How to Start Your Own T-Shirt Printing Business, Vinyl, Dye Sublimation, DTG, Screen Printing

Do you want to start your own t-shirt business? Get excited because in this article we will discuss with you the four basic ways to print your t-shirt and everything that you're going to need to be able to do it. We will go through Vinyl which is also known as HTV which is heat to transfer Vinyl, dye sublimation, direct-to-garment also known as DTG and screen printing.

Vinyl, Dye Sublimation, DTG, Screen Printing

Vinyl Printing

The first way to print shirts we'll cover is Vinyl. This is done by taking your desired design and running it through your vinyl cutter program. The vinyl cutter will then cut the vinyl, you will need to lead the design and place a pleated vinyl on the shirt and use a heat press to attach it to the shirt.

What you initially will need for this as a Vinyl cutter, There are so many final cutter options that can fit into any budget. Your cutter should come with software designed specifically for designing and sending the signal from your computer to the cutter. You will also need vinyl for the cutter to cut. These come in limitless colors and designs.

The vinyl should never fade crack or pill and like any forms of protein. The last thing that you will need is a good heat press. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a good heat press. The cheap ones will break and within a small amount of time they're ultimately going to make your product suffer for you and your customer.

The cheap press will either be the wrong temperature or will cease working on parts of the press. This will cause issue after issue and you're spending more money on the long-run replacing either your heat presses or having people fix them. A better process holds up their value and they last for decades. Presses come in either the clamshell or a swing-away, it's just depending on your preference.

For vinyl, you can use it almost any material you desire. We could use it on 100% cotton, 50% cotton, - 50% polyester blends and 100% polyester. With vinyl, you can use any color shirt you desire, unlike the other protein.

Dye Sublimation Printing

This is a process in which you will print a photo with a dye sublimation printer on a dye sublimation paper. You have to make sure that you nearer your image. You will then take the image and place it face down on your shirt or whatever item that you plan on burning. You put a paper between the shirts to prevent them from bleeding. You will then press your shirt, lift the handle and voila. Finished shirt ready to sell.

The first thing that you're going to need for dye sublimation nice heat press. What’s a good investment your heat press will be your best investment. The next thing that you're going to need is a dye sublimation printer.

There are many suppliers are who sells a fantastic Epson printer with a continuous ink system. This continuous ink system will save you in the long run on ink cost but you have to use sublimation ink.

This ink is made to use on polyester and other poly objects. You can also do mugs, mouse pads, cozies, license plates, etc. This never ends with the dye sublimation ink. This ink is to be used on light-colored products. There will be no print so having a transparent background works with the sublimation printing.

You will also need that dye sublimation paper. You will print your picture onto this paper and place it face down on the shirt but don't forget to add the paper between your print and the bottom of your shirt.

Dye sublimation works best with polyester materials, this means that you can print on a 100% polyester drape it shirt or a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend for a more vintage look. This will not work with a hundred percent cotton shirts for the print will wash out after one or two washes.

Direct to Garment Printing

Direct the garment printing is a way to print in which a printer will physically print on the shirt. Some only work on white shirts and some will work with dark-colored shirts. If the printer has the capability of printing a white background first.

The first thing that you will need is a conveyor dryer to cure the ink on the shirt after the printer is done the printing. This is important for you to want your ink to dry appropriately without bubbles. You will need a direct to garment printer. The files can be sent from your computer to the printer and directly onto the shirt.

As stated earlier if you want to print on dark shirts then you will need a printer that can print white. Before any printing you want to make sure that you put the shirt through the shirt pre-treat machine, this will allow the print to look appropriate vibrant and clear on the shirt. DTG printing is used to print on a hundred percent cotton shirts.

Screen Printing

This is the oldest form of shirt printing. It is a very messy process. It takes up a lot of room and you have to have the correct setup. The first thing that you will need is a printer to print black on your transparent films.

Once it's printed you will attach it to the screen with emulsion on it and put it onto the lightbox. The lightbox is what will allow you to have a screen to print through. Once you're finished with the lightbox you will take the screen, remove the transparent film and pressure, and spray the emulsion out of it. This will leave you with a screen that you will put your ink through.

You will need a dryer conveyor to cure the paint correctly onto the shirt without bubbling the paint on the shirt. Lastly, you'll need a printing press, Screens, mesh and mules on a screen, stretcher pane and a squeegee. It’s a very time-consuming and expensive to do. For your shirts, your best bet is sticking with cotton products.

For the print for polyester, shirts are much heavier and tend to look poorly when done. This is why people chose to do vinyl and dye sublimation for makes it easy to do a one-off shirt or thousands of shirts for a customer.

Vinyl and dye sublimation is a much cleaner and much less time-consuming way to print shirts. It also takes that much less room than screen printing so it's easy to even run the business out of a single room in your house.

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