What Do I Need To Print T-shirts at Home

When it comes to manifesting yourself to others, wearing a t-shirt with a customized design (but simple) is the best way. Printing on shirts is the latest trend nowadays, and we think it’s not going to leave in the coming era. Whether it’s your beautiful artwork, a special photo of you or your loved one, or any other design that you ought to showcase, once again, printing a t-shirt is the most attractive option. If you have your own customized design, it’s more apparel in front of your team, organization, or group. 

To print a shirt professionally might be an expensive endeavor, especially when you have only one or two (a small number of shirts) shirts to print. Here it is not looking advantageous for you because of printing expenses. What to do then? It is not as expensive as you think. You can start a successful t-shirt printing business that will be economical with the help of a robust heat press machine. 

Therefore, to start your own printing business, you would need to purchase the required equipment for it. Here we have compiled a list of what you need to print for t-shirts at home? Check out the necessary equipment, learn how you can get high-quality prints, and much more. 

Below are tested and proven methods to start a productive heat press t-shirts printing business. Let’s get started!

Before Getting Started

Following are some considerations that you must take care of before starting a t-shirt printing business at home. We have reviewed all the aspects deeply to help you out

1. Heat Pressing  Apparatus 

The machines used to transfer the visual or artwork to your shirt are usually known as heat press machines. These machines are versatile, and you can perform some other tasks from them too. For example, t-shirt printing, mugs printing, shoes, mousepads, ceramics, and much more. 

There are two basic types of heat press machines, i.e., manual and electrical. In manual, you do not need any electricity, and it is suitable for small businesses. Similarly, electric machines work with the help of electricity and are generally used for commercial printing. The final decision relies on your budget and application type. However, we recommend you to go for which can print up to 16A—20 or 15A—15 inches graphic size at least. 

Tip: You can also acquire iron if you don’t have a budget to start with. However, you must purchase a press machine when you become able to pay for that.


First, learn about the specific temperature according to the fabric and stuff type. Don’t change the temperature by guess; otherwise, it can cause your fabric to be damage, and also your design can be destroyed.

2. Acquire a Good Inkjet Printer

Epson Artisan 1430

It is an important appliance when you plan to go for digital heat pressing. It helps you to transfer your visuals from transfer paper to your t-shirt. Remember, it used the heat press phenomenon. If we talk about inkjet printers, their basic function is to print your customized design on transfer paper. Make sure you have selected the right inkjet printer to obtain high-quality results. 

Don’t forget that your printer should be of compact size and perfectly fits into your space. The printer should support different sizes of sheets so that you can work with varying designs. You can also use some special software to get better results. Make sure your chosen printer should be compatible. 

3. Use Screen

Canon MG6822 Wireless All-In-One

The screen is also a good way to use it for printing purposes. You can make a screen at your home by following the simple and easy steps. Regardless of their primary purpose of making stencils, they can print your design on your t-shirts. You just need to make a design on it. Its functionality is similar to the heat press machine, but only the application method is different. 

On the other hand, it might be a little bit difficult to work with the screen because of using different colors as per design. Also, check for the mesh counts of the screen before purchase. A higher mesh count yields better results. So, always go for the higher one. 

4. The Blend

Be sure that the screen is sensitive to the light, and for this, you would need an emulsion. It is basically a liquid substance that is applied on the screens to decrease their sensitivity toward light. Don’t forget to apply it before using the screen. Emulsion gets hardened when exposed to light, and this is what we call the stencil.

The application is super easy. You would need only a specific tool called a scoop coater. Always try to apply a thick amount of blend to transfer your design smoothly. You will get the highest results and perfect color resolution. You will also need to have a drying rack to dry the screen. It will also prevent mixing if you are working with more than one screen at a time.

5. Printing Ink

Anti-UV Sublimation Ink for Epson

It is one of the most significant materials when producing a print. Well, how can you get a high-resolution and clear design without ink? Yes, that’s why ink is important. People use different types of ink in their printers, for example, water-based inks or plastisols. 

In our opinion, you must go for solvent ink for t-shirt printing because they come in different colors. If you are a starter, you can initiate with primary colors like white, black, blue, yellow, or white. If you are not satisfied, you can mix any of the two colors to your satisfaction. 

6. Exposure Module

The primary purpose of the exposure unit is curing the screen coating (made from emulsion). It provides light to the stencil instead of allowing the entire light from the sun. Still, why do we use it? The answer is pretty simple. You can use it in the absence of sunlight, like in rainy weather or cold weather. Its shape is similar to the oven, just place the screen inside, and it will start absorbing.

Note: Whenever you place the screen in the exposure module, make sure that both sides of the screen should not touch each other. 

7. Washout

You would need a washout station after curing the emulsion-coated screen of the exposure module to remove the extra emulsion blend. Otherwise, it will make the screen more cured when you expose it to sunlight and will yield low-quality work. 

To resolve this problem, a washout station is used. You must go for a professionally made washout station. The essential part is a continuous water flow.

8. Dryers

Last but not least, a conveyor dryer is used to clean the screen after washout. The benefit is that it first heats and then dries the ink to make the ink constant on the shirt. It also ensures that the printing ink cannot be removed from the shirt easily. According to us, it is the last step in t-shirt printing.

Optional Materials for T-shirt Printing

After having all the essential materials for t-shirt printing, we are also sharing the list of optional printing materials that will boost your printing quality. These materials are not compulsory to buy, but if you have a good budget, it would be a plus for you. It includes:

  • Spotting Gun

Spotting gun’s main purpose is to remove extra things from the t-shirts like fingerprints, plastisol drips, and ink stains. We found this solution very helpful in removing all these extras.

  • Flash Cure Unit

The purpose of the flash cure unit to cure the ink partly. In this way, you might have amazing overlapping colors in your t-shirts. 

  • Curable Lowering

If your print consists of a high thickness of the ink, a curable reducer helps you to reduce the thickness of the ink. 

  • Emulsion Remover

Its application is similar to the above-mentioned emulsion, but there is a little bit of a difference. It’s also used to wash out the emulsion from the screen allowing you the re-use of the screen. 

  • Tape Gun

A tape gun is utilized to cover up those areas of the t-shirt where printing is not needed. It increases the work quality and gives the print a neat finish. 

  • Brush

A slushy bristle brush is necessary for washing out the stains from t-shirts. So, you will find it very helpful for this task. 

  • Degreaser

Degrease’s primary objective is to clean the surface of the screen whenever you are going to apply the emulsion. 

We have mentioned the commonly used additional materials in t-shirt printing. However, you can also acquire spray adhesives, temperature tapes, film output devices, and much more. 

Final Verdict

In summary, all the above-mentioned steps will help you to start a t-shirts printing business via heat press machines. We have observed that the t-shirt printing business is not a complex task, especially when you have the accurate materials and equipment. The material is a lot, but you must go for the basics according to your budget. Don’t go beyond your budget, need, and application. 

On the contrary, you must learn how to use all those materials in the business. So that we can say to you, Enjoy Printing!

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2: Best Sublimation Inks
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5: Best Printer for Homeschool

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