TL;DR – Vivid colors, stands up to washes, big prints, quality t-shirts, great range of options. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The folks from Neatoshop (Neatorama’s storefront) were kind enough to send me samples of my uploaded t-shirt designs.
Neatoshop t-shirts are created with direct-to-garment technology similar to other sites like Redbubble, Teepublic, and Shirt.woot DTG.
For comparison, I’ve uploaded some photos that include RIPT, Shirt.woot, and Neatoshop side by side.
From an t-shirt consumer side, I’m quite impressed with the recent updates in DTG technology. The most distinguishable difference to me seems to be the tactile feeling. While screen printed shirts (RIPT in example) have a very dry to touch feel, the DTG printed designs feel rubbery. It’s inconsequential IMO since the advantages of a DTG print is being able to print a whole gamut of colors like the Journey-ish design from shirt.woot.
The colors are vibrant, and after two washes, my Neatoshop t-shirts are holding up well. This is probably due to the careful pre-processing Neatoshop takes in ensuring a high quality product.
“We operate our own printers in a warehouse in Southern California so we can keep our quality top notch and quality control high. In our process, we pre-treat the shirt and then press/dry it to achieve a smooth and flat printing surface. We then load the dry, pressed shirt onto the digital printer and then print the design… older technology [where they] print directly on a wet pre-treated surface. They skip the pressing step, which saves time. But as you can imagine, a wet-on-wet printing process leaves the design fuzzy and the color faded (especially red).”
They also noted that they were lucky enough to invest in a newer generation of printers which has significantly improved beyond it’s predecessors.
As far as the t-shirt blanks, they offer a wide range of t-shirt blanks. (and actually MOAR!, I found out they sell bags, cases, etc. It’s easy to overlook the icons. SEE IMAGE)
I like a soft shirt, so I was very pleased that with the “RINGSPUN” options, they use Next Level Apparel and District tees, with which I am familiar. They are very similar to American Apparel’s standard tee.
However, like Mew, they have something that is very rare. T-shirt options that span up to 6XL.
AS A T-SHIRT CONSUMER, with the wide range of options in tees, vivid colors, and growing roster of great designs (damn artist competition!), I highly recommend trying them out for a t-shirt.
AS AN ARTIST, they’ve been great to work with. They are very communicative and helpful. The Neatoshop is a branch of Neatorama, which Technorati had ranked in the Top 100 of all blogs, so it’s a high traffic site. A chance to alliance with such a company doesn’t come around too often.
As far as observations for uploading, the art should be near flawless. Every pixel shows up, whereas with screen print, there’s some loss and dot gain that’s forgiving. However, if you are savvy, this can be an advantage, since you could use indexed images with colors geared towards the core inks their printers use to get a better representation of the art and less ink mixing.
One major thing I notice, which is more apparent in the shirt.woot DTG Journey-ish design is that it’s better to eliminate dark grays with black halftones, otherwise you get a washed out gray for black. You can see this in the tips of the angel wings, whereas in the beetle, the black is straight to the shirt.
Thanks for reading,
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