The t-shirt business is booming, specifically when it comes to custom prints. By 2027 the industry is estimated to be valued at an astonishing $6.9 billion. If you are interested in custom printing t-shirts, here are some of the supplies you’ll need to get started.
1. A Heat Press
If you’re planning on using the flock and flex printing method, a heat press is what you will need. A manual heated press is a simple machine that applies heat to a design in order to transfer it onto a t-shirt. All you need to do is place the shirt on the bottom plate with the design over it. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, just close the plate and hold it until it’s done.
2. A Quality Printer
If you are planning on using a heat press, you’ll need a quality printer to print designs on transfer paper. While an inkjet or laser printer will work, a direct-to-garment printer is optimal. This machine can allow you to print designs directly on t-shirts and other things giving you a greater potential product range.
3. A Screen Printing Machine
If you don’t want to use a heat press, screen printing is another option to consider. While you can make your own screens at home, professional ones will produce better results. Additionally, each color will need its own screen, so be sure to plan your colors ahead of time so you have enough screens.
When screen printing, you’ll need emulsion liquid. Because screens are sensitive to light, you’ll need to reduce the sensitivity by applying a thick layer to each screen.
When screen printing, you will also need to invest in inks. You’ll want to stock up on a lot of the basic colors, along with additional containers so that you can mix the inks for custom colors. This will give you a wider range to work with should you need them for orders.
Custom printed t-shirts are quickly becoming more and more popular, and if you’re interested in creating your own products it’s important to ensure you have the essentials before starting out. The above custom t-shirt printing supplies are must-haves to help get you started, and as your business grows, you can continue to expand and upgrade your equipment as needed.