Finding the best custom clothing manufacturers to help you get a better grip on product design and quality. Unfortunately, many private label clothing manufacturers don’t take small orders, especially when it comes to clothing. To help you find the best apparel manufacturers with the lowest minimum order value, I have handpicked 9 of the most awesome options. I have also listed a few things to consider for beginners.
What to check when selecting custom clothing manufacturers?
A good business model will not only give you flexibility, but it will require little to no upfront. Wholesale manufacturers are good for getting good rates. However, if you are just starting up with your business, you can select a print on demand model. A print on demand dropshipping service allows you to fully customize your product. The clothing manufacturers for startups that you select will then create and ship orders for you when they arrive on your storefront.
Screen printing and direct-to-garment are the two most common, budget-friendly printing options, but look for the printing methods that suit you the best. For instance, if you want a patch, you should look for an embroidery print manufacturer.
Domestic or Overseas
Domestic clothing manufacturers are great. They provide faster shipment, and better contact, and above all, the vetting process (if required) is easier. Another good thing about domestic suppliers is that there aren’t custom fees.
Overseas manufacturers are ideal for those who have an audience base near the supplier location. If you decide to go with overseas manufacturers, make sure that your state doesn’t include custom duty on clothing items.
This point is especially relevant for seasonal sellers, i.e. for those looking to sell Halloween clothing items and want their inventory to be stocked before the holiday season.
Available clothing products
Oftentimes a manufacturer offers custom solutions, but they are more specialized in a particular type of clothing. In that case, if you order custom clothing that is different from their regular creations, you’ll have to pay a little more. Look instead for clothing manufacturers that already have the type of clothing item you need stocked up and listed in their product catalogue.
Minimum order quantity
Minimum order quantity is something you should always check before proceeding with an order. MOQ decides how much upfront it will cost you. I have tried to list in the post only custom clothing manufacturers for small businesses with little to no MOQ.
Best Custom Clothing Manufacturers 2022-23
The first pick on my list of custom clothing manufacturers is Printful. It is a print on demand dropshipping and fulfillment service. You can design your custom products via the free mockup generator and then get them shipped to the customer when the order arrives. This means you don’t necessarily have to buy a lot of clothing items. You can dropship them on a per order basis with no upfront cost. For those looking for bulk orders, they even offer an exclusive 30% off on bulk T-shirt orders.
If you’re not great at designing, Printful will help you find artists to design a product based on your needs. Printful also has white label and branding options, so you can create a completely custom experience for your buyers. The best part is you don’t have to keep an inventory.
|Printing methods – DTG, embroidery, cut & sew, white label, sublimation, and custom
Available products – Men’s clothing/women’s clothing/kids and youth collection
Shipment – Worldwide
MOQ – 1 unit
2. Amazon Business
Amazon business is a fairly new addition on my “custom clothing manufacturers for startups and small business” list with tons of products on their catalog. You will get business discounts and flexible payment options. Amazon also offer custom clothing suppliers (in some cases, direct manufacturers).
So if you want a verified place for finding specific type of manufacturers, you can try Amazon Business. Once you enter your business details including EIN, their team will verify the details, and you can then opt for a 30 days free trial.
Plus they offer built-in budgeting and analytic tools for small businesses. The downside is that Amazon Business is only available in USA.
|Printing methods – Screen printing (mostly)
Available products – Wide list of clothing products
Shipment – N/A
MOQ – 1 bundle (with x products)
3. Visionary Manufacturing
Visionary Manufacturing is a Minneapolis-based clothing manufacturer for designing high-quality clothing. You can get a well-designed clothing line for your fashion store that is both comfortable and reliable.
With over 5 years of experience under its belt, this manufacturing company has a great reputation for creating fantastic products. You can’t dropship on a per item basis, but the minimum order value is as low as 25 units, allowing you to get started at a minimal investment. However, if you want full cut and sew printing, the minimum order quantity is 50 products.
|Printing methods – Custom cut and sew, screen printing, embroidery, sublimation, private label
Available products – Sweatshirts, Fanny packs, T shirts, jackets and hats
Production time – 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the printing method you choose
MOQ – 25 units minimum for standard blank printing or embroidery production
Contrado is one of the few UK-based custom clothing manufacturers. It was founded in 2003 and offers a variety of business models for small to mid-sized businesses.
This company creates high-quality clothing items and provides a variety of services, including print on demand, dropshipping service, and wholesale. There is also a discount offer based on the business model you choose. For instance, wholesale or bulk clothing orders get a 20% to 40% discount based on the number of items you order. Their clothing line is unique and high-quality, and the company offers several printing solutions.
You can design 450+ products and set up a custom merchandise business. Plus you can even sell your designs on the Contrado marketplace and earn 20% commission on every order.
|Printing methods – Custom cut and sew, screen printing, embroidery, sublimation, private labeling, stamp printing, pigment printing, reactive printing, transfer printing, DTG
Available products – Men’s clothing/women’s clothing/kids’ clothing/custom collections
Production time – Usually dispatch single items within 24 hours (varies based on order size)
MOQ – 1 unit
5. Steve Apparel
Steve Apparel is a popular US-based custom clothing manufacturer with a lot of fabric customization options to help you create a branded experience for your customers. The sixteen-year-old company is hugely known in the fashion market for high-quality clothing products.They specialize in a variety of garments, including T-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies. With a worldwide customer base and a minimum shipment time, you can expect great service from this manufacturer.
|Printing methods – Screen printing, sublimation, embroidery, cut & sew, private labeling
Available products – Fitness/sportswear, casual wear, custom designs
Production time – Depends on order size
MOQ – Disclosed upon request
Bryden is an apparel manufacturer based in Singapore. With a network of 34 factories and suppliers, they offer high-capacity manufacturing. This custom clothing manufacturer has a worldwide shipment option, so you can store your clothing or use a warehouse fulfilment service anywhere on the globe. They have an existing customer base of 1,000+ businesses, so you can expect their service to be reliable.
|Printing methods – DTG, dye sublimation, screen print (water/plastisol/metallic/metallic foil), embroidery
Available products – Men’s wear, women’s wear, sports wear, swimwear, kidswear, headwear
Production time – 4 to 8 weeks after order confirmation
MOQ – 480 units per order
The last pick for the best custom apparel manufacturers is CustomCat. This apparel manufacturer offer a print on demand model that allows you complete customization and control over your product designs.
CustomCat are based in the USA, but you can get the products delivered to any part of the world. They offer unbeatable discounts on high-volume business models, which means higher margins. CustomCat’s high-standard facilities are fully equipped for handling bulk orders without breaking a sweat.
Quality-wise, their clothing products are good, and you will find a great range of items for your store.
|Printing methods – Digital (DTG), embroidery, and dye sublimation
Available products – Jerseys, polo shirts, warmups, pants, and more
Production time – 3 to 4 production days (varies based on no. of items and design variations)
MOQ – 1 unit
Printify is not a clothing manufacturer, but a print on demand platform that connects multiple clothing manufacturers with eCommerce stores. This means you will have a lot of suppliers for your clothing needs. I have added this option for those who want to have a single place to find multiple private label clothing manufacturers
Being partnered with multiple print providers in different regions also means that you can provide fast shipment.
They offer direct to garment and sublimation printing.Printify can ship anywhere around the globe except these countries – Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe.The variety of print providers makes Printify a perfect custom clothing solution for small business.
|Printing methods – DTG and sublimation
Available products – Men’s/women’s/kids clothing
Shipment – Worldwide
MOQ – 1 unit
What are other ways to find custom clothing manufacturers?
You can easily find custom clothing manufacturers that fit your needs by selecting one of the above. However, if what you need is very specific, here are a few other ways to find apparel manufacturers:
A great way to find fashion industry experts and get in touch with clothing experts is via industry meetups. You can use meetups and similar services that organize events to bring together leading influencers under one roof.
It might sound simple, but the Google search engine can really help you find great custom apparel manufacturers. You just need to use the Google search operators instead of regular search. Here are a few strings to use (the quotation marks tell google to find the exact match)
- “Clothing Manufacturer near me”
- “Clothing manufacturer in [your country]”
Online marketing place like Etsy
Etsy is a marketplace for artists to sell handcrafted products. If you are fond of handmade items, you can check out a few sellers on Etsy or other print on demand marketplaces and reach them out individually.
How to choose the best custom clothing manufacturers
Selecting the best clothing manufacturer for your startup requires you to know your business type, investment budget, and inventory space. Print on demand models are good for finding custom clothing manufacturers for small businesses. That said, here are my top 3 picks:
- Printful – Awesome print on demand clothing items with bulk discount.
- Steve Apparel – Bulk clothing manufacturer with low MOQ.
- Gooten – Network of manufacturers for on-demand printing.
Now that you know how to find the right apparel supplier for you, it’s time to find an eCommerce platform and start creating your online store. If you want to sell t-shirts, you can checkout my exclusive list post on best t-shirt manufacturers or best cosmetics manufacturers.