Things to consider before starting a T-shirt printing business

By: 15 St. peter street

T-shirt printing is a specific business, so even with the most top notch equipment, if you don't have the genius for it, then it won't work. If you are looking to start a t-shirt printing business, then there are a lot of elements that you need to consider, a lot of things you need to do, and most importantly, a design portfolio that will blow your competition right out the water! The beauty of the t-shirt business is, it can be run from home, so you won't really incur any obscene set up costs. It's actually one of the easiest businesses to start; little to nil funding is required for equipment, and even less is required when you need to deal with the issue of supplies.


Before starting out, you need to ensure that you are all for it, that you don't start off with some half ass design then give up a day after you buy your equipment. This is mainly because many people get all excited, buy stuff, then they realize that they never really wanted all the hard work. Like any business, t-shirt printing is labor intensive, so if you are not a big fan of 'burning the midnight' oil, as it were, then perhaps you ought to think again.

What kind of equipment will you need?

Contrary to popular belief, you really don't need that much equipment. You don't a premises or a plant, you can just wing it from the comfort of your living room, come up with your designs and print them out. This process will need like 4 items;

- The first piece of equipment is what is referred to as a Heat press. What this machine does is to imprint your design onto the t-shirt. It works with a blend of heat and pressing functions. There are a lot of heat presses that are simple, inexpensive and very useful. There are many types; pneumatic press, the clam press, the swing press-name it. Some are more advanced and faster than others, but if you are starting out, then the clam press comes highly recommended due to its pocket friendly pricing.

- You also need a vinyl cutter. Now, this is where it gets a bit sticky. Vinyl cutters are expensive, and are rarely owned by individual t-shirt designers. This is one piece of equipment that has been known to discourage many people who wanted to venture into the t-shirt business. There are some low-end cutters that are offered by t-shirt printing companies at a subsidized price, this may be something to consider.

- Lastly, you will need a printer. Particular emphasis is put on either an inkjet or a laser printer. This is mainly due to the fact that both types are highly compatible to t-shirt printing. Inkjets are predominantly cheaper as they give a more vibrant range of color, and they are better suited for home use. LaserJet printers on the other hand are more concise, offer better clarity, and the prints have no rough edges around the contours.

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