Teemill Updates

Remove the White Background on T-shirt designs

If you’re just starting out in t-shirt design, you’ll find it’s pretty easy. There’s some old tricks that professionals have up their sleeves that can mean the difference between products that are okay and products that make you money. Here’s one of the tips we give most often.

This article covers the common “removing the white background” issue and how to deal with it. This is when a Teemill designer has created an amazing design on the computer or often by hand ready for the tee – when the design is uploaded, there’s a white background around the design making it look like a square, that needs to be removed.


Professional designers use the t-shirt fabric as the background colour, not the design printed on top of a white square. At Teemill, our commitment to high quality product and services means that we require the quality of submitted designs to be high. 

In the 21st century where everyone has a computer and access to Photoshop or similar, there’s no reason why even  startups and small charities can’t produce amazing quality designs. Consumers have come to expect it.

Many of the features designed in Teemill are based on values like this, and automatically kick in to make sure your t-shirt store is successful. This includes the ability to detect you’re trying to launch a product where the design has a background that needs removing: In this case, the system may reject it – and refer you to this blog. Please don’t be annoyed! It’s in your best interests to launch products that are more likely to make you money, even if it takes you 5 minutes to clean up the design – removing the background on your designs is worth it.

So how do we lose the background?

Firstly, if your design is going on a white tee there’s a nifty tool in the product creator that can do this for you at the click of a button. The de-white tool can be found in the right hand control pane when the design is selected.


It automatically removes any part of the design which is pure white. so it will only work if your background is perfectly white.

What if the background is not perfectly white?

This happens sometimes if the designer has designed on paper, and scanned or taken a photo of the design and uploaded that. It takes more work to remove this kind of background. For this reason, it’s normally better to learn to use the computer for designing in the first place and save yourself the hassle. If you insist on paper though, you’ll need to learn how to process and separate your art from the background on the computer afterwards. For this kind of work, we recommend Photoshop.

Get yourself a copy of Photoshop and watch a few tutorials, like this one.

In our case, we usually use the following sequence: Image>adjustments>levels and pull the right hand toggle down to increase the brightness of the white range. Then magic wand tool to select the whites, remove them.

Save for web, PNG24

Once you have removed the background in Photoshop, click file / save for web and devices and save up. Remember the best image format for Teemill printing is the PNG24 with transparent background.

You should now have an image with no background, perfect for uploading onto several different coloured t-shirts in Teemill and with this newly professional standard of design, you’ll almost certainly find a long-term increase in sales.


Custom Domain on Teemill, the Easy Way

Teemill comes with a free subdomain and web hosting, meaning that you can build a store at [anydomainyoulike].teemill.co.uk. Some folks prefer to have a simpler, neater domain for their marketing and add brand strength. It’s easy to do.

Once you’ve build a Teemill store, there are many different ways to get your own domain name. The fastest, easiest way is the redirect or 301. This means that you can buy any domain you like (for example, MyRadBrand.co.uk) and when a user types this into their address bar, they will be magically transported to my Teemill store at myradbrand.teemill.co.uk without noticing.

301 redirects are a free service with most domain providers and take minutes to set up – they give you the best value for money if you’d like to change your Teemill URL to one that is simple and easy to remember.

Combined with custom packaging and the advanced theme features available in Teemill Pro, it’s an effective way to disguise the fact that your brand runs on Teemill at all.

You can run Teemill entirely on a domain without a redirect, however it requires some dedicated hosting and SSL packages that will cost many hundreds of pounds to set up and run, and to be honest, a 301 works just great these days where URL’s aren’t even fully visible in mobile screens: We tested the conversion rates of a Teemill URL, a 301 redirect and a full SSL. There was no difference at all in over a year’s data.

How to set up a custom domain redirect

Firstly, you need to buy a domain. We recommend GoDaddy for affordable prices and easy domain configuration. Search for a domain and purchase it.

Then follow this up-to-date tutorial on how to configure your redirect from inside the GoDaddy control panel. Make sure to choose ‘Forward only’ rather than ‘Forward with masking’ when it asks what type of forwarding you would like, as masking is not compatible with Teemill.

Forwarding with masking, or using an Iframe to run your Teemill store, is not possible. If we allowed this, it would invalidate the security measures we put in place to keep your cart secure. A 301 forward is faster and secure.

Remember to point it to your Teemill store web address. Sometimes, redirects take up to 24 hours to process. You can check in on the status after you’ve saved the changes by simply typing in your domain in any browser. If it loads your Teemill store, you’ve done it!


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Marketing for Special Dates

We have future special dates locked in to Teemill at the ready – you’ll get an alert and a little help preparing for these. Once you’re aware an event is coming up, it’s important to think about how you’re going to approach the marketing: What might the buyer’s motivation be, who is the buyer and how to frame your pitch.

Forget the product, focus on the buyer.

The temptation is to do a lot of work for these events and with Teemill’s powerful product creator tool, it would be easy to design an event-specific product like a Valentines day t-shirt. In reality, it’s best to forget the product for a minute and focus on the buyer.

Special occasions are all about gifts. Think about who is buying the gift, and for who.

You don’t need a gift with love hearts on it for Valentine’s day – Instead, choose any product and associate love, gifts and giving in your marketing.

No need to do loads of work on your product range: In fact, you don’t need any new products. The art of marketing for special occasions is in framing the product as a gift suitable for the occasion.

Pick something that fits

Now you know you don’t need a new product, pick a product you already have that is suitable for the recipient. T-shirts, tops, sweats or vouchers: All suitable for Valentines day or Christmas.

Make sure you pick a product to front your campaign that your customer can imagine their loved one wearing.

Dad would love a t-shirt or a warm jumper for Father’s day. Mum might be more interested in a tote shopper bag or teatowel for Mother’s day.

Preparing the store

Think of your store like a shop window. On special occasions, great shopkeepers will refresh the look and feel of their stores with a theme. The best way to do this is with your banners on the homepage and in your categories. You may choose to build and merchandise a category full of Gifts for Him, for example, and design a Valentines-themed homepage banner directing them to the category.

Using homepage banners is a great way to temporarily theme your store for a special occasion without doing very much work at all.

You can make these with our tools, or design your own – and reuse them each year for this event.

A day early is better than a day late

Remember that gift buyers will be anxious about their gifts arriving late. This means that we must be out ahead. Whilst Teemill orders are shipped the same day, many people will be shopping online weeks in advanced of the event.

Supermarkets put Easter Eggs in stores in February for a reason: Don’t be afraid to remind your customers an event is coming up. On the day is too late for e-commerce.

We will remind you through email and in the Teemill dashboard if we think it’s time to start marketing for an event. The last thing to do is to create your posts, build some amazing banners and schedule your content on social media. And remember the marketing rule of seven – The more marketing, the better!

Take Action:


How to Increase Sales in Winter

Selling t-shirts is obviously part of the growth strategy for any successful Teemill store. But there’s a ridiculously obvious way that you can double profit and increase sales when you would think t-shirts are least likely to sell.

During Spring and Summer, t-shirts sell like hotcakes and there’s no better way to increase revenues by getting some amazing designs, choosing the right colours (like White, where you can make double your money at Teemill) and then pushing hard on the marketing.

In Winter, it can sometimes feel like you’re not getting any traction. Is it really the case that great brands hibernate, waiting for Spring?

The answer lies in merchandising. As a salesman, you’d never sell an umbrella on a beach in July. But if you were a brolly seller in a rainstorm, you’re winning.

You can keep the demand for your brand up, the sales and customers buzzing by showing them the right product at the right time. When the weather closes in, change up your store and products to reflect demand, and pick warmer products – sweats, hoodies – for Winter.

Sell sweats and hoodies with Teemill

Our award-winning products include blank organic cotton hoodies, made to the same high quality standards and in modern, fashionable shapes. To design on a hoody or sweater, choose the product tab at the product design tab and navigate to Men’s or Women’s sweats. The rest of the process is the same.

As sweats and hoodies can command a higher price, our philosophy of shared profit means that we also pay higher earnings to you for sweat and hoody sales.

Not only can you continue to make money in Winter, you can actually increase earnings by selling products in season for greater profit.

Take Action

  • Design hoodies and sweats into your collection now!



Scheduling Social Posts = Secret Weapon

In a busy life, it’s hard to find the time to be on social media all day tweeting and posting photos to drive sales. Understandably, it’s important to get some downtime. What if you could have both? Tweetdeck is a great tool to write posts in bulk and schedule for publication later, automatically.

Tweetdeck is a free product by Twitter that lets you monitor hashtags, mentions and multiple accounts. It also has an incredibly powerful free feature to save and schedule tweets. That means you can sit down and smash out 50 posts in an hour, from product features, customer reviews or just great photos  – and they’ll be automatically published for you at any time in the future.

You can do a week’s work in one our – leaving your accounts to publish your marketing, tweeting a few posts a day at the perfect time. You’re selling, even when you’re asleep.

When this technology is available, it doesn’t make sense not to use it – by writing all your promotional tweets when you’re “in the zone”, you’re more likely to do what your business needs. Send out more quality marketing, more often, according to the rule of seven.

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