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What is a print shop?

A print shop is a store front operation where short run printing services are provided.  When we say "short run", this refers to the quantity of garments produced per order.  A short run means that the facility is producing a relatively small number of garments for a particular print.

For example:

  • If a local baseball team needs uniforms printed with the players names and numbers on the back.  The team needs less than twenty shirts printed.  This would be considered a short run of production.  The team may use a local t-shirt printing shop to meet their needs.

  • If Walmart places an order with an apparel wholesaler for printed t-shirts.  Those tees will most likely be purchased in a large quantity and would require a printing factory that is capable of running a large print run (higher quantities).  The facility would need more machinery and larger work spaces for production runs of this size.  Walmart may need an apparel printing factory to meet their large scale requirements.

Although this is not the case for all print shops, many of them are limited in size.  This means less machinery and less room for storage.

It is important to note that the term "print shop" does NOT necessarily have to refer to the size and capabilities of the company or printing facility.  The term is used rather loosely.  It is very possible that an enormous apparel printing factory refers to themselves as a print shop.

When Apparel Search refers to "print shops" we are typically, but not always, thinking more in terms of local screen printers that work on smaller runs to assist local businesses, schools, team sports, charities, etc.  If we are talking about larger facilities we usually use the word "factory" or "factories".

You may also want to learn about promotional apparel which is often produced in print shops.

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