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Essential Equipment Needed for T shirt Printing

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The T shirt printing business generates bountiful benefits for entrepreneurs, and it is thriving, currently. It can be immensely promising if you are willing to spend hours working the machines and implement an ingenious marketing strategy. You could start it off as a small business or big business enterprise. To set up your garment printing business, you must be wondering which is the equipment needed for t shirt printing. 

Our article lists essential items required to establish your t shirt printing business.


A printer is an indispensable tool for garment printing. Consider buying an inkjet printer to print  top-notch images. If your budget allows, you should also purchase a laser printer to print high-quality vector images. A laser printer can be pretty costly; however, its benefits outweigh the costs.

You can use both printers for different printing tasks. Laser printers are ideal for printing vector-based images as they eliminate the need to crop the image to remove the background. In contrast, inkjets are perfect for producing high-quality images.

Additionally, consider buying a DTG (direct to garment) printer, which allows you to print directly onto various items beyond just t-shirts, opening up a range of prospects for business growth. For more detailed information on different printing methods, refer to “A Guide to Embossed and Debossed Printing Techniques” to expand your understanding of versatile printing options.

T shirt Printer
T shirt Printer

Suggested Read: Top 5 T Shirt Printing Machines For Small Businesses


Ink is possibly the most crucial material used for printing. You cannot generate premium prints unless you don’t have high-quality ink. There are two types of inks: plastisol and water-based ink. For T shirt printing, the solvent ink containing an oil-based solution is needed. You will require an assortment of colours – red, blue, yellow, white, or black. You can also mix colours to create new ones. Ensure that you already have a large stock of inks to fulfil different orders of your customers.


The T shirt printing process is incomplete without drying. Hence, an efficient dryer is essential for T shirt printing. It helps to cure the ink and firmly sets the ink onto the shirt to protect against ink removal. A dryer concludes the printing process, and therefore it is a must-have for your printing business.

Heat Press

A heat press is also critical if you plan to use the Flock and Flex printing method. If you are in the preliminary stages of establishing your business, it is advisable to buy a manual heat press. They cost less and involve a simple heating process.

The manual heat press comes with a heated plate. It will place your shirt on the heated plate with the design transfer paper on the top, and then press the top plate onto the shirt to transfer the design.

Heat Press
Heat Press

Also Read: Things You Should Know Before You Buy Heat Transfer Paper

Subsequently, when your business is fully established and witnesses growth, you can replace your manual heat press with an electric heat press. Despite their exorbitant cost – they are incredibly efficient, fast, and easier to use. It will boost your production capacity and maximise business growth.


You can also opt for screen printing if you consider the heat press method inadequate. It will require you to buy some screens. However, keep in mind that you will need to separate the screens for every colour. At the same time, you can also create your screen; our recommendation is to buy the superior screens.


Applying thick emulsion is vital for screens. It will lower the screen sensitivity and facilitate a smooth and consistent ink spread on your print. You will require large amounts of emulsion. Make sure to stock them in abundance.

Exposure unit

After spreading emulsion on the screen, you will need an exposure unit to cure the liquid. It will help cure the liquid by allowing the light to pass through the screens.

Screen Printing Equipments
Screen Printing Equipments

Suggested Read: How Do You Make A Stencil For A T Shirt


You should invest in a cutter if you are used to cutting designs by hand, which can sometimes erode precision. A cutter will cut out the adequate digital transfer from the image, providing accuracy and perfection in printing.

Transfer Papers

You will need premium transfer paper to transfer images from the printer to other materials. When selecting the proper transfer paper, consider the colour of the fabric and prints. Additionally, you will require different papers for inkjet and laser printers, and lighter and darker sheets for light and dark fabrics, respectively.

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We have listed some of the vital equipment needed for T shirt printing. However, it may appear that buying the equipment could cost you a fortune. Nevertheless, you can also purchase these items at reasonable prices. Your investment in T shirt printing equipment is worth the fruits it will reap in the future.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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Olivia is a seasoned blogger and printing enthusiast with a flair for fashion. With over three years of experience in fashion, she brings a unique blend of creative insights and industry knowledge to her readers. Passionate about the art of printing and the latest fashion trends. Her engaging writing style and expert guidance make her a go-to source for anyone looking to explore the dynamic world of fashion printing.

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