How to Start a T-Shirt Printing Business


Starting a t-shirt printing business might seem like an unachievable goal, but it’s probably a lot easier than you might think. To start your own t-shirt printing business, all you need is a budget and a plan.

If you’re serious about starting a t-shirt printing business, your goal is totally achievable as long as you have the proper guidance. That’s why we’re going to go step by step and explain how you can start your own t-shirt printing business.

Create Your Own Designs

Before you get into printing and selling t-shirts, you should probably test-run your design ideas. Whether you prefer to draw by hand or design on a computer, whip up some t-shirt concepts. You can do this through family and friends or concept testing sites to see if your designs resonate with your audience.

Starting a t-shirt printing business will require a bit of an investment on your part. With that in mind, you should have your designs critiqued before making that investment. If the designs simply won’t sell, it’s better to figure that out before investing your hard-earned cash.

If your designs get positive feedback from people that you trust, you’re ready to move onto the next phase.

Invest in Materials

This is the point at which you have to start making business decisions. To make a profit without overcharging, you’ll probably want to look into wholesale materials.

Buying wholesale t-shirts and other materials in bulk is the best way to provide your customers with fair prices while still making a profit.

Simple enough, right?

Well, the hardest part is deciding on which t-shirts and materials to purchase. If you go with high-quality t-shirts, they’re going to cost more than t-shirts of lesser quality. As a result, you’ll have to charge more per t-shirt.

The upside to this plan is obvious. Customers willing to pay your prices will receive a superior product. Additionally, these customers will probably buy from you again. However, higher prices will automatically dissuade some customers.

On the other hand, you’ll be able to sell t-shirts of lesser quality for a lower price. Due to your low prices, you might even sell more of them at first. However, if the customer isn’t satisfied with the quality of their purchase, they likely won’t shop with you again.

With this in mind, determine the level of quality that you want for your products. There are a wide variety of different shirts to choose from. From these options, you need to find a t-shirt brand that balances quality and affordability in a way that works for you and your demographic.

Invest in Equipment

The equipment that you need can vary based on the printing method that you decide to go with.

Emulsion printing is a very inexpensive way to print large batches of t-shirts, but sadly, this method greatly limits your design options. With this method, it isn’t cost-effective to print with multiple colors. Consequently, this method limits you to more simple, single-color designs.

On the other hand:
The heat transfer method works with multiple colors, but the quality of your designs won’t match the quality provided by other methods. This is a fine DIY method, but if you’re running a business, you’ll probably want to take a different approach.

Lastly, the direct to garment (DTG) method allows you to print designs directly onto your t-shirts. DTG printers are large enough to directly print designs onto t-shirts, and they produce detailed, high-quality images. However, a good DTG printer can cost thousands of dollars. Something to keep in mind.

Get a Website and Start Selling!

Now that you have inventory, you just need a way to sell your t-shirts. Luckily, the internet makes this easier than ever. With options like Squarespace, Shopify and Etsy making your own e-commerce business from home has never been easier.

Starting a T-Shirt Printing Business in 4 Easy Steps
These steps are easier said than done. For most, the initial investment in materials and equipment will be the most difficult part of this process. However, once you have your materials, your equipment, and your website, nothing can stand in your way to a successful t-shirt business.