Dropshipping & Print On Demand

Dropshipping & print on demand

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Här samlar vi fakta, produktinfo, marknadsnytt och allt annat som kan vara  av intresse gällande dropshippng & print on demand marknaden. Kunskapsbanken skrivs på engelska.


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DTG (Direct-to-Garment) Printing is an inkjet technology that is able to print very high-quality, full-color, photographic prints directly onto a t-shirt. DTG Printing is best suited for designs or artwork considered too complex for other printing techniques, like screen printing, for instance, which is best suited for designs with few colors. DTG printing machines have a huge color mixing potential allowing them to print even the tiniest details.

Screen Printing is the most well-known t-shirt printing method of t-shirt printing methods. Humans have used screen printing since way before you and I were born. Nowadays, screenprinting is done both by machines and by hand. Let’s decipher why screenprinting is so famous.
Part of the magic of screen printing is the screen printing inks used. Make sure you or your screen printer use high-quality inks, this is so important! Low-quality inks will quickly fade away and will also feel weird.

In a nutshell, Heat Transfer Printing involves laying sheets of transfer material on top of garments and then having them be heat pressed in order to permanently apply custom graphics to garments.
The desired graphic is first digitally printed on special heat transfer paper using a solvent ink. This type of ink allows the design to be transferred from the paper to the t-shirt when pressed with a heat press machine.
The beauty of heat transfer printing is that it works on different materials and fabrics, it creates almost no mess, and needs minimum maintenance when compared to other methods.
Different heat transfer printing techniques exist and it can get a bit confusing

Dye-Sublimation Printing is one of the most popular variations of heat transfer printing. The way it works is by digitally printing graphics and then heating them to transfer the dye onto t-shirts.
Different from the other heat transfer printing techniques, dye-sublimation printing works with dye-based ink that turns into a gas when heated. Heat, pressure, and time cause dye-based inks to go from a solid to a gas state and then back to solid again. It is quite unequaled because the gas joins the polyester, becoming part of the material and not a layer on top.

The Plastisol Transfer Printing process is very similar to screenprinting only that the artwork is first ink-jet printed on plastisol transfer paper and then you use this paper to heat press the design on the shirt.

CAD (Computer-Aided Design)-Cut Printing is one more method of heat transferring designs onto t-shirts. This t-shirt printing technique is most commonly used for printing the numbers, names, and logos onto CAD-Cut vinyl material and then heat pressing them on sports t-shirts or jerseys.
To put it simply, this process involves using a machine to cut out designs and letters on pieces of colored vinyl. A heat press is then used to transfer each vinyl to the t-shirt.

With embroidery, the logo/text is reproduced by stitching threads directly into fabric. The actual stitching process is fully automatic and performed by computerised embroidery machines. Most commercial embroidery machines have 12 or more sewing heads with up to 15 needles per head. This means that 12 items can be embroidered simultaneously and the logo can use up to 15 thread colours. The first process is to make a program for your logo. This is called digitising. The end result is a program or logo file that can be uploaded to the embroidery machine and instructs the machine what to stitch. The garments are manually “hooped” and loaded onto the machine by the machine operator.

Best types of fabric for printing customisation


Cotton is a natural fibre with a soft and fluffy texture, which grows around the seeds of the Cotton plants. Depending on how you process the Cotton, the texture and persistence of the fabric differ. There are 4 main subtypes: Cotton, Combed-Cotton, Ringspun Cotton and Organic Cotton. These fibres are often combined together. For example, the combination of ringspun and combed-cotton makes an amazing quality fabric ‒ regardless if it is organic or not. 


The most basic Cotton is made in two steps. First, soft vegetable fibres are twisted together to make a yarn. Then, the material is constructed by weaving the yarn together. This material is relatively cheaper than other subtypes, which makes it popular among Fast Fashion manufactures. 

Combed Cotton

Combed Cotton goes through extra combing processes before the yarn is constructed. The combing process removes all the short fibres, which are prone to breakage. As the fibres are longer, it allows the Cotton to be more robust with longer life. 

Ringspun Cotton

Ringspun Cotton is made by spinning, twisting, and thinning the Cotton strands. This procedure produces soft, durable and extremely fine Cotton. 

Organic Cotton

Organic Cotton is, as you can guess, processed without using any synthetic agricultural chemicals ‒ such as pesticides that harm the environment and moreover our health. Organic Cotton differs from Non-Organic Cotton in that the seed is treated during the harvesting process. 


Blended fabrics refer to a unique kind of fabric, created using a mixture of two or more different fibres. One of the most common combinations is hybriding natural and synthetic fibres. 


As you can see from the name, Polycotton is a blend of Cotton and Polyester. The combination helps iron out the kinks, you could say, of each material. While pure Cotton shrinks or changes shape and pure Polyester lacks breathability, Polycotton is the more durable and breathable lovechild of them both. The ratio of natural to synthetic varies. For example, normally the combination is 50/50, but when the proportion of Cotton is higher, it becomes the perfect canvas for printing! 


Triblend is made by adding an extra fibre, called Rayon, to the Polycotton blend. Rayon is a semi-synthetic fibre and by adding it to the combination of Polyester and Cotton, the material becomes much softer. That being said, the combination of the 3 fibres lessens the boldness of colour when printing. However, nowadays, newer fabrication techniques put the cotton in the upper layer, and as the ink fixes on the Cotton, this colour problem is solved. 


Polyester and Spandex are both synthetic fibres. Combining the stretchiness of Spandex and the durability of Polyester makes the mixture perfect for active sportswear. 

Organic Fabrics (Besides Organic Cotton)

We call a fabric ‘Organic’ when it is grown in the earth without the use of any chemicals such as pesticides, for at least three years. There are several types of fabrics that apply to this section. 


Quite obviously, made from the Bamboo plant, Bamboo fabric is highly breathable and often stretchier than Cotton. This fabric is popularly used for garments that have direct skin contact as its texture is soft.  

Tencel Lyocell

Lyocell is a form of Rayon, whilst Tencel is a branded Lyocell fibre that is produced from wood pulps. This type of fibre is strong, great at absorbing moisture and smooth. It combines well with other fibres such as Cotton, Polyester and Wool. 

Viscose Lenzing Ecovero

Viscose is another type of Rayon fibre made from natural sources. Viscose Lenzing Ecovero, also known as Lenzing Ecovero branded viscose fibre is sustainable and has a low environmental impact as it´s made of sustainable wood and pulp.   


The Fast Fashion industry generates a lot of textile waste, which takes a serious toll on the environment. Using biodegradable fabrics is one way to solve this, but we can also create a better and more sustainable solution by recycling the materials. 

Recycled Cotton

Used Cotton fabric is shredded down to the Cotton fibre to be re-used in other textile products. The shredded Cotton is sorted into colours during this process, rendering it unnecessary to redye the final fabric. The shredding process shortens and weakens the fibres, which makes it difficult to recycle several times over. 

Recycled Polyester (Blended with Organic Cotton)

While Polyester is known for being a strong and durable material, it is not so eco-friendly (unless it is blended with Organic Cotton) as it is made out of plastic, which degrades with difficulty. By recycling them, we can reuse the plastic waste that would have ended up in the landfill! However, it must be said that recycling Polyester can be complicated, as it is usually already blended with other materials.


Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the world’s leading processing standards. It stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain, for both ecology and labour conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing and sourcing organically produced raw materials. 


The Organic Content Standard applies to any non-food product containing 5-100 percent organic material. It verifies the presence and amount of organic material in a finished product. The goal of OSC is to ensure trust in organic content claims.


The Soil Association is the UK’s largest organic certifier that offers a huge range of organic and sustainable certification schemes from food to textiles and more. It is involved in certifying the two internationally-recognized independent organic standards mentioned above-GOTS and OCS. 


The Fair Trade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that aims to give a sustainable livelihood to the workers involved in all aspects of the production of goods. The mark of this organisation guarantees that, from the production of the raw material all the way to the finished product, the workers have been treated fairly. 


Fair Wear Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization striving to improve working conditions in the textile industry. The foundation is an initiative of trade organizations from the textile sector, trade unions and NGO’s.


The Carbon Trust Standard provides certification to organisations that excel in measuring, managing and reducing environmental impact. The organisation offers carbon trust standards for carbon, water, waste, zero waste to landfill, and supply chain.


PETA/Vegan certification recognises that the product is animal-free! This means it does not contain any leather, fur, wool, skin, exotic skins or any other animal-derived fabric. PETA (the world’s largest animal rights organisation) approves if it meets these conditions.


Garments are provided with a declaration of origin and the trade commodity code that accredited it. For example, all of Continental Clothing garments specify the origin and the trade code. 


The Living Wage Foundation sets an hourly rate that employees should earn to ensure that they live poverty-free. 


Sedex is an ethical data exchange, non-profit organisation and is dedicated to showing a transparent, responsible and ethical supply chain.


Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) is an independent, non-profit team of global social compliance experts. Their main aim is to visit facilities that are involved in the production of clothing and certify the facility complies with local laws, workplace regulations, universal workers rights and environmental regulations.


Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is a certification that ensures that the materials claiming to be recycled would have definitely gone into the solid waste stream.


OEKO-TEX® consists of independent research and test institutes in the field of textile and leather ecology. The labels of OEKO-TEX® are available for textile and leather products that have been tested for harmful substances.


Skal provides organic certification to farms and businesses that meet their organic standards. It helps make the reliability of organic products visible to the consumers and buyers. The object of the Skal foundation is to offer consumers certainty that a product with an organic label/logo really was produced organically. 

You probably have noticed on the label of your t-shirt: 100% Ring Spun Cotton. So, what’s the difference between ring-spun cotton and regular cotton?

Regular Cotton

The process of making regular cotton consists of twisting together soft vegetable fibers into yarn. The yarn is then woven together to create regular cotton material.

Ringspun Cotton

The yarn that is created for ringspun cotton is spun in a way that produces stronger, longer strands that are soft, extremely durable and free from the rough texture of standard raw cotton. Also, there may be fewer fibers sticking out which can help with fibrillation issues. The process of continuously spinning, twisting, and thinning the cotton strands is what yields long, soft strands.


What is print on demand?

Print on demand is an idea that’s been around since the 90s and it simply refers to the idea that a blank piece of merchandise waits patiently for the moment that a follower, fan or customer hits the ‘place order’ button and the time comes that it can finally go through the printing process.

It seems obvious, the answer is right there in the name: the customer buys something from you online (i.e. expresses a demand) and only then does the item get printed with your design. It really is as simple as that. It’s what happens afterwards where things start to get a little muddy.

What is drop shipping?

Drop shipping describes the logistics involved in the processing, packaging and delivery of an item in which it goes straight from the storage facility to the customer without you ever having to lift a finger. Usually with drop shipping, you choose from a wholesaler’s catalogue of products and offer them on your website. When someone places an order with you, you provide the wholesaler with the order details who then packages and ships the item on your behalf.

The global dropshipping market size was valued at USD 102.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 28.8% from 2019 to 2025. The market is anticipated to witness significant growth owing to an increase in preference for online shopping, coupled with the rising trend of cross-border e-commerce trade. Hence, the rise in demand for dropshipping services is predominantly influenced by the growth of the e-commerce industry. Dropshipping involves selling of products through online stores where the retailers do not keep a stock of goods. The retailer transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.

f you want to earn a decent income by starting your side business, then dropshipping is definitely worth it. However, if you want to make lots of money in a short amount of time, then dropshipping is definitely not worth it.
For dropshipping to work successfully, you will have to invest time, money, and effort.

Here are a few things that are slowing down the pace with which dropshipping businesses are growing:

  • High shipping duration
  • High cost of goods
  • Lack of customer support
  • Refunds take a lot of time
  • Product quality is too low
  • Unprofessionalism of sellers

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