Texart XT-640S DTG Ergosoft Roland DG Edition 3
Texart XT-640S DTG Ergosoft Roland DG Edition 3

Printing Tshirts with Digital Customisation Machines

Whether you're thinking of starting a custom t-shirt business, looking for a way to print more t-shirts faster, or you just want to sell t-shirts along with your existing products, digital print has a solution for you. Keep reading to find more easy ways to customise a t-shirts and maybe even make a profit.

• Tshirt Printing: The Easy Way

• Making Custom Tshirts with a Heat Press

• Tshirt Design Options with Heat Transfer

• Screen Printing and Mass Production

• All-over Printed Shirts with Dye Sublimation

Roland DG BT-12 Direct-to-garment printer
Roland DG BT-12 Direct-to-garment printer

Tshirt Printing:
The Easy Way

Of all the ways to print a design on a t-shirt, it doesn't get much simpler than direct-to-garment (DTG) printing. Compact t-shirt printers aren't much bigger than everyday household printers and they're just as easy to use.

PICTURED: BT-12 All-in-One Garment Printer

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Heatpress

Making Custom Tshirts
With a Heat Press

When you first start making your own t-shirts, you'll most likely begin with a simple manual screen-printing set-up, or you'll invest in a vinyl cutter and a heat press.

With the staggering range of interesting and eye-catching vinyl available, it's not hard to see why people get hooked on making t-shirts with a heat press. The best thing is, it's a simple (and fun) process:

DESIGN A TSHIRT
When you know what you want to print on the shirt, this is the easiest part. The tricky part is finding t-shirt designs that other people might want to buy.

PREPARE VINYL
You can cut the vinyl using a cutter, or you can even print on it first using a printer/cutter. Then, simply weed off the excess and lift the design using transfer tape.

PRESS
Place the design on the shirt, then use a heat press to fix it in place. All vinyl is different, but it should come with instructions for pressing times and temperatures. 

Heatpress

Tshirt Design Options with Heat Transfer

Heat transfer is such a versatile way of making t-shirts or any other custom clothing for that matter. Since the technology really took off, creative designers have come up with innovative ways to mix media and produce premium effects like these:

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Single Colour Vinyl

If you're an expert with vector illustration, you only need one colour to create an awesome t-shirt design.

PRODUCT: GS-24 Vinyl Cutter

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Print & Cut Vinyl

With printable vinyl, you can use a printer/ cutter to add your design and cut it out, then press it like any other vinyl.

PRODUCT: BN-20 Printer/Cutter

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Print & Cut with Doming

This is another example of outside-the-box thinking: before pressing the printed vinyl, you can add a layer of doming resin.

PRODUCT: TrueVIS SG2 Series

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Glitter

Sparkly glitter media is just one of the popular design choices for personalised tshirts, hoodies or custom clothing of any kind.

PRODUCT: GS-24 Vinyl Cutter

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Expanding

How diverse is the range of t-shirt vinyl? Here's just one example: when heat is applied, this media expands for a 3D effect.

PRODUCT: GR Series Large Format Cutter

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Rhinestones

Not everybody likes rhinestones and gems - some people love them! Once you find a way to do it quickly, you can make big profits.

PRODUCT: EGX-30A Desktop Engraver

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Screen Printing and
Mass Production

If you want to mass produce high-quality t-shirts, screen printing is a great way to make hundreds of units. However, if you want to customise them individually, the technology has its limitations.

Industrial DTG devices let you specify each unit in the software before sending the design to print and make a dozen individual t-shirts in a few minutes.

PICTURED: Texart XT-640S-DTG Multi-station Printer

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tshirt printing make money screen printing dye sublimation mob
tshirt printing make money screen printing dye sublimation mob

All-over Printed Shirts
with Dye Sublimation

Dye-sublimation is similar to heat-transfer in practice, but the technology is quite different. Sublimation inks adhere to synthetic fibres on a microscopic level. Put simply, they don't just go on the t-shirt - they go in the t-shirt.

This lets you print a pattern directly onto the fabric and once the ink is cured, the pieces can be cut out and stitched together to make a custom shirt from scratch. 

Because the output is light and breathable, dye sublimation is especially popular for activewear and gymwear, and its bright colours make it ideal for competitive sports like cycling and motocross.