for printing highly detailed designs or photographs and can be cost-effective for small quantities of shirts.

One downside of direct-to-garment printing is that it may not be as durable as other printing methods, particularly when the garment is washed frequently or exposed to harsh environments. It is also limited to printing onto cotton garments, however, it provides high-quality and vibrant prints, making it an affordable option for promotional t-shirts and other casual wear.

DTG t-shirt printing

Dye Sublimation Printing

Dye sublimation printing involves transferring dye onto the fabric of the garment using heat and pressure. This method is great for printing high-quality, full-colour designs and is particularly popular for polyester fabrics. Dye sublimation printing can be a cost-effective option for small quantities of shirts and provides long-lasting, vibrant prints.

However, dye sublimation printing requires specialised equipment and can be more expensive than other options. Nonetheless, it’s an affordable and efficient way to produce printed t-shirts that look great and have long-lasting colours.  Dye sublimation is the best option when looking for completely bespoke printed t-shirts.


Embroidery is a classic and high-quality method of creating custom designs on clothing and workwear. This method involves stitching a design onto the fabric using specialised embroidery machines. While embroidery is a bit more expensive than other printing methods, it provides a professional finish that is ideal for businesses looking to create high-quality, branded clothing and workwear.

Embroidered t-shirts
DTF t-shirt printing

DTF (Direct to Film) Printing

DTF printing is a relatively new and affordable printing method that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves printing a design onto a specialised film using a digital printer and then transferring the design onto the fabric using a heat press. DTF printing provides high-quality and durable prints, making it ideal for workwear and promotional clothing.

One advantage of DTF printing is that it allows for high-quality prints with intricate details and vibrant colours. Additionally, it works well with a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, and blends. DTF printing is also cost-effective, particularly for small quantities of shirts.

Different Types of T-Shirts

It’s not just the print method you need to consider when looking for printed t-shirts, it’s the t-shirts themselves.  They come in all different shapes, size and colour!  Whether you’re looking for a ‘bog standard’ cotton t-shirt, an organic cotton t-shirt option, a heavier weighted t-shirt, a ladyfit style t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt or a sports style polyester t-shirt, or even a recycled material sports t-shirt there are many different options to consider.  These t-shirt options all tie in with the different t-shirt printing methods mentioned above and we can advise on the best combinations based on your needs.

In conclusion, there are several cost-effective and affordable methods for printing cheap t-shirts for your business. Screen printing, heat transfer vinyl, direct-to-garment printing, dye sublimation printing, embroidery, and DTF printing are all viable options that offer high-quality prints at different price points. By exploring these options, you can find the best method for your needs and buy cheap printed t-shirts for your business.  Contact us today and we can help advise on the best printing method for your requirements.