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The T-shirt Printing Equipment Needed for a T-shirt Small Business

The T-shirt Printing Equipment Needed for a T-shirt Small Business

Nowadays, people are becoming hard to be satisfied with regular commonplaces on the market. If you want to wear something that stands out in the crowd, it usually requires an exorbitant amount of money to get some creative and stylish luxury goods. Under this circumstance, customizing t-shirt business is booming increasingly-Fewer money can get you ideal custom outfits! 

And to run such a small business, the thing you need to do first is on the lookout for supplies needed for t-shirt printing. 

T shirt printing machine for small business

Since there will be different requirements from your insidious customers, like the texture of the cloth, the sense of touch of the finished images, the visual effect of the images, etc., from this aspect, you will prepare a bunch of materials, essentialt shirt printing equipment and best t shirt printing machine for small business in advance. 

Technically, you will need four t shirt printing machine for small business: a computer, a cutter, a printer, and a heat press, and materials specialized in t-shirt DIY: heat transfer vinyl, heat transfer paper, sublimation paper, heat transfer vinyl for sublimation, and so on. Remember, the same patterns and images will perform distinctively with a variety of different crafting materials.

How to start a t shirt business? The machines you are going to acquire will help to define the quality of your products. As we all know, high quality usually requires a pretty penny. However, since the need for t shirt business has increased rapidly, the involved machines are upgrading with vanguard technology. Therefore, choosing which will be a better value for money would be confusing. 

Follow the article below, and we will get to know more about best T shirt printing machine for small business, t shirt business starter kit, t shirt printing business equipment, and materials, which will definitely help you to select the most suitable items for your t-shirt business.

T shirt printing machine for small business

Vinyl for Shirts

As we mentioned before, there are tons of materials for fabric crafting: heat transfer vinyl, heat transfer paper, sublimation paper, heat transfer vinyl for sublimation, and so on. 

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is used for transferring your designed images of vinyl onto fabrics, but one sheet or one roll of HTV normally features just one pattern. Therefore, if you’re going to make fabulous designs with multiple layers of colors and hope that different parts of an image can perform various visual effects, then you will need heat transfer vinyl in abandoned patterns. But the pros are that you can decide on each part of your images with the pattern you like, and it embeds to the fabrics quite well that is comfortable for the skin.

And, of course, there are always customers who want a whole colorful image printed on the shirts. To this extent, you can work with sublimation paper, which can not only be compatible with fabrics but also with metals, ceramics, glass, and wood with sublimation coating. It transfers the complete images with rich colors on the items, and there will be no discomfort when wearing. 

However, the sublimation paper only performs the best effect on polyester and fabrics with less than 30% cotton. If your customers have this affinity for wearing 100%cotton fabrics, then you can adopt heat transfer vinyl for sublimation or heat transfer paper. 

 Vinyl for Shirts

Transfer paper

Compared to HTV and heat transfer vinyl for sublimation, heat transfer paper is a type of printable paper with a thin film. It can suit most of the printers on the market, like a laser printer or a regular inkjet printer, delivering fantastic and vivid original colors. And unlike sublimation paper with requirements to the fabrics, transfer paper is ideal for 100%cotton fabrics. 

Even with the thin film attached to the t-shirts simultaneously, the final works still feel soft and gentle to the skin. And the colors can last for a long time without easily fading. 

As for heat transfer vinyl for sublimation, its merit is that it may combine with a glossy, matte, glittery, or transparent finish, giving the vibrant images a more personal touch.

Transfer paper


After discussing the distinctions among different materials, let’s move on to the necessary machines. A printer is pretty crucial for sublimation or heat transfer paper projects, but different materials require different printers. Before buying printers, make sure which one suits you most.

Heat transfer paper mostly suits laser printers and inkjet printers. When it works with a laser printer, this combo will deliver you a more cost-efficient experience and a higher printing speed. And laser printers are less expensive than inkjet ones.

However, if you’re yearning to design better-quality heat transfer t-shirt projects when your business is growing bigger and more mature, then you may give inkjet printers a shot. By comparison, an inkjet printer with pigment ink can help the transfer paper perform a more stunning visual effect when transferring the images onto the fabrics. The ink absorbency will be boosted, and the color brilliance will be enhanced. And you can think of HP, Epson, etc.

When it comes to sublimation projects, you can only use inkjet printers with sublimation ink since sublimation paper is a bit picky and special. But you will be thrilled by the final results worthy of the money. 

Combining all the information above, buying an inkjet printer may be a better value for money when you decide to extend your t-shirt business to high-quality transfer paper and sublimation projects.



The next essential machine is a cutter. This machine is pretty important and irreplaceable when customizing fabrics with heat transfer vinyl (HTV), sublimation paper, and sometimes other craft materials for cups, glass, metals, and kinds of decorations. 

A cutting machine is for cutting out your ideal shapes and patterns from the materials. For HTV, you can design your images on a computer and send cutting codes to the cutter, and then the machine will cut out different shapes for each layer of your images.

 And for sublimation paper and transfer paper, you can also use a cutter to help track the outlines of your images and flawlessly cut them out. This way, the original images will be retained as you need, and it will be easy to weed the excess parts away.

cutting machines for vinyl

Heat Press Machine

The last-but-not-least one is a heat press. No matter which material you choose for a t-shirt crafting, all of these materials need a high temperature to realize the transferring process, which requires a heat press to transmit fast and even heat.

Some crafters may use a home iron for the heat pressing process. Still, here, we’re talking about building a small t-shirt business, which means a larger quantity of production, high efficiency, and excellent transferred results.

Unlike a home iron, a heat press is always designed with a bigger heat plate for various sizes and a much evener heat that can easily control the final effect. And more and more upgraded heat presses nowadays feature a digital screen, showing the value of temperature and time intuitively. Therefore, crafters can get into the groove more effortlessly to create fabulous designs.

Besides, some innovative brands have considered the small business situation. They produced some sorts of automatic heat press, which can tremendously improve the productivity and efficiency of mass production. Meanwhile, safety performance has also been heightened. 

Heat Press machines

Anyway, if you’re going to build a fantastic small t-shirt business for yourself, you can look at this article before making a decision and provision for it. Good luck! 

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