The answer is no, absolutely not. And even more so if the single custom t-shirt print is multi-colored. Especially if you knew the whole screen printing process you would realize why this is not cost effective. The only time I would recommend a single custom t-shirt print is if you were to run a pre-production sample prior to running a larger order. This would be the only time it would be cost effective. Or again, if you were to run a speculative sample, or spec sample, prior to running production on a larger order.
Plastisol Screen Printing
As mentioned above plastisol screen printing would not be the preferred method of printing a single custom t-shirt. Simply because of the setup process, it takes a lot of work and time to set up the silk-screen plate for your logo design. You’d be looking at a $50.00 setup fee for just a one color imprint. Add another $50.00 if printing on a colored garment which requires a white under base. In addition, to another color and run charge. You’d be looking at spending over $100.00 for one shirt, not very cost effective if you ask me.
Direct To Garment (DTG)
When making one-offs companies either go with inkjet transfers or a direct to garment printer. These methods require almost no setup and clean up. And are ideal for smaller orders. But remember 100% cotton is your best bet when it comes to DTG printing. For 1-5 pieces your looking at $3.00-$8.00 per piece. That is if you find a printing company that doesn’t have a minimum dollar amount per order/invoice. Some places have a minimum of $50-100 per invoice regardless of quantity.
If you’re looking to run a couple of pieces here and there. Then you could always look into doing it yourself. And I’m not talking about DTG, as those printers are expensive. I’m talking about starting your own screen shop, you can buy everything you need on Amazon. This is if you plan on running small orders from time to time. Eventually, the costs to set up shop will pay for itself especially if you plan on selling custom t-shirts online.
Find a Company
If you want one custom t-shirt and one custom t-shirt only. Then you can find companies out there that will print just one t-shirt. There are companies like UberPrints you can check out that will take a basic t-shirt and do a digital print for one piece. Places like UberPrints have a 12 piece minimum for screen printing. This isn’t such a bad option if looking to print just one custom t-shirt.