There is a general perception that having bulk run of printed t shirt orders will work out cheaper if done in China or Asia than having it done in UK - well that is about to change. Yes before the cost of labor was always a main factor which brought the cost of printed t shirt down when running a production abroad but now with increased inflation, cost of labor and utilities going up abroad many companies are finding that printed t shirt done here in UK is working out cheaper.
If one compares the cost of raw material like plastisol ink and emulsion etc then the base cost is more or less the same - buying a gallon of UNION INK in India and UK is more or less the same. However set up and printing due to labor cost has always been cheaper abroad than when we compare to UK. However with advanced automatic screen printing that cost of faster production is driving the cost down considerably here in UK. The new M&R machines are faster, quicker to set up and register and give consistent printed result over a long production run compared to the table printing methods used in China and Asia.
The common way of screen printing in Asia is the table method of printing which is a very long and time consuming task when you compare with automatic carousel printing machines in UK and West. The table method is also a very slow method and no way as fast as having a modern automatic screen printing machine. So in summary printing in UK will be cheaper over a long production run but at the same time with shorter lead time for delivery. So while an order of say 4000 pieces from India can take 8 weeks an order from UK can be as little as 1 week delivery time.
Another important factory is the cost of the t shirt - before buying t shirt from Asia and having it printed would always used to be cheaper due to the price of t shirt being manufactured. However with increase cost of labor the basic cost of a heavy weight t shit from Gildan and Fruit of the loom which are made in Africa and South America are working our cheaper with reduced risk. A stocked t shirt from Gildan heavy weight is more or less the same price if you get quoted from factories in Asia but the benefit is quicker and consistent delivery if brought from Gildan depo in UK.