Introducing Threadless Labs and our first experiment!

  • by the ThreadStaff
  • posted Sep 12, 2011

We're experimenting with some new stuff (products, printing, and some more jazzed up things) and we're calling it Threadless Labs! The first thing we're going to test out is direct to garment printing (DTG). DTG printers use nozzles to print, rather than screens. So it's an inkjet printer basically. The color comes out all in one pass and directly onto the tee (hence, direct!), rather than with multiple printing screens with multiple colors. The benefit of this for you as a shopper is that you'll be able to buy more designs every week. The benefit for you as an artist is that you'll have more of an opportunity to be part of one of our lines (regular line, guys only, girly only, hoodies, kids only).

Here's how it works: starting today, we'll print 4 more new designs every single week (in addition to our 10 new ones), so we'll be selling 14 designs a week. Each of these 4 shirts will get a week trial. They'll be on preorder and if they sell well, we'll rush them to our printer and screenprint a large batch. The artist will receive the full Threadless payment as if it was a normal print. If they don't sell well, we'll give the artist 10% of what we sell for that week total, and the rights to the design back to them. This format will allow us to take mega risks on what designs we decide to print. So we'll be able to print crazier stuff, hopefully!

We'll use those 4 extra spots to experiment in all kinds of different ways, so you'll start to see some more stuff soon about this!

UPDATE: We just wanted to let everyone know that if you do order a shirt that’s been printed with DTG, it’ll take a tad bit longer to arrive, since it’s a special order. It could be up to 2 weeks, but hopefully no later.

9/19/11 TEES

Watch this
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DTG is like Dye-sublilmation?


...Is that "greener"? Who cares!

- Davide -
- Davide - profile pic Alumni

4 design more at week...

Excellent, i like this idea :)

soloyo profile pic Alumni

14 new tees per week , WOW

gumbolimbo profile pic Alumni

interesting ...


Cool that gives me more hope of getting printed lol


Let's hope that this will keep the indie spirit of Threadless alive! In a way, I guess it replaces the much missed yet rarely sold out old Select line. Good stuff Threadless & good luck with this venture!



keep your hands of my test tubes!



typos ruin ivorythong!


The winners should get junior science experiment kits.


plus money of course, that would be mean just to get a test tube.


I'm trying to follow this. Are you going to print these extra 4 shirts as DTG printing? or are they a separate deal altogether? If not, then how are you planning on using the direct to garment printing?

queenmob profile pic Alumni

awesomeness. I will dig in the darkest corners of my soul and see if I can contribute a truly weird design.


more chances, 5$$$$!!!!

Morkki profile pic Alumni

Awesomesauce! Will artists get Alumni status for DTG prints that don't sell quite enough to get a screenprint run?


I wonder who are the first 4?

Go check your mails!!!!

RicoMambo profile pic Alumni

i think this is fantastic news for all artists here. Every new threadless step is brilliant. Yeah!!!!!

Bio-bot 9000
Bio-bot 9000 profile pic Alumni

This sounds interesting. I hope the printing quality is still high.

jmeaspls profile pic Alumni

How do winners of the DTG printing relate to being alumni? Do you only get alumni status if it gets printed in a full line? And does it count toward 1 of the 4 prints needed to get a select design?

radiomode profile pic Alumni

There should be special section for these tees (at least special mention or logo, due to the nature of possible limit-ness).

L-M-N-O-P profile pic Alumni

This format will allow us to take mega risks on what designs we decide to print. So we'll be able to print crazier stuff, hopefully!

I was hoping this would come into play. Stoked!

Musarter profile pic Alumni

This is such a great idea; very encouraging to lesser known and unprinted artists. I look forward to seeing these more odd or risky designs.

Raulio profile pic Alumni

YES! This is a great idea!


I am really excited about this.

I may even start designing again!

FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

This is good science.

The kind where we wear bras on our heads and create the hottest t-shirt we can think of.


Great question about the Alumni status! If your DTG design is selected for one of our permanent lines, then you'll become Alumni and it will count towards your 4 designs for a 4xer design (we don't call this Select anymore).


Awesome questions threadies! The DTG shirts will cost the same as our regular line. If the design gets great feedback through orders, we'll push it to screen printing. If it's not so popular, it stays up for a week those will be DTG. Also, the extra 4 are chosen much like our other designs, but we might take on some riskier designs...yay!

Yay!! So stocked guys, keep that great work coming please! Love ya.

arzie13 profile pic Alumni

Yeah, there is no color limit for these DTG prints. We can't do way oversized, multiple print areas, and all over prints with DTG just yet. Those would have to be screened .

rbthatcher profile pic Alumni



Sounds awesome!

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