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How to Find a Custom Shirt Manufacturer

Get to know the following business models in custom shirt manufacturing. They are prerequisites and necessary on how to find a custom shirt manufacturer for your business needs.


Starting a clothing line is always a great business idea considering shirts always sell regardless of season and never go out of style. As long as you have great and unique designs for your shirts, then you need not to worry of being able to sell them because there will surely be a market out there for your products. Manufacturing custom shirts is a proven business option which has been around for years and will continue to remain in that spot for more time to come.

As a startup clothing line with a stock of creative designs, the biggest challenge for you is how to find a clothing factory to bring these designs to life. You need a reliable custom shirt manufacturer which is an expert in this department and at the same time be friendly to your budget. The perfect custom shirt manufacturer needs to have the right qualities and skills to get the job done. You cannot simply hire any product manufacturer out there since you’d be focusing on custom shirts. The specialty must be on point.

When asking how to find a custom shirt manufacturer, the automatic reply is to Google for them in the internet or check them out at trade fairs. However, the challenge goes beyond in finding them because there are always a handful of shirt manufacturers out there. The real challenge is how to find the perfect custom shirt manufacturer suitable to your business needs. Here are a few business models you need to consider when looking for an ideal custom shirt manufacturer.

Find a custom shirt manufacturer with the right equipment.

Different Business Models of Custom Shirt Manufacturing

If you are looking for a custom shirt manufacturer, it is important to relay to them the business model you have for your clothing line to make sure both of you are on the same page. Different business models are fitting for different custom shirt manufacturers. You can no longer generalize them all for different business models due to factors such as order quantity, shirt printing technology, manufacturing process and a lot more. Here are different custom shirt manufacturing business models you need to know of;

1. Print on Demand

The most basic custom shirt manufacturing business model is to accept orders and designs from clients and have them manufactured by your supplier or manufacturer by batch. Sure this business model is safe and easy to comply but this is also the most competitive yet boring business approach. This business model has a limited market and there is less chance for your products to make it big in the market.

2. Private Label Clothing

The concept is to purchase regular and generic shirts from OEM factories then let these shirts be customized by the manufacturer depending on your preferences. You can also legally put your private label on these products and market them as your own. Private labeling is a common business strategy and manufacturers for this type of custom shirt manufacturing are known for their improvisation skills more than actual shirt construction. This business model has a wider market but is far more challenging compared to print on demand.

3. Custom Cut-and-Sew

This business model is the perfect option if you want to establish your clothing line as a brand in the market. You create custom shirts with original designs and hope the consumers will love your products. The biggest advantage to this approach is you are creating unique customized designs for a well-targeted market. However, product development can be costly but you can easily mitigate the financial risks by ordering small quantities to test the market. You can choose to increase quantities later on once you get the hang of it and you grow confidence in your products. Check out this great story to further inspire you for your clothing business.

Key to Find Custom Shirt Manufacturer

Deciding for a business model is an ultimate factor on how to find a custom shirt manufacturer. Custom shirt manufacturers have specializations and their abilities are sometimes limited to specific business models. Once you have established your custom shirt business model, picking a custom shirt manufacturer or supplier will be a lot easier since you have already mapped out the specifications and qualities you need out of your supplier/manufacturer.

Without a business model beforehand, things can get a little difficult and ending up with the wrong manufacturer can be possible due to your business uncertainty. Some may take advantage of your naivety and push you to a different business model to which your business plan is not designed for. Feel free to research on the latest industry trends to be aware. Establishing your business model is the ultimate prerequisite on how to find a custom shirt manufacturer out there.

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