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Frequently asked questions

Getting started

How is my price determined?

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Your price is determined by the shirt style you select and how many locations and colors your design requires.

I'm in a rush, how fast can I get my order?

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Fast. While our standard turnaround time is 10 days, we offer a few options to get your shirts more quickly.

First off, we offer our "Lightning" service which delivers in two days. We have a select number of products available for Lightning which you can see here.

Next, we have our 5-day "Rush" service. You can browse the available products for that here.

Finally, we offer a "pick-your-own" delivery date option as well. With this method, you can choose any delivery date you'd like with a simple 10% rush fee applied per day. This option will be available on the approval page you'll receive when we send you your mockup for final approval.

If I place a reorder, do I have to submit all of my art again?

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Nope! We'll keep a record of your design details, so reordering is simple and easy. To make reorders even easier, be sure to sign up for an account.

Can I order different color shirts or different style shirts with my order?

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Absolutely! We do ask that you meet the minimum order quantity of 20 t-shirts for your particular design before changing garment styles. For example, in order to receive black and white shirts, you would need to order 20 black shirts and 20 white shirts.

If you'd like to order less, say 10 shirts and 10 black shirts, there will be a one-time under minimum charge of $25.

What file format should I submit my design in?

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Files should be vector form. We prefer: EPS, AI or PDF. If you don’t have a vector file, we recommend 300dpi or larger in one of the following formats PSD, TIF or JPG.

If all of that sounds like gibberish to you, click the button below to talk to one of our t-shirt pros to help you get started.

How long will it take to get my shirts?

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For a basic order with no add-on services, the standard turnaround time is 10 business days, plus transit time. Additional add-on services like hem tags or custom inside tags will extend your turnaround time.

Want to know how long each add-on service takes? Below are a list of our popular add-ons. Additional turnaround time for each of those services will be listed on each page under the "details" section.

Tag Printing

Hem Tags

Foil

Fold & Polybag

Do orders have a per size minimum?

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Orders do not have a per size minimum. Your can order different sizes free of charge!

Can I order a sample of the garment before placing a full production run?

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No problem. Just let your Account Manager know the garment sample you're looking for and we'll get a sample order started for you.

Printing

Can you discharge print on 50/50 blends and tri-blends?

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We sure can! Know though, that with water based and discharge ink, not all fabrics print the same. 100% cotton will give a different result than a 50/50 blend or a tri-blend will. You can learn more about tri-blends here.

For an in-depth look at how our ink looks on different fabrics, download our Visual Guide to T-Shirt Fabrics.

Can you match a custom Pantone color?

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You got it! We can match any Solid Uncoated Pantone color. It's tough to match exactly since we are printing on fabric, but we'll get it as close as possible.

Can you print over seams?

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Yes, we can! We have a few special print techniques to achieve great over the seams prints! No problem at all.

Can you print over zippers or pockets?

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Yes, we can! We have a few special print techniques to achieve great over the zipper prints. You can learn more about over-the-zipper printing here.


Can you print with water based or discharge inks?

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Yes! Actually, that's what we're known for here at Real Thread. No plastisol here!

Do you offer any specialty inks such as foil, metallic, glow, and neons?

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You got it! You can check out our awesome add-on's and specialty services here.

What is the difference between CMYK (Four Color Process) and Simulated Process?

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Four Color Process printing, also known as CMYK, essentially performs the same way that your inkjet printer does, blending the four colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) to produce full-color images as opposed to spot color images. Four Color Process with water based inks is best when printed on white or very light colored shirts and does not work well on dark shirts. For full color images on dark shirts, we recommend Simulated Process printing.

Simulated Process printing is an amped-up version of Four Color Process. It is capable of producing very photo-realistic images with a high amount of detail. It uses traditional spot colors, yet blends them in a four-color process manner, simulating full color images. This process works very well on both light and dark colored garments. The ink color count for simulated process jobs are often in the five to ten color range, therefore making it the best process for higher quantity runs.

Why do Kelly Green, Royal Blue and Red shirts often discharge poorly?

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Every shirt starts in its natural color cotton, it's then dyed into your shirt color. Garment dyes used when dying Kelly Green, Royal Blue, and Red shirts are often stubborn to discharge printing.

This is why we recommend using our Bold Ink when printing on these colors. We have found out that manufacturers continue striving to make their dyes more discharge-friendly, so this could become less challenging.

Products

Can I order shirts that are not offered on your site?

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Yes! We can source shirts from every major manufacturer. Our product page simply has a list of our most popular shirts, so if you have a shirt in mind that you don't see on our website, simply let us know and we'll find it for you.

Can I supply my own shirts?

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Generally, no, we not print on customer-supplied blanks. We're able to provide a much smoother, more streamlined experience when we handle all of the ordering and supplying of t-shirts in-house. Plus, we have discounted rates with all major wholesalers, so you can be sure you're getting a great deal.

If you have a custom garment that you'd like to print on, get in touch and ask about contract printing.

What is a basic fit tee?

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Basic fit t-shirts are standard shirts that are not tapered and have more box-like shape. Browse all of our super soft shirt products today!

Campaigns

Are supporters able to contact me about the shirt or is it always through Campaigns by Real Thread?

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All contact with supporters is handled by our Campaigns service. You, as a seller, will not be responsible for any communication to individual buyers throughout your campaign.

Can I add multiple products to my campaign?

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The Campaigns platform allows for one shirt style and one shirt color per Campaign.

Can I build a web store on the Campaigns platform?

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You’re certainly able to create multiple campaigns thus creating multiple products/designs available on Campaigns. But at this point, there isn’t a way to aggregate those campaigns to create a “webstore”. If you’re interested in such, contact us with your vote!

Can I customize my campaign page?

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Yes! Each campaign page has an “About This Campaign” section. In that section, you can add any content you’d like, including text, photos, videos, etc.

Can I view my buyers’ contact info?

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We take user privacy very seriously. With that in mind, right now we don’t have a way to share supporters’ information with fundraisers. If you’d like this to be offered, please let us know by contacting us.

Do you have an API?

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We do not have an API available at this time. If you’re interested in such, please contact us with your requested use.


Do you offer a referral program?

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Yes! When a shirt is ordered the buyer will automatically be sent an order confirmation that contains a unique shareable link. Each time an order is placed from this link a $5 credit will be issued to the original purchaser.

The credits can add up to as much as the total of the order’s cost. This credit comes out of the campaign’s profit.

This incentive should encourage sharing and boost sales overall in order to make up the difference for the decrease in profit.

Do you ship internationally?

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Currently, we are not offering international shipping. If you’d like to be notified when international shipping opens up, please contact us.

How are the shirts printed?

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Since Campaigns is a service offered by Real Thread, you should expect the same high-end, retail quality printing Real Thread has become known and loved for.

At Real Thread, we specialize in screen printing with water-based and discharge ink, an ink that actually dyes the fabric of your shirt, rather than sitting on top, leaving an incredibly soft, breathable feeling print. For more on our two print styles, SuperSoft and Bold, click here.

How do I get my campaign profit?

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Campaign profit is distributed around the 20th of each month for any campaigns ending the prior month. Currently, you must have a PayPal account for us to send your funds to.

How do I share my campaign?

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Your campaign specialist will send a unique URL that leads to your campaign page. You can then simply share that URL via email, text, social media, newsletters, billboards, and any other way you can think of!


How do I start a campaign?

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To start a campaign, simply click here to upload your artwork, pick your t-shirt, and create your campaign page.

Or, if you'd like some assistance as you walk through it, send an email to team@realthread.com

How is my campaign profit calculated?

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Profit is based on how many shirts you sell. Here's a quick chart that breaks down your profit potential.

Qty Sold //  Profit per Shirt //  Est. Total Profit
10-19            $0                           $0
20-35           $3                           $60+
36-49           $7                           $250+
50-199         $11                           $550+
200+            $13                          $2,600+

How long do campaigns run for?

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That’s up to you. You can do anywhere from 1 day to 30 days. We recommend 7 - 14 days.

How should my design be formatted?

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It's best to submit your files in vector form: either EPS, AI or PDF. If that's not possible we can work with any PSD, TIF or JPG as long as it's 300dpi and has a transparent background.

Is anything deducted from my profit?

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Most of the time, no! There are two instances when this is a possibility, though. Any credits that your buyers accrue through our Referral Program will be deducted from your profit.

Secondly, if a buyer’s credit card is declined at the end of the campaign then the order will be canceled and no profit will be given.

Is it ok to use someone else’s design on my t-shirt campaign?

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Using someone else’s design without their permission is a big no-no unless you have written permission. We do our best to not allow campaigns using stolen artwork, but if you see an issue please contact us.

What are Campaigns by Real Thread?

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Campaigns by Real Thread tackles the difficulties fundraisers face when asking for donations. We created an easy way to sell super soft shirts online, providing backers with a wearable keepsake in exchange for their support.

What is the minimum number of shirts I need to sell?

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Each campaign must sell at least 10 shirts in order for them to be printed and shipped. At 20 shirts the campaign will become profitable (before 20 shirts, we're just covering our production costs)!

However, the more tees you sell, the more profit you make. So you'll want to shoot for specific goals (36, 50, 200, etc...) which ultimately give you more profit per item sold! If someone buys a shirt but the total sold doesn't reach the 10 shirt minimum needed to print, their card will never be charged.

What is the shipping cost?

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Shipping one shirt costs $3.95 for USPS first class mail. Each additional shirt purchased will cost $2.00 more to ship.

What products can I choose from?

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When do the shirts get printed and shipped?

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After your campaign ends, we print and ship your product within 7 days. Most buyers will receive their product approximately 7-12 days after the campaign ends.

Where are the shirts printed?

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Everything is printed here at Real Thread in our print facility in downtown Orlando, FL. If you’re ever in the area, you’re welcome to swing by for a tour.

Where should my shirt design come from?

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Currently, you must provide your own design to use Campaigns. You can use your favorite graphics program (such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop) to create your design.

Will I have to pay taxes on the money I receive from a campaign?

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The short answer is yes. There are exceptions and this can get more complicated. We highly recommend speaking with a CPA for more specific details.

Fulfillment

Can I fulfill items that are not printed by Real Thread, like stickers, mugs, or other pieces of apparel?

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Absolutely. Whatever items you’re selling in your store, we’re able to ship.

Can I provide my own custom packaging?

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Yes! If you’d like to provide your own custom-branded packaging for us to send your items in, you’re more than welcome to do so! Simply send them to us and we’ll ship all of your teams out in style.

Do I have to be a Real Thread customer to use Real Thread fulfillment?

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Yes. We do ask that, to enroll in fulfillment, that you are printing t-shirts (or sweaters/hoodies) with us.

Do I have to sign an annual contract?

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Nope. We offer both a monthly and an annual fulfillment plan. With the monthly plan, there is a one-time setup cost involved, but if you sign up for an annual plan, we’ll waive that setup fee.


Does fulfillment ship internationally?

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Yes, we do! We recommend shipping internationally through USPS International. Transit time is typically 1-3 weeks, depending on the end location.


How does Real Thread fulfillment work?

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Here are the quick & easy steps to printing tees while using our fulfillment program:

Step 1: We connect to your shopping cart platform. Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform, but we can connect with pretty much any of them.

Step 2: You place your bulk order(s) with us (20 shirts is our minimum).

Step 3: We create the magic and bring your shirts to life.

Step 4: We stock your inventory at our warehouse.

Step 5. We ship out your orders as soon as they roll in through your shopping cart.

How long does it take for my items to ship?

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We guarantee all orders will ship within 2-3 business days, however, 95% of items are shipped with 24 hours of receiving the order.

How long does set up take?

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Onboarding for Real Thread Fulfillment takes about 5 business days. During this time we’ll confirm your inventory, bin and label your inventory, and sync to your store so that we’re ready to take your online orders.

How much does Real Thread Fulfillment cost?

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In terms of pricing - there are 3 cost components to our fulfillment program: shipping, packaging and the fulfillment!

1) The "shipping" component - this cost is up to you and/or your customer, meaning you and/or your customer choose the shipping service to be used and you're billed that rate. You may choose to only allow a single service (such as USPS First Class Mail) or you may allow several service/speed options (such as USPS First Class Mail, UPS Ground, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS Next Day Air, Fedex, etc).

GOOD NEWS: You’ll always be billed at our discounted bulk rates! =)

2) The "packaging" component - this cost is based on the size of the shipment. For a single shirt, a 10”x13” white poly mailer will cost you just $0.21.

3) The "fulfillment" component - this rate will change based on your monthly volume and whether you choose an annual contract or month-to-month contract. These rates are outlined in our rate sheet, which is attached.

The three costs above are billed at the end of each month and are separate from printing costs.

To give you a general idea on costs, here is what a shipment of one shirt would likely cost you if you ship out 1 - 99 orders in a month through fulfillment:

Shipping: $3.77 (via USPS First Class Mail)

Packaging: $0.21 (white 10 x 13" poly mailer)

Fulfillment Fee: $2.50

Total: $6.48

Phew, that's a lot of numbers. Have follow-up questions? Ask our team!

I have a custom request, is there someone I can speak to to ask?

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Sure thing! If you have a unique request you’d like to make regarding fulfillment, let us know. Our platform is pretty customizable, and we’re ready to work with you so you get exactly what you’re looking for. Reach out, we'd love to help.

Is fulfillment a print-on-demand service?

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No, our fulfillment service does not include print-on-demand. T-shirts are still ordered in bulk (our minimum is 20 shirts per design), then your inventory is stored and shipped safely at Real Thread HQ. You sell your shirts, and let us worry about the printing, storage, packing, and shipping.

If you’d like to sell t-shirts before taking on the inventory, we do have the option to pre-sell. You’re free to put up a pre-sale of your shirts on your website, and once you collect your orders, print the shirts and we’ll send them to your customers.

What does the packaging look like?

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Our standard packaging for your items is a non-branded white poly mailer or a brown cardboard box. If you have specific packaging requests or requirements, we can often accommodate that too. Just reach out and we'd love to talk through your needs.


What online stores can you connect with?

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We’re able to integrate with pretty much any major eCommerce platform. Shopify, Squarespace, Amazon, Etsy, & eBay, BigCommerce, Magento, BigCartel, and WooCommerce to name a few.

If you don’t see your platform listed, just ask! Odds are, we can make it work.

Shipping

Can I come pick up my shirts?

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Yes! We love when people swing by the office. We'll even have a La Croix ready for you :)

We're located on the north side of Orlando Florida at the I-4 and Maitland Blvd exit.

You can map us here: https://g.page/realthread?share

Can you deliver my shirts if I am local?

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We would love to! A small delivery fee may apply.


Do you ship international?

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Yes, absolutely. Contact our team for details regarding your location and estimated transit time and cost.

How will my shirts ship?

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We ship primarily with UPS. If you need us to ship to a PO Box, then we'll go USPS.

Will I get a tracking number when my order ships?

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Absolutely. We'll email you a tracking number as soon as your shirts ship. You can also grab your tracking number from your order dashboard by logging in.


Payment

How do I go about making payment for my order?

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Once you place your order, we'll begin working on your high-res digital mockup for your approval. You don't owe anything until you've seen and approved of that digital mockup. At that point, you'll pay online to approve and begin production on your order.

To begin an order, get started at www.realthread.com/products

How much do I have to pay to get started?

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Nothing. After you submit an order online, our art team will get started on your free hi-res digital mockup. You'll receive an email once it's done, in which you can either ask for a revision or approve your design and pay for your order.

Once your order is approved you will be asked to pay for your order.

If I don't like my shirts, can I return them?

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If your order doesn't match the digital mockup you approved, you can absolutely return the shirts and ask for a reprint. Obviously, that's  something neither of us wants and we work very hard to ensure you get exactly what you're expecting.

Also remember, water-based and discharge printing is more of an artistic process and craft than the average screen print. With water-based and discharge inks, a little color variation is to be expected. If color matching is of the utmost importance on your order, we recommend using our Bold ink.

What is the 3% under allowance policy and how does it affect the final invoice quantity?

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Our 3% under policy is to insure the right amount of shirts will be printed. As screen printing is an art and not an exact science, oftentimes there are small errors on press, from the shirt vendor or random acts of God, However, we will always refund your card if we do not meet the required amount up to 3% under the quantity Order. If the damaged amount is greater than 3% we will reprint the goods.


Have more questions? We can help!

Contact us