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How to Create a Vector T-Shirt Mockup Template in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you need a T-shirt vector template for your next design project or clothing brand? In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a T-shirt mockup vector template!

If you're wondering what can you do if you don't have Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, but you still need a T-shirt template, scroll down after the tutorial to know more about Placeit, and how to make a shirt mockup right in your browser.

What You Will Learn in This Vector T-Shirt Tutorial

  • How to create a T-shirt template in Illustrator from scratch
  • How to make a T-shirt template vector using the Mesh Tool
  • How to change colors in a T-shirt vector
  • How to make a shirt mockup in a web browser

Additional Tutorial Assets

1. How to Draw a T-Shirt Mockup Template

Step 1

To begin your T-shirt mockup in Illustrator, let's learn how to use the Mesh Tool while creating a photo-realistic T-shirt!

Begin by drawing the shape of half of a shirt with the Pen Tool (P). Fill it in with #F3F3F3.

Create a copy of the shape! Put it aside—we will need it later.

Let's start using a Mesh! Take the Mesh Tool (U) and start creating a Mesh grid on the object by placing nodes. Afterwards, select the nodes on the left edge of the shirt and change their color to #B7B7B7.

Add some more nodes, as indicated in the screenshot below, and color the selected nodes with #F4F4F4, adding wrinkles to the shirt.

mesh shirt

Step 2

Continue coloring the nodes in the T-shirt vector as indicated below. Use these colors:

  1. #DFDFDF
  2. #E3E3E3
  3. #F7F7F7
  4. #B9B9B9
gradient mesh template

Step 3

Take the second copy of the shirt vector, reflect it, and continue coloring.

  1. #F3F3F3
  2. #B7B7B7
  3. #D9D9D9
  4. #EEEEEE
vector t-shirt template mockup

Step 4

Finish the second half of the shirt vector. Your T-shirt mockup in Illustrator is halfway there.

  1. #CFCFCF
  2. #C4C4C4
  3. #B9B9B9
  4. #E3E3E3
how to use gradient mesh

Step 5

Draw a sleeve for your T-shirt vector.

  1. #EAEAEA
  2. #BDBDBD
  3. #B6B6B6
  4. #CFCFCF
  5. #DADADA
  6. #BDBDBD
how to draw with gradient mesh

Step 6

We'll make the collar of your T-shirt template in Illustrator:

  1. #E9E9E9
  2. #C0C0C0
  3. #F4F4F4
vector t-shirt

Step 7

Bend the Mesh into a collar with Effect > Warp > Arc, using -85% Bend.

Object > Expand Appearance of the result.

t-shirt mockup template

Step 8

Draw the second part of the shirt vector's collar.

  1. #6A6A6A
  2. #979797
gradient mesh

Step 9

Combine the collar parts of your T-shirt mockup vector:

photo-realistic vector mesh

Step 10

Assemble the T-shirt mockup vector!

photo-realistic t-shirt mockup template

2. How to Recolor the T-Shirt Mockup Template

Step 1

Your basic T-shirt mockup in Illustrator is done. Now, to get all the colors you can see in the thumbnail, create three more copies of the white shirt template vector we just made.

Grab a copy and proceed to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors. Change the tab to Greyscale and apply 32% Black. Don't forget to tick the Convert box.

recoloring shirts

Step 2

Create two more copies of the grey shirt mockup we just made. Grab the original and recolor it with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors.

This time, change the tab to RGB and apply 18% Red, -30% Green, and -26% Blue. Don't forget to tick the Convert box.

how to recolor a t-shirt template

Step 3

Take another copy and essentially repeat the last step by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors, changing the tab to RGB and applying 6% Red, 13% Green, and -60% Blue.

green t-shirt mockup

Step 4

Take the final copy and convert it to orange with 27% Red, -5% Green, and -41% Blue.

orange vector t-shirt template

Step 5

Grab one of the original white T-Shirt template vectors and convert it to Grayscale with 40% Black.

how to recolor mesh t-shirt

Step 6

Recolor the grey T-shirt template vector to cyan with -9% Red, 20% Green, and 16% Blue.

colorful vector t-shirt mockups

Step 7

Take the last white shirt vector copy and turn it black with 63% Black.

black t-shirt mesh template

Step 8

Create a copy of the black T-Shirt mockup and recolor it to dark red with 9% Red, -9% Green, and -7% Blue.

set of colorful shirts

Step 9

Congratulations! Your colorful set of T-shirt mockup templates is done!

white vector mesh t-shirt mockup template

Awesome Work!

Your T-shirt template in Illustrator is now ready. What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original shirts collection we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I'll be extremely happy to see your results in the comments below!

Mens T-Shirt Design Template
Men's T-Shirt Design Template

How to Create a T-Shirt Mockup Without Illustrator

You've learned how to make a shirt mockup using Illustrator. But what if you don't have any design software installed, or you don't know how to use it?

Here's where Placeit comes in handy. Placeit is an online T-shirt mockup generator. This means you don't need any specialized software—you can create amazing T-shirt templates right in your browser.

Choose from a wide variety of T-Shirt mockup templates in Placeit
Choose from a wide variety of T-shirt mockup templates at Placeit

Placeit has the largest selection of premium T-shirt templates, with thousands of T-shirt mockup models to choose from. 

And it's really easy to use. Just sign up, create your amazing T-shirt mockup vector, and make a single purchase of your design. Alternatively, if you're an avid graphic designer or you're about to launch your own clothing brand, you can get a subscription with unlimited mockup downloads!

Discover More Amazing T-Shirt Template Inspiration

Hungry for more? Explore these resources below to learn how to make a shirt mockup in our online mockup generator, and get more T-shirt mockup vector inspiration:

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