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Frequently Asked Questions





What is Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing?

Direct to garment printing works similar to your inkjet desktop printer. The unique patented garment ink is deposited directly onto the shirt, with no burning of screens, setup, or registration required.

What is the difference between screen-printing, embroidery, and digital printing (DTG)?
Embroidery reproduces your logo by stitching it with thread.  Screen-printing reproduces your design by printing it with plastisol inks through a mesh screen.  Digital printing reproduces your logo by printing the design directly on the shirt with the use of a specialized ink jet printer and specifically engineered textile inks.


Screen-printing and embroidery can be done on any color/style/material of garment.  Digital garment printing can be done on any color item, but is only guaranteed on high cotton content materials. 


Traditional screen printing requires the creation of one screen per each color layer.  This increases the cost for multiple color jobs, which can drive consumers to less than optimal designs.  Direct to garment printing allows for unlimited colors to be printed with no additional cost.  Photographs, drawings, complex images, and color gradients can all be printed with unrivaled clarity and vividness.

In addition, screen printing yields a maximum resolution of 72 dots per inch (DPI), while the direct to garment process can print an image with 8x to 10x precision (in excess of 600 DPI)--near perfect quality--with no halftone dots.


Is digital printing the same as the iron-ons you can make at home?
NO!  There are variety of digital printing methods available today.  For most shirts, we use a Digital Garment Printer, which is a large format printing machine that applies ink directly onto the garment.


Can direct-to-garment printing be applied on dark shirts?

It works great on dark shirts!  DTG-printing feels slightly different on dark versus light shirts, but that is due to a pre-treatment and (typically) an underbase.  The quality is the same.

Does direct-to-garment printing cost more on dark shirts?

Yes, the process is more expensive due to the pre-treatment and white underbase.  (The white underbase makes the colors more vibrant.)


What are your printed design size limitations (e.g., 11” x 11”)?

Screen printing can be very large;  however, our DTG printing process supports a standard maximum size of 12" x 15". 

How close to the edge of a shirt are you able to print?

Within 0.25” typically--closer may be possible but would be determined on an individual basis.

Does direct-to-garment printing cost the same regardless of the number of colors?

Yes.  One big advantage of DTG printing is that it does not matter how many colors there are.  They are laid down at the same time.

How consistent is your printing process?

In a word, VERY.  Our direct-to-garment and custom screen printing processes are designed to ensure print quality and placement is consistent.


What is the minimum order size?
There are no minimums at Great Apparel for You;  however, embroidery and screen-printing orders are typically much more cost-effective if you order at least 12 items.  For Direct-To-Garment printing (DTG), quantity is not an issue Since there are no set-up fees with DTG, it can be economical to print a single item.  This is especially ideal for family reunions, small businesses, or anything requiring personalization.


Can I mix sizes and colors?
Yes!  You can mix sizes, styles, and colors of shirts any way you like.  We price accordingly and often suggest ways for you to minimize cost while still getting what you want.

I want a shirt/hat that’s not in your catalog on your website.  Can you get it?
Most likely yes.  We have access to hundreds of brands of shirts and caps.

How long does production take?
Production time depends on the type and quantity of items ordered.  Most items ship in 7-10 business days.  If you require receipt by a specific date or you need "rush" items, please let us know and we can usually make it happen.  In fact for some orders, if we have blank garments in stock, we are able to provide same-day service (with an expedite fee).


What are your payment terms?
Custom printed or embroidered orders are pre-paid for all first-time customers.  We accept checks, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Is there sales tax?
Only if you reside in Illinois.

How do I reorder?
We keep your design on file for easy future ordering.  If you can’t remember the color or style you ordered, just ask and the answer is seconds away.  If you need to make changes to a design or want to print it on different garments, we can handle that for you, as well.


Will you ship directly to our customers?

We do ship directly to your customer.  We can also package your garment and brand it with your company logo.

Can you carry American Apparel Sustainable Edition Fine Jersey Short Sleeve Tees (100% organic cotton) and HT Naturals Men's and Women's crewneck Tees?

Absolutely.  We can get any garments;  however, if our web fulfillment clients choose to offer garments that are not available through our primary supplier (click HERE), additional charges may apply.  In this case, our web fulfillment clients typically pre-order garments in bulk to receive quantity discounts, and they store blanks at our facility so they are ready to print as the orders come in.


What does Pique mean?  What is Jersey Knit?
Pique is a knitting method that creates a fine textured mesh surface.  It is the most common knit for polo shirts.  Jersey Knit is smooth knit fabric.  If you look at and feel a polo shirt and it is textured, it is probably a Pique Knit.  If it is smooth like a t-shirt, it is a Jersey Knit.

Which is better 50/50 or 100% cotton?
That depends:  100% cotton is normally more popular because it is comfortable, cool, and available in a greater variety of styles and colors.  You may want a 50/50 blend if the shirts you are ordering are going to be heavily soiled.  However, keep in mind, if you are getting digital/DTG printing, you will need a 100% cotton garment.

What does the fabric weight mean?  Is heavier better?
The fabric weight (i.e. 6.5 oz cotton) is the average weight of the fabric per yard of cloth.  Many people think heavier must be better but that’s not always the case.  Different fabric weights are made to create different thicknesses, hands (how a shirt feels), drapes, and wear.  It's often a question of how the consumer will use the garment.


For example, we sell a practically bullet-proof 12 oz sweatshirt but hardly anyone ever buys it.  If you want to play soccer or work around the yard you, would much prefer a mid-weight 9 oz sweatshirt.  If you were ice fishing, you'd want the 12 oz.

Do you charge differently based on the volume of shirts printed?

This depends on the quantity and opportunity.  If you are an online print order fulfillment customer, you may get high volume discounts on all your orders regardless of size.  In any case, there are definitely volumes at which the cost and price to print per shirt drops.



Wholesale Pricing, No Minimums, Quick Turn-Around.  Direct-to-Garment, Screen Printing Chicago, Embroidery Chicago.

The perfect apparel & uniforms solution for your company, organization, sports team, band, or special event!

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