How to Start a T-Shirt Printing Business

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T-shirt, a garment with short sleeves and without a collar, is the most popularly worn clothing among both men and women nowadays. A t-shirt is such an amazing form of clothing that it is adaptable to almost all conditions whether doing exercises in a gym, on vacation, playing a sport, participating in any event, sleep and even in the office.

If you love t-shirts, open a t-shirt printing business and earn a solid income. By following the hottest trends in popular culture, you can get an idea of the most popular slogans and the most popular transfers. These transfers are the ones you will want to print. With the invention of the inkjet transfer paper, you can design your own transfers from your home computer for pennies. Attend small-town harvest-type festivals where you can print t-shirts that have a unique local voice to the shirts and sell hundreds of them!

Before you start

You need to get an exclusive sense of current fashion trends in the market. That means you have to understand which designs are popular among your local populace especially the youth segment. Learn how to imprint awesome and quality designs on t-shirts. Great designs will lead you to great market success.

Since competition in the market is tough than ever, you will need to work out a solid strategy of differentiation. Perhaps, you may also require contacting a lawyer for discussing legal matters involved and registering your business. Obtain a tax identification number and open a bank account.

Find Images

Images can be found in various places for your t-shirt business. Research and purchase software programs which have copyright-free images. These programs also have the ability to turn images into transfers to be printed for use. If you decide you don’t like the images on the software, try searching online for copyright-free images. Also, there are several places online where you can purchase images specifically for making t-shirts. Choose the design and then print the image on the specialty paper on an inkjet printer.

Buy blank t-shirts

Buying good, quality blank shirts is a must for earning respect in this business. Look for those shirts which are preshrunk and 100% cotton. A good weight size is about 5.5 ounces. A heavier t-shirt of 6.1 ounces is also good for transfer, but maybe more expensive. Find a brand which has a great variety of style and color available for purchasing.


When pricing t-shirts it is best to offer volume discounts. This will encourage your customers to order t-shirts in large quantities. One way to accomplish this is by creating a tiered system. Decrease the price of the t-shirt by every 50 shirts ordered. The large order will guarantee the customer a good price while you still earn a decent amount of profit margins.

Keep in mind

You can make a hefty profit by using a computer to design t-shirt transfers and a heat press to attach the transfers. Heat transfer process requires basic equipment and relatively unskilled labor. The costs to create the t-shirts are low, so the shirts can be marketed affordably.