How to Make the Best Apparel Choices for Custom Printing

Jan 31, 2024

Custom printing has become increasingly popular. Whether it’s for corporate branding, team uniforms, or even just personal expression, custom printed apparel allows individuals and businesses to stand out from the crowd. But with so many options available, how do you make the best apparel choices for custom printing?

Fear not, as this article will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect garments for your custom prints. From choosing the right fabric to considering the printing techniques, we will cover all the essential factors that will help you make informed decisions. So, whether you’re a business owner looking to promote your brand or an individual seeking unique personalized clothing like this, read on to discover how to make the best apparel choices for custom printing.

One of the key aspects to consider when selecting apparel for custom printing is the fabric. Different fabrics have various characteristics that can enhance or hinder the printing process and the final result. For instance, cotton is a popular choice due to its breathability, comfort, and ability to absorb ink well, resulting in vibrant prints with excellent color retention. Additionally, cotton is a versatile fabric that can be used for a variety of clothing items, from t-shirts to hoodies and beyond.

However, other fabric options, such as polyester, can also be suitable for custom printing. Polyester fabrics are known for their durability and ability to retain shape even after multiple washes. They are also resistant to stains and wrinkles, making them a practical choice for both athletes and those looking for long-lasting prints. Polyester blends, like cotton-polyester combinations, offer a balance of comfort and durability, making them a popular choice for custom printing as well.

Another crucial factor in making the best apparel choices for custom printing is understanding the various printing techniques available. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations, and choosing the right one can greatly impact the quality and durability of your custom prints.

Screen printing, for example, is a widely-used technique known for its vibrant and long-lasting results. It involves applying ink through a mesh screen onto the fabric, allowing for precise and detailed prints. Screen printing is ideal for simple designs or graphics with few colors, and it works best with cotton and cotton blend fabrics.

On the other hand, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a newer technology that offers full-color printing with incredible detail and precision. This method uses specialized inkjet printers to apply the ink directly onto the fabric, resulting in high-quality prints that can capture intricate designs and gradients. DTG printing is especially effective on light-colored garments and works well on various fabric types, including cotton, polyester, and blends.

When it comes to selecting the best apparel for custom printing, it is crucial to consider not only the fabric and printing technique but also the specific product itself. Whether you’re choosing t-shirts, hoodies, hats, or bags, it is essential to select high-quality items that will showcase your custom prints effectively. Look for products that are well-constructed, durable, and comfortable to wear.

Making the best apparel choices for custom printing requires careful consideration of various factors such as fabric, printing techniques, and the specific product. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your custom prints stand out with vibrant colors, excellent durability, and a professional finish. So, whether you’re looking to promote your brand or add a personal touch to your wardrobe, follow these guidelines to create the perfect custom printed apparel.

Understanding Fabric Types

When it comes to custom printing on apparel, understanding the different fabric types available is crucial. The fabric you choose can greatly impact the final look and feel of your printed design. Here are some of the most common fabric types used for custom printing:

1. Cotton

Cotton is one of the most popular fabric choices for custom printing. It is soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear. Cotton is also highly absorbent, which makes it suitable for printing vibrant colors and detailed designs. However, cotton garments may shrink after washing and may not be as durable as other fabric options.

2. Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is known for its durability and wrinkle resistance. It is often blended with other fibers, such as cotton, to create a more versatile fabric. Polyester is also resistant to fading, making it ideal for long-lasting and vibrant prints. However, it is not as breathable as cotton and can feel less comfortable in hot weather.

3. Tri-Blend

Tri-blend fabric is a blend of three different fibers, typically cotton, polyester, and rayon. This combination creates a fabric that is soft, lightweight, and has a unique texture. Tri-blend fabric is known for its drape and stretch, making it a popular choice for athletic apparel and fashion-forward designs. It is also resistant to shrinking and fading.

4. Rayon

Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber made from cellulose. It is known for its softness and draping qualities, similar to silk. Rayon is often used in printed garments due to its ability to hold vibrant colors and detailed prints. However, it requires delicate care and can shrink if not handled properly.

5. Performance Fabrics

Performance fabrics, such as polyester-spandex blends, are commonly used for athletic apparel. They are designed to wick away moisture and provide breathability and stretch. Performance fabrics are ideal for sports teams, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone looking for comfortable and functional custom printed garments.

6. Blends

Blended fabrics, such as cotton-polyester blends, offer the best of both worlds. They combine the softness and breathability of cotton with the durability and wrinkle resistance of polyester. Blended fabrics are often used for t-shirts and casual wear, as they offer a balance between comfort and longevity.

When choosing the fabric type for your custom printed apparel, consider the intended use, comfort, durability, and desired print outcome. Each fabric has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so it’s important to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

Choosing the Right Color Palette

When it comes to custom printing apparel, choosing the right color palette is crucial. The colors you select can significantly impact the overall aesthetic and appeal of your custom garments. Whether you are creating custom t-shirts, hoodies, or other apparel items, here are some essential tips to help you choose the right color palette for your designs.

1.Consider Your Brand or Message

The colors you choose should align with your brand identity or the message you want to convey. Think about the emotions and associations that different colors evoke. For example, if you want to convey a sense of energy and excitement, vibrant and bold colors like red or yellow may be suitable. On the other hand, if you want to exude a more calm and peaceful vibe, pastel or muted tones might be a better choice.

2.Understand Color Psychology

Color psychology plays a significant role in how people perceive and interpret designs. Different colors can evoke various emotions and have different symbolic meanings. It’s essential to understand the psychology behind colors to make informed choices. For instance, blue is often associated with trust and reliability, making it a popular choice for corporate brands. Green can represent nature and growth, while purple can symbolize luxury and creativity. Consider the message you want to convey and choose colors that align with those concepts.

3.Consider the Printing Method

The printing method used for your custom apparel can also influence your color choices. Some printing techniques, like screen printing, allow for vibrant and detailed designs, allowing you to use a wide range of colors. Digital printing, on the other hand, may have limitations on the number of colors and the color accuracy. It’s crucial to consider these factors when selecting your color palette to ensure that your designs can be accurately replicated.

4.Test Your Colors

Before finalizing your color palette, it’s essential to test how the colors will look on the actual fabric. Colors can appear differently on screens versus physical materials, so it’s crucial to see how they translate in reality. Order sample prints or swatches and evaluate them under different lighting conditions to ensure that the colors meet your expectations.

5.Use Contrast and Balance

When selecting colors for your custom apparel, it’s vital to consider contrast and balance. Contrast helps create visual interest and ensures that your designs are legible and impactful. It’s important to choose colors that stand out from each other, particularly for text or small details. Balancing different colors is also important to create a harmonious and visually pleasing design. Experiment with various color combinations to find the right balance for your custom apparel.

Choosing the right color palette for custom printing can make a significant difference in the success of your designs. By considering your brand identity or message, understanding color psychology, factoring in the printing method, testing your colors, and using contrast and balance, you can create visually striking and cohesive custom apparel that leaves a lasting impression.

Selecting the Ideal Fit

When it comes to custom printing apparel, selecting the ideal fit is crucial for achieving the desired outcome. The fit of the garment not only affects the overall appearance but also determines the comfort and wearability of the printed item. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right fit for your custom printing needs:

1.Body Type

Different body types require different fits for optimal comfort and style. Whether you have a slim, athletic, or plus-size body type, it’s important to choose a fit that flatters your shape. Consider options such as regular fit, slim fit, or relaxed fit to find one that complements your body type.


Accurate sizing is essential for a well-fitting printed garment. It’s important to measure yourself or your team members accurately to determine the right size. Most online custom printing portals provide detailed size charts to help you choose the correct size. Remember to take into account any specific fitting considerations, such as the need for extra room in certain areas or specific garment length requirements.


The fabric material plays a significant role in determining the fit and comfort of an apparel item. Different fabrics have different stretch and drape properties, which in turn, affect how well the garment conforms to the body. For example, if you prefer a more relaxed fit, opt for materials with a bit of stretch like cotton blends or jersey fabric.


The style of the apparel item should also align with the desired fit. For instance, if you’re looking for a more tailored and fitted look, opt for options like slim fit or tailored fit shirts. On the other hand, if comfort is a priority, relaxed fit or oversized styles may be more suitable. Consider the purpose and occasion for which the printed apparel will be used to help guide your decision.

5.Personal Preference

Ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the ideal fit for custom printed apparel. Some individuals may prefer a more form-fitting style, while others may prioritize comfort and opt for a looser fit. Take into account the preferences of those who will be wearing the garments to ensure their satisfaction.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make informed decisions when selecting the ideal fit for custom printing.If you are still not sure for that, you can click here for a further understanding. Remember that the goal is to create garments that look great, feel comfortable, and are well-received by the individuals who will be wearing them.

Exploring Design Placement

When it comes to custom printing on apparel, one crucial factor to consider is the placement of the design. The positioning of the design on the garment can greatly impact its overall appearance and effectiveness. Here are some key points to keep in mind when exploring design placement options:

1.Front and center

Placing the design in the center of the garment’s front is a popular choice for many apparel items. This placement allows the design to be prominently displayed and easily visible to others. It works well for t-shirts, hoodies, and other similar garments. It is a classic choice that ensures the design gets maximum attention.

2.Back placement

Another option to consider is placing the design on the back of the garment. This placement can be particularly effective for apparel used in sports teams, events, or promotional purposes. The back placement allows for larger, more detailed designs that can catch attention from a distance.

3.Shoulder or sleeve

Design placement on the shoulder or sleeve can add a unique and stylish touch to the apparel. This placement works well for logos, small graphics, or text that can be easily viewed when the wearer moves their arm. It offers a more subtle approach to design placement while still making a statement.

4.Pocket area

If the garment has a pocket, utilizing this space for design placement can be a creative choice. Whether it’s a small logo or a playful graphic, this placement can add an interesting visual element to the apparel. It is especially suitable for casual wear like t-shirts or sweatshirts.

5.Multiple placements

For a more dynamic and visually striking design, consider using multiple design placements on the same garment. You may choose to have a larger, central design on the front and a smaller accompanying design on the sleeve or back. This approach allows for a more complex and layered visual aesthetic.

6.Custom placements

Many custom printing services offer the flexibility to choose the exact placement of the design on the garment. This means you can get creative and specify unique and unconventional placements. Whether it’s off-center, asymmetrical, or in a non-traditional area, custom placements can add a personalized touch to the apparel.

When deciding on design placement, it is essential to consider factors like the type of apparel, the intended purpose, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Additionally, consider how the placement will interact with the wearer's body shape and movements.

Keep in mind that different printing techniques may have limitations in terms of placement options. It is recommended to consult with the printing service provider to ensure the chosen design placement is feasible.

By carefully considering design placement options, you can create customized apparel that not only looks visually appealing but also effectively communicates your message or brand identity to others.

Considering Material Quality

When it comes to making custom apparel choices for printing, considering the quality of the materials is of utmost importance. The material used for the clothing not only affects the overall look and feel of the finished product, but it also determines its durability and comfort. Therefore, paying attention to material quality is pivotal to ensure customer satisfaction and the longevity of the custom prints.

Here are some key factors to consider when assessing the material quality for custom printing:

1.Fabric Type

One of the primary considerations is the type of fabric used for the apparel. Different fabrics have distinct characteristics and suitability for printing. Cotton is a popular choice due to its softness and breathability, making it comfortable to wear. Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are known for their durability and moisture-wicking properties, making them suitable for athletic apparel. It is essential to understand the characteristics of different fabrics before making a decision.

2.Weight and Thickness

The weight and thickness of the material can impact both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the custom printed garment. Lightweight fabrics are often used for t-shirts and casual wear, while heavier fabrics are commonly chosen for outerwear or hoodies. The thickness of the material also affects the opacity of the print. Thicker fabrics may require more ink or layers for the design to be visible, while thinner materials may allow more visibility of the garment underneath.


The durability of the material is crucial, especially if the custom apparel is intended for frequent or heavy use. Consider the intended purpose of the clothing and select a material that can withstand regular washing, stretching, and general wear and tear. Look for fabrics that are known for their longevity and resistance to fading, such as combed cotton or synthetic blends.

4.Printing Compatibility

Not all fabrics are suitable for every printing technique. Some fabrics may work better with screen printing, while others may be more compatible with heat transfer or direct-to-garment printing. It is essential to consult with the printing service provider to determine which materials are recommended for the specific printing technique you have in mind. This will ensure that the print quality is satisfactory and the design adheres well to the fabric.


Lastly, do not overlook the comfort factor when choosing the material for custom apparel. Consider factors such as breathability, softness, and stretchability. The more comfortable the garment, the more likely it is to be worn and appreciated by the recipient. This is especially pertinent for promotional or corporate apparel, as comfort can impact the brand image and employee satisfaction.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make well-informed decisions when selecting the material for custom printed apparel. Remember to also consult with the printing service provider for their expertise and recommendations. Ultimately, choosing the right material is crucial to achieve high-quality, visually appealing, and long-lasting custom prints.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Apparel for Custom Printing

When it comes to custom printing, choosing the right apparel is essential. The apparel you select can have a significant impact on the overall appearance and quality of the printed design. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing apparel for custom printing:

1.Fabric Quality

The fabric quality of the apparel is crucial for both comfort and durability. Consider the desired level of softness, thickness, and breathability for the garments. Cotton is a popular choice for its softness and breathability, while polyester offers durability and moisture-wicking properties.

2.Color and Texture

The color and texture of the apparel can affect how the custom design will appear. Light-colored garments are usually better suited for vibrant, colorful designs, while darker colors can enhance the visibility of lighter-colored prints. Additionally, textures like ribbed or slub fabric can add a unique visual element to the printed design.


Not all fabrics are suitable for custom printing. Before making a choice, ensure that the apparel has a smooth and even surface, which will allow for high-quality and accurate printing. Avoid fabrics with uneven textures, excessive stretch, or a rough surface, as they can compromise the clarity and longevity of the printed design.

4.Sizing and Fit

Consider the intended audience and their preferences when selecting apparel sizes. Offering a range of sizes ensures that everyone can find a comfortable fit. It’s essential to provide sizing charts and guidelines to help customers choose the appropriate size. Additionally, consider the style and fit of the apparel – whether it is a loose, relaxed fit or a more fitted style – and how it aligns with the desired look and feel of the custom design.

5.Durability and Care

The durability of the apparel will impact how well the custom print withstands regular wear and washing. Choose garments that are made to last, with sturdy stitching and quality construction. Additionally, consider the care instructions for the apparel and advise customers on proper washing and care to ensure the longevity of the custom printed design.

6.Cost and Budget

Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing apparel for custom printing. Evaluate the pricing of different options and determine the best balance between quality and affordability. It may be worth investing in higher-quality garments if they offer superior durability and print quality, but always consider the budgetary constraints of your project or business.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make informed choices when selecting apparel for custom printing. Paying attention to fabric quality, color and texture, printability, sizing and fit, durability and care, as well as cost and budget, will help ensure that the final printed product meets your expectations and satisfies your customers’ needs.

Tips for Selecting the Right Apparel for Custom Printing

When it comes to custom printing, selecting the right apparel is crucial to ensure the best results. Whether you are creating merchandise for your business, designing promotional items, or printing personalized gifts, choosing the right apparel can make a significant difference in the overall quality of the finished product. To help you make the best apparel choices for custom printing, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

1.Consider the fabric

The type of fabric you choose for your custom printing will determine how well the design adheres to the garment and how comfortable it feels when worn. It’s vital to select a fabric that has a smooth and even surface, as this will allow for better printing results. Fabrics like cotton, polyester, and blends are popular choices for custom printing as they offer good printing capabilities and durability. Additionally, consider the weight and thickness of the fabric based on the intended use of the apparel.

2.Evaluate the color options

The color of the apparel can greatly impact the visibility and vibrancy of your printed design. Dark-colored garments, such as black or navy, work well for vibrant and contrasting prints. Light-colored garments, on the other hand, are ideal for designs with pastel or subtle color schemes. It’s important to choose apparel that complements your design and ensures that it stands out effectively.

3.Think about the printing technique

The printing technique you plan to use can influence the type of apparel that will work best. Different printing methods, such as screen printing, heat transfer, or direct-to-garment printing, have their specific requirements. For instance, screen printing performs well on cotton or cotton-blend fabrics, while direct-to-garment printing works on various materials. Consider the printing technique you want to use and select apparel that is compatible with it.

4.Prioritize quality

When it comes to custom printing, quality matters. Opt for high-quality apparel that is durable and will withstand repeated washes without fading or losing its shape. Look for trusted brands and reputable suppliers to ensure you get apparel that meets your expectations and reflects the professionalism of your custom printed items.

5.Consider your target audience

Keep in mind the preferences and needs of your target audience when selecting apparel for custom printing. Consider factors such as age, gender, style preferences, and the intended purpose of the printed items. By understanding your audience’s preferences, you can choose apparel that they will find appealing and comfortable to wear.

6.Sizing options

Ensure that the selected apparel offers a range of sizes that will accommodate the needs of your target audience. From small to plus sizes, having a variety of options will ensure that your printed merchandise fits comfortably on a wide range of individuals.

Remember, the right choice of apparel for custom printing enhances the appeal, longevity, and overall effectiveness of your design. By considering factors such as fabric, color options, printing technique compatibility, quality, target audience, and sizing options, you can make informed decisions that lead to successful custom printed apparel. So take the time to research, compare  available options like Peaprint,Printful,Printify, and choose wisely to achieve the best results.

Here are some other articles that we think might interest you:

How to Create Eye-Catching Designs for Print on Demand Success

Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Your Print on Demand Store

How to Drive Traffic and Sales to Your Print on Demand Products


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