How To Set Up Your T shirt Printing Business And Sell Your Shirts

Hello there,

Thinking of starting a t-shirt business? Great!

You may have great ideas for your t-shirts but maybe you have no clue regarding everything else. I felt the same way when I was starting out. So, I did lots of research on the business both online and by talking to people that were already in the business.

Looking back now, I am glad that I didn’t go into the business blindly.

Many entrepreneurs who went into t-shirt printing at around the same time failed soon afterwards but my business prevailed. Why? Insight.

The danger in diving into commercial t-shirt printing without a proper plan is that you set yourself up for failure. It’s like shooting into the dark. So, with this post, I will be giving you valuable tips on how to come up with a great t-shirt printing strategy.

Here’s how to start the business in a way that will be cost effective and at the same time set up for success.

1. Create a marketable idea

I take it that you have already decided to go into t-shirt printing.

Now, if you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to brainstorm about possible ideas for the t-shirts.

Do you want graphics or texts on the t-shirts? Or, maybe both text and graphic?

Looking to make design t-shirts for men or women? Or, babies maybe? Or, do you want to target people across all age groups and genders?

Do you want to sell color t-shirts or black and white ones or both?

These are some of the questions that you need to have answers for. You can have a friend help you out. Don’t forget to look at consumer trends and go with the most marketable/popular options.

2. Settle on a target market

Now that you have great ideas for your t-shirts, now would be a good time to think about your ideal customer. The question to answer here is, “Who do I want to sell my t-shirts to?”

Be very specific when answering this question.

Saying “men between the age of 18 and 55” isn’t answering the question properly.Consider digging deeper and find your ideal niche.

For example, you can target skateboarders, football team fans, grandpas, first-time dads, and so on.

The truth is, the possibilities are limitless. The more specific you get when deciding on your target group, the easier it will be for you to market your t-shirts.

3. Organize your business structure

How big do you want your firm to be? Do you want it to be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC or a corporation?

This depends on your capital and knowledge. If you have limited finances, I suggest taking it slow. Start out as a sole proprietorship. As your sales grow, you can change your structure to a company.

However, if you have a huge capital, you can start a company.

After thinking of the business structure, consult with a local legal practitioner on what documents and licenses you will be needing to ensure that you’re on the right side of the law.

Another factor you might want to consider is the type of sales you’re targeting. Do you want to be a wholesaler, a retailer or both?

4. Sourcing your t-shirts

When people go into t-shirt printing for the first time, they normally purchase blank t-shirts from manufacturers rather than manufacturing their own.

This way, they are able to provide their customers with a range of colors, styles, and sizes without spending too much money in production.

Look for a good manufacturer and strike a deal with them. Fortunately, you can find many of them online; don’t hesitate to ask for quantity discounts.

5. Printing the t-shirts

Maybe you want to go into t-shirt printing because you love heat pressing or screen-printing and have all the equipment needed to do the job.

Or, maybe you have design skills but don’t want to print the t-shirts. In this case, you can just search the internet for a good t-shirt printer in your area and discuss your needs with them. You will take care of the designs while they will deal with the printing for a charge.

6. Pricing

One of them most crucial factors you should consider when determining prices for your t-shirts is the production cost.

Be sure to include costs for:

  • The blank t-shirt
  • Printing
  • Shipping
  • Hangtags and labels
  • Marketing
  • Warehousing
  • Labor

If you’re selling them through middlemen, you might want to lower the price a bit to accommodate these middlemen’s cut.

The most important thing here is to set a price that covers all the costs and leaves some profit for you. You can look at the pricing policy of similar businesses and draft your prices from there.

Also Recommended: How Much Does a Heat Press Machine Cost?

7. Storage and shipping

When I first went into the business, I started out by storing my t-shirts in my garage. Some people store them in their basement, home office or even in the closets they don’t use.

Do you enjoy packing the t-shirts and shipping them to your customers? Operating the business from your home is the perfect way. You can ship them via post.

On the other hand, if you don’t like that or just don’t have the time or adequate storage space at home, you can hire a fulfillment house. It will take charge of the storage, packaging, and delivery for a fee.

8. Selling the t-shirts

If you’re looking to particularly sell the t-shirts directly to the consumer, the very first thing you want to do is set up a business website and social media accounts. You should also make some postcards to market your business.

Ensure your website supports e-commerce so your customers can make payments directly through the website. Also, hire a good photographer to showcase great samples on your site.

Another great way of creating awareness for your business would be target local events like fundraisings and street fairs.

If you’re setting up a wholesale business, focus on stores that sell to your target market. These stores can be boutiques, t-shirt shops, gift shops, and so on.

The first stores you should be focusing on are the ones in your local area. Visit them and strike deals with them. Don’t forget to take a few business cards and samples with you.

9. Online Marketing

Just having a website doesn’t mean that people will start flocking in there. You have got to work with an SEO expert to optimize that site in a way that people can find it easily.

Do backlinking with relevant sites. If you spot a blog or forum that is relevant to your business, take part in the discussions and throw something about your site in there. Do this intelligently and in a way that is helpful to the audience without appearing salesy.

Final Verdict

Wear your design t-shirts as frequently as possible. This is one of the best ways of giving them some exposure. Tell the people in your circle (friends, family, colleagues) about your new business and ask them to pass the message to the people in their circles.

Did you find this information helpful? Why not share it with the people in your circle? Feel free to leave a comment.

How To Make Vinyl Decals At Home – (New Guide)

Hi friends,

Today, I will show you the best method of making vinyl decals at home. You can use these for sticking stuff onto. For instance, you can use the vinyl decals for masking during painting.

They’re also quite handy for t-shirt printing using the heat transfer method.

Frustrated with the high costs of online decals? This guide is for you.

Are you a DIY fanatic? This is for you too.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Making Vinyl Decals at Home – The Ultimate Guide

The Ingredients you’ll need:

  • A design. These can be two high-contrast colors without lots of detail. If you’re a beginner, I recommend keeping it simple.
  • A sharp cutting tool, like a knife.
  • A cutting surface. It should be neat.
  • A scotch tape.
  • Get one with sharp points, like a needle-nosed pair.
  • Gum-backed colored vinyl. You can use whatever color you prefer.
  • Pair of scissors.
  • Transfer tape.

Something else you might need is a little patience and dedication to the job.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step I: Create the Design

Use photoshop or any good photo editor to create a cool design and print it out.

After printing the design, consider holding it up to the material you’re looking to stick it onto. This helps ensure you have the appropriate size with a great placing.

Doing a multiple-layer design? You might want to consider printing 2 of the same image. You can also print each layer separately, but then, it will feel like you’re screen-printing.

Step II: Select the Vinyl and Secure the Image to the Vinyl

Cut out a piece of the colored vinyl. Let it be about a ½ inch larger than your design.

Is your vinyl too curly? Try taping it to your cutting surface. But, if it’s not too curly, there’s no need to tape it down as that allows you to manipulate the project more during the cutting process.

Is there a huge empty space in the design? Cut it out and tape the edges.

As you begin cutting, the paper might move a lot but if you have many anchor points, you won’t face this problem. However, don’t use too much tape as that might make it more difficult to remove the tape once you’re done.

Step III: Cutting

This part might be a little tedious. It’s okay to take a break once in a while during the cutting process.

Contrary to what most of us imagine, the smaller decals are the ones that are harder to cut, and they take more time than the larger ones. That’s because they have a higher degree of fine details and the working space is too squeezed.

few cutting tips To make the process easier for you:

  • Doing a highly detailed work? Round the corners and ignore smaller details. You can also try straightening the edges.
  • Begin by cutting out the inner side of the design. For example, the inside of an A or an O. Note that if you start with the borders, you will have to tape the back before cutting the inner parts.
  • Cut too deep rather than too shallow. Moreover, overlap line cuts, for instance on the corners, to ensure there’s no gap left. This helps makes sure that you don’t have to re-trace cuts when picking the template.
  • In case you cut through the paper, tape the back when you’re done. This will fix it. After some time, you’ll be able to figure out the correct depth easily.
  • You’ll discover that some lines are easy to cut along. Nonetheless, be very keen. Certain lines, like borders, texts, circles and parallel lines have got to be straight or else the entire piece will be off.
  • Made a mistake? Don’t start correcting it immediately as the paper will get in the way and the repair cuts won’t be very clean. Wait till you’re done and take the template out to rectify it.

Step IV: Picking the Template

This part normally presents a daunting task for most people because they don’t know what parts to pick out and what parts to leave.

If you made your cuts right, the process will be seamless. Just pick an outside piece or a negative space to start off from, and the rest will fall into place.

Use the tweezers to pick out the design. The corners provide you with the easiest parts to grab from.

After picking your design, it’s time to make rectifications. Line up the straight lines and trim the edges.

Step V: Adding the Transfer Tape and Trimming

To avoid distortion, it’s important that you ensure the vinyl decal is level when you’re applying the tape.

Begin at one end and roll down the tape slowly. Use your fingers to trail the tape to ensure that there aren’t any bubbles or creases.

Once the tape is in place, trim it to around a ½ inch from the decal and leave one of the ends overlapping. This makes taking the backing off easy.

Step VI: Applying to the Surface

The first thing you’ve got to do is clean the surface you’re putting it to.

Now, place the template and secure the side with the overlapped tape. You can use a pencil to mark the opposite side as a guide.

Ensure the tap overlay is big enough to hold the template in place so it doesn’t move too much when taking the backing off.

As soon as the template is in the right spot on the surface, take off the backing. Make sure it comes out evenly to minimize the creation of bubbles. When removing the backing, press the decal firmly to ensure it’s properly.

Rub the decal all over, ensuring that every piece is well covered.

Take off the tape, peeling it at angle of 180°. Smaller pieces of the design might stick to the tape. Bigger pieces, on the other hand, might present a bubbling problem. To deal with this problem, try spraying a mild soap solution on the surface before you apply the decal.

The trick makes it easy to brush out bubbles and make placement adjustments.

Are there some stubborn creases? Just slice them and let them overlap one another to make the decal level.

Now, rub the decal for the last time to ensure each piece is in place.

And, you’re all done!

Final Word

That, my friends, is how you make decals easily at home. By following these easy steps, you no longer have to waste cash buying online vinyl decals. This can be very helpful if you’re looking to minimize your heat pressing costs and maximize your profits.

Remember that the cutting process is the most important of them all. You need to ensure those cuts are straight and in line with the design. Getting the right depth might not be very straightforward at first but with time, you will get it.

It’s all about practice.

Did you find this guide helpful? Why not share it with those you know can benefit from the knowledge you’ve gained here?

Feel free to leave a comment.

Different Types of T-shirt Printing Methods (2019): In Details

Hello there,

Placing various designs on a t-shirt, spices up its plain, ordinary looks and transforms it into a unique, fashionable garment. This is something those t-shirt lovers are increasingly looking for these days, and it’s what makes t-shirt printing more lucrative than ever before.

Therefore, if you’re planning on starting a t-shirt printing business, don’t let any doubts hold you back. However, there are so many methods of printing t-shirts.

Therefore, when getting into the business, you might get confused regarding what method to use. You don’t want to use a method that doesn’t fit your or your customers’ needs.

That is why I have composed this guide. In a few moments, you will discover the most common t-shirt printing methods. I will break things down for you so you can easily understand these methods. I will include their pros and cons and help you figure out what method suits you.

By the time you’re done reading this post, you will have a vivid idea of what different t-shirt printing methods entail and know which one to use for your business.

Guide to Various T-Shirt Printing Methods

1. Screen Printing

I thought we should start with the oldest and most common method.

Though invented in the ancient times, screen printing is still one of the most preferred methods, as it helps create vibrant, smooth and soft designs that last long. Of course, it has advanced over the years.

As a matter of fact, you can count on this method for all your needs, including placing text and graphic designs, and working on huge orders.

With this method, you normally have to create a template (also known as a stencil), which is held in place by a nylon mesh screen.

You then have to spread the ink all over the screen using a squeegee. In the final steps, you need to take the screen off the design, then cure and dry the design.

Looking to go large scale? Screen printing is an ideal option. But, if you’re looking to do small-scale printing, this method will not be very viable.

That’s because it needs you to create a different screen for each color, and that’s not very fast or cost-efficient for small orders.

Pros:

  • Delivers superior quality
  • Fast when working on large orders with the same design
  • Supports printing multiple colors
  • Soft, smooth finish

Cons:

  • Every color needs a different screen
  • Can get quite messy if carried out manually
  • Not cost-effective for small orders

2. Sublimation Printing

Ever seen a t-shirt with printings all over it? They most probably used the sublimation method to place those printings.

Sublimation is best suited for doing over sized printings. If you’re looking to transform the entire t-shirt into a piece of art, sublimation is the way to go.

With this method, you can do a galaxy print or place repeated patterns on the t-shirt.

However, sublimation works properly on 100% polyester t-shirts only.

Pros:

  • Able to produce highly unique designs
  • Can place designs all over the t-shirt easily
  • Supports unlimited use of colors and styles

Cons:

  • The shirt has to be 100% polyester
  • Does not cover white patches, such as the underarms
  • Only cost-effective for orders going above 50 t-shirts

3. Direct to Garment (DTG)

DTG is a relatively new t-shirt printing technique. It entails printing on the t-shirt directly rather than creating a template and then transferring the design to the t-shirt.

Got no clue as to how it works? Picture a huge flatbed printer where you can feed a t-shirt on a conveyer belt and get it printed.

To do DTG printing, you’ll need to get a DTG printer. The printer is quite costly, and thus the method is not very viable for small-scale printing.

However, if you’re planning to print lots of t-shirts quickly, DTG makes the perfect method for you.

DTG’s printings are of excellent quality (but of lesser quality than those of screen printing). With DTG, you’ll have a soft printing, and you can do many colors.

The method works best when printing on white apparels. It works on dark ones too but in a pretty challenging process that requires mastering.

Pros:

  • Supports full-color printing
  • Gives a soft, professional-looking finish
  • Printing cost per t-shirt is low

Cons:

  • High investment cost
  • Needs lots of space

4. CAD Cut Vinyl Printing

With this method, you cutspecial, soft vinyl professionally with the CAD cutter and a software program. Then, you print the vinyl onto the t-shirts through heat pressing.

Looking to do large orders with different types of fabric? CAD cut vinyl printing will definitely come in handy.

The method allows you to layer the vinyl and thus makes printing different colors possible.

The best thing about this method is that it delivers vibrant designs.

It’s well suited for slogans, text, and small graphics. However, unlike sublimation printing, CAD cut vinyl printing is not suitable for over sized printings.

Pros:

  • Perfect for short, medium, and long runs
  • Delivers vibrant designs that can last the t-shirt’s life
  • No cracking or fading
  • Doesn’t take up much space

Cons:

  • Uses vinyl, which is less flexible than inks
  • You will have to learn about the relevant hardware and software before using the machine

5. Transfer Paper Method

The transfer paper method entails permanent transfer of an image from one surface to another.

First, you print an image on a transfer paper. Then, you use a good heat press machine to transfer that image to the t-shirt.

Originally, it was employed in decorating ceramics but today, the transfer paper method is used in printing on t-shirts and other apparels.

Unlike most other methods, the technique utilizes pressure and heat to set the design on the shirt.

Pros:

  • Fairly easy
  • Produces designs of excellent quality
  • Supports full-color printing

Cons:

  • A little slower than other printing methods
  • Great for light-colored garments but not very effective on dark-colored ones
  • Not suitable for sensitive fabrics

Final Word

As you have discovered, there are many techniques you can use to print t-shirts. Also, as illustrated above, each of these techniques comes with its unique advantages and drawbacks.

Here’s what you need to do: assess your t-shirt printing needs. Do you want to go into small-scale or large-scale printing? Do you have the time to learn a complicated method that might turn out pretty rewarding? Do you have the cash to invest in an expensive printing machine?

Those are some of the questions you need to answer.

For instance, with a huge capital and the intention of going into large-scale printing, I would go for DTG. However, with limited capital and the intention of going into small-scale printing, I would go for the transfer paper method, which uses heat pressing.

How Much Does a Heat Press Machine Cost?

Planning to decorate your apparels with heat transfer materials? One of the most important tools you will need is the heat press machine.

Heat press machines come with different features, pressing styles, sizes, performance levels, and so on. They come with different prices too. If you get it wrong when choosing a heat press machine, you can end up spending too much money or buying a machine that’s inadequate to take care of your needs.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you create a good budget before hitting the stores in search of a machine.

So, you might ask, “How much should I spend on a good heat press machine that is able to meet my garment printing needs?”.

In the next few moments, I will help you discover a comprehensive answer to your question.

The Cost of a Heat Press Machine – The Ultimate Guide

Normally, you will get a heat press machine for 300 to 3000 dollars. The actual price depends on the machine’s capability in terms of features, performance, durability, and other factors.

You don’t just purchase whatever heat press machine you find at the store. Instead, you look for a machine that meets your apparel printing needs; a machine that meets your production needs while minimizing your running costs.

Typically, the higher the machine’s price, the higher its performance. But, I recommend looking at the individual features as some machines will be very cheap but very efficient, while others may be costly but have an average performance.

With regard to price, there are 3 classes of machines:

  • Starter
  • Intermediate
  • Professional

Let’s look into each of these.

1. Starter Heat Press

In case you’re considering a small-scale apparel printing business, the starter heat press would be the right choice, as it’s relatively affordable. The machine is also quite straightforward and easy to use.

As the starter heat press isn’t designed for mass production, it involves making compromises with regard to features. For example, the controls are analog, and the warmup time is slow. Such aspects are okay for small-scale production but they would be very inconvenient for large-scale production.

Heat press machines falling under this category will cost you somewhere between 200 and 500 dollars.

2. Intermediate Heat Press

You might be thinking, “I want a bigger machine that can do better than the starter but I don’t have enough cash to get a professional-grade model.”.

In that case, you’d be talking about an intermediate model. Fortunately, this model’s output is almost as good as that of a professional heat press, and its productivity and reliability are better than those of a starter heat press machine.

On top of that, the intermediate heat press comes with a simple design, allowing it to be sold at an affordable price. The intermediate model goes for between 500 and 1000 dollars.

3. Professional Heat Press

Looking to establish a huge printing business? This is the right heat press class for you.

The professional heat press is made to offer you supreme efficiency and flexibility. It comes with a wide assortment of features to help you enjoy the best results. It produces high-grade end results that your clients will love.

A most amazing feature you will get to enjoy with the professional-grade heat press is its intelligent control models that can support more than 60 programmable presets. That way, you can swiftly adjust the heat, pressure, and temperature settings with remarkable accuracy.

As you might have guessed, the professional heat press will require you to dig deeper into your pockets. It costs somewhere between 1000 and 3000 dollars.

Which Heat Press Machine Should I Buy?

In case you’re wondering about that, the answer to your question will depend on your budget. Once you have settled on a price range, you will need to consider a few other factors to fine-tune your selection.

These factors include:

1. Performance

Does the machine produce high-quality printings on your garments? How does it execute its intended purpose? You should check the following info to figure out the machine’s performance:

  • The manufacturer’s reputation
  • Light vs. heavy use
  • Services supported by the machine
  • Warranty

2. Temperature consistency

This is one factor you can’t afford to look through. The machine ought to give you control over the temperature settings.

3. Interchangeable Platens

With this feature, the application on a wide range of apparels becomes a lot easier.

4. Digital Display

With digital display, you can set the machine’s heat, temperature and pressure more easily and accurately.

5. Heat Press Style

There are 3 major heat press styles:

  • Clamshell –has a hinge between the upper and the lower platen, and thus opens like a clamshell.

The hot upper platen normally shuts on the lower one, therefore applying pressure to the apparel you’re printing on.

The clamshell style is very easy to use. It’s also portable, and thus very appropriate for beginners.

However, the clamshell style isn’t suitable for thick garments.

  • Swinger – with this style, the heat press’s upper platen normally swipes away from the lower platen. That way, you can conveniently access the lower platen without having to reach for the hot upper platen.

Are you an experienced heat press operator? This style is perfect for you.

The style handles more work and supports simple apparel layout. But, it occupies more space.

  • Draw –in this case, the lower platen pulls out like a drawer in your direction. That way, you can lay the garment without having to reach beneath the hot upper platen.

With the Draw style, the work surface is movable, and hence, you need to take extra care to ensure you don’t move the apparel out of place applying the heat.

Looking to go professional? This is the heat press style for you. The style is well suited for mass production but it occupies more space than other styles.

Final Verdict

If you’re intending to go into t-shirt printing, a heat press machine is indispensable.

When going out there to get one, remember that heat presses come with dissimilar features, sizes, styles, and so on. That translates to varying prices.

The secret formula for getting a heat press machine that suits you is to come up with a proper budget.

A simple machine will cost you 200 to 500 dollars, an intermediate one will cost you 500 to 1000 dollars, and a professional model will cost you 1000 to 3000 dollars.

If you know someone who can benefit from the info you’ve discovered here today, don’t hesitate to share this post with them.

How To Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl For Cricut?

Looking to use heat transfer to print design t-shirts?

Then you will need a Cricut machine to help you cut the vinyl. With your Cricut machine, you can cut out beautiful shapes, designs, and letters from your vinyl paper and then transfer them onto your t-shirts.

Today, I will be showing you how to cut vinyl using the Cricut machine. I will also give you some valuable tips to help you go through the process seamlessly.

Follow these steps to Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl :

Cutting Steps:

   1.  Place the vinyl onto the cutting mat, with its liner side down.

The Cricut machine’s settings as follows:

  • Speed – medium
  • Multi-cut – 1
  • Blade assembly – regular

For the depth of the blade and the pressure settings, refer to the table below. Set each factor according to your machine’s model. In case you’re using Cricut Explore, all you need to do is select “Vinyl” on the smart set dial.

Remember, the cut should be a kiss-cut. That means that the blades should only go through the vinyl and leave the liner intact.

Machine

Depth of the blade

Pressure

Cricut Personal, Expression, and Create

3

Medium

Expression

4

3

Imagine

3

3

Mini

3

2

  2. Select the images you want to cut and their sizes. Don’t forget to flip them before cutting to ensure they’re mirror images.

   3. Load the cutting mat into the Cricut machine and cut the images.

Steps for the preparation of the design with the transfer tape

  • In the Cricut tool kit, you will find a weeder. Use it to remove unwanted pieces from each image. Be sure to leave the liner intact.
  • Take out the transfer tape liner.
  • Put the transfer tape on the images with its sticky side down. You can begin lining it on the center moving outward toward the edges to prevent bubbling. Use the scraper tool to rub the tape onto the images.
  • Peel out the liner at an angle of 45°.

Application Steps:

I recommend heating the images first, as this will help the vinyl set into your t-shirt’s fibers more easily.

Also, ensure that the t-shirt is clean and dry. Note that many sellers treat their apparels with certain chemicals to make the colors appear brighter. You need to take out these chemicals before applying the vinyl. Steer clear of fabric softener when prewashing the garment you’re looking to print on.

Looking for best results? Why don’t you test a piece of the vinyl on an unnoticeable part of the garment first?

  • Set the iron box to the highest temperature and turn off the steam setting. Preheat the area you’re printing on for around 10 seconds.
  • Be sure to place a piece of cloth or thin towel over the garment when applying the heat. You don’t want to scorch your garment now, do you?
  •  Put the image with the liner side facing up onto the garment. Place the iron on the line and apply medium pressure for around 25 seconds.
  • Flip the garment so the printed side faces down and apply medium pressure with the iron for another 25 seconds.
  • Let the garment cool down for a minute or two, and then remove the lining.

Additional Tips for Application:

  • Use an ironing board with light cushioning for best results.
  • A part of the image is not sticking? Just change the liner over the film and iron the piece again for around 15 seconds. Move the iron back and forth with higher pressure over the part that is not sticking.
  • Use a piece of cloth, preferably cotton or linen to protect your garment from burns when heat-pressing the images.

Final Word

Wash the printed garment inside-out to give it the longest life possible.

Are there parts of the design that seem to come off after washing? If so, simply re-iron them using the same strategies we discussed above.

Do you feel the people in your circle might benefit from what you’ve learned here today? Why not share the post with them? Feel free to leave your feedback.

What Is Vinyl Cutter Machine and How Does It Work? Let’s Find Out

Want to go into t-shirt printing?

One of the most important materials you will need is vinyl. That’s the material you put your design on before transferring it to the t-shirts. There’s something else you will need to go with vinyl(Also may you need vinyl cutter machine)

But, you might be wondering, “What is the vinyl cutter machine?”.

Today, I am here to share with you my vast knowledge regarding the vinyl cutter and how it works. So, get ready to discover amazing facts about the vinyl cutter machine and great tips on how it works.

The Vinyl Cutter Machine – Definition

The vinyl cutter is a machine that’s normally used to trim vinyl into letters or shapes. It’s not a very huge machine; it’s actually just about the size of a typical computer printer. You can connect the machine to a computer using a cable. With that said, you can control the vinyl cutter with a computer and make sure that its sharp blades move precisely.

It’s the sharp blades’ duty to cut out various letters or shapes from the sticky vinyl material. Once the shapes and letters are cut, you can stick them onto whatever surface you might like.

How the Vinyl Cutter Machine Works?

As a matter of fact, the vinyl cutter is the best machine for creating particular symbols or shapes with the intention of pasting them somewhere. With the help of software like Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop, you can design your shapes, symbols or letters easily, and then direct them with a computer command to the vinyl cutter machine.

The vinyl cutter then follows your design’s vector path to cut out the image smoothly. Now that the materials of the vinyl are produced in rolls, the vinyl cutter can cut tasks with big length, like billboards and banners.

The only problem with the vinyl cutter is that it only cuts one color at a time. If you’re looking to create a project with multiple colors, you’ll have to cut out one color at a go and then place all the colors individually on the template you’re creating. But, even with that limiting factor, the vinyl cutter machine still helps you produce solid, long-lasting designs.

The Vinyl Cutter’s Specifications

Here are the machine’s specifications that help it perform excellently:

  • Designed to work on materials with the width of between 2 and 27.5 inches normally.
  • Has a mechanical resolution of around 0.0005.
  • Has a cutting frequency of around 20 inches per second.
  • Has a maximum downforce of about 250 g.
  • Built to cut materials such as vinyl, mirror images, masks, and most flexible sheets.
  • Designed to accept commands from a cartridge or a computer. These commands direct the cutter to cut out a predefined design.
  • Built with sharp sliding blades that normally move from side to side cutting dents into the vinyl.
  • Some are built in such a way that they can utilize a transfer tape to place already-weeded vinyl shapes onto the template.

How the Transfer Process Works

The vinyl cutter utilizes little blades to precisely cut out your design’s lines into the vinyl.

Once the machine is done cutting out your designs, the next step is to weed the designs. Weeding is all about removing unwanted parts from the pieces of vinyl that have been cut.

Once the weeding process is done, the transfer tape with an adhesive back is placed on the vinyl. Once a roller is put on the tape, the weeded vinyl sticks properly.

After that, the vinyl along with the transfer tape are pulled off from the release liner and placed on the substrate.

The Vinyl Cutter’s Uses

Many custom clothing stores use the vinyl cutter to create their designs. Once they have those designs ready, they normally place them on their garments using the heat press machine.

The machine is ideal for creating letters, making banners, and even design stickers for vehicles.

Also, you can use the vinyl cutter to cut out graphics from light cardboards.

Final Word

Looking to go into apparel printing? Go for it.

The truth is, t-shirt printing is a booming business. The best thing about it is that you can do it from home and still make huge profits.

But, to really be at the top of the competition, you should consider investing in a good vinyl cutter machine. Now that you know what the machine is all about, go out there and get one that fits your needs.

Do you know someone that can benefit from what you’ve learned here? Why not share this article with them?

Feel free to leave a comment.

What Is Heat the Press Machine? How to Use a Heat Press?

Planning to go into t-shirt printing?

Maybe you’re considering to print t-shirts using the heat transfer method. If that is so, one of the most important items you have got to get is the heat press machine.

As a beginner, you might find the heat press machine quite baffling. Maybe you don’t know what it is, or how to use it. That is just about to change. With this post, I will help you learn what the heat press is all about and show you how it works.

What Is the Heat Press Machine?

A heat press is a machine designed to print a text or image design on a material. It employs pressure and heat for a certain interval to transfer the design to the material.

Most heat presses are meant for applying designs to garments. However, there are heat presses out there meant for printing designs on plates, mugs, caps, plastic bags, and other materials.

There are two most common heat press versions today – the manual and automatic. But, there’s a new entrant in the market – the semi-automatic version, which allows an automatic, electromagnetic opening with a manual closing process.

The digital advancement in newer heat presses gives you lots of control over the time, temperature, and pressure settings. In most cases, the heat press will use a hot, flat platen to apply pressure and heat to the material being printed.

There are different heat press styles, with the most common ones being the:

  • Clamshell design – where the upper platen opens like a clamshell.
  • Swing-away – the upper platen normally swipes away from the lower platen.
  • Draw – the lower platen pulls out like a drawer in your direction.

Most of the available heat press machines employ an aluminum upper platen with a heating element to provide the required heat. You normally have to load the material you’re printing onto the lower platen. The material is then carried underneath the heating element, which applies some pressure and heat to print the design.

You normally print the design on the sublimating paper with some sublimating ink. The paper lets the ink to transfer to the garment, thus transferring the design. With the sublimating method, you have a chance to get effective patterns and effects.

Now, let’s see how you can use a heat press.

How to Use a Heat Press Machine

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Choose a transfer

There are numerous transfers that can be printed on a garment. You can either purchase a pre-printed transfer paper or print one at home. Also, you can utilize an iron-on appliqué. The most common transfers for heat presses include:

  • Inkjet – translucent transfers that work best on light-colored garments.
  • Laser copier transfers –translucent too.
  • Suppliers transfers – opaque and well suited for dark and colored garments
  • Heat transfer vinyl– lay them on top of one another to come up with different designs
  • Embroidered appliqués

2. Print the transfer

Select an image and reverse it with a photo editor like photoshop. Print out the image on the transfer paper’s film side with an ink jet printer.

Are you using a store-bought or supplier transfer?

If so, trim it down. As you might notice, once you print the transfer, some parts will not be colored. You need to get rid of these blank parts so they’re not transferred to the garment.

When trimming the transfer, you should be focusing on the main shape. The interiors of shapes like D and O don’t really need any trimming. Also, it’s okay to leave a little border around shapes.

3. Open the heat press

Now is the time to set up the machine for the job. The instructions I’m just about to deliver here should work for most heat press models.

Open the heat press by lifting its handle. Then, pull the heating platen away from the silicon pad. Let the heat press remain open as it heats up in the next step.

4. Set the temperature

Check your transfer paper. There should be some directions on the temperature levels you need to apply. On the heat press, turn the thermostat knob in the clockwise direction and wait for the press to heat up. You will see a light.

As soon as the press reaches the right temperature, turn the knob anti-clockwise till the light you saw goes off. Most transfer papers need a temperature level of between 350 and 375 °F.

5. Set the pressure

As with the temperature setting, the pressure knob can be turned clockwise or anti-clockwise to increase or reduce the pressure.

The pressure you should apply is relative to your project’s thickness. A thicker project will require a higher pressure while a thinner one will need lower pressure.

Don’t turn the knob too far, otherwise the swivel arm will come off. Mostly, medium to high pressure is applicable.

6. Set the timer

Press and hold the minutes and seconds buttons to increase or decrease the time. Once you hit the start button, the timer starts. Your transfer might indicate a certain time; use that. If it doesn’t, here is a timing guide for different transfer papers:

  • Ink-Jet transfer – 13 to 18 secs
  • Die cut vinyl – 45 secs to 1 minute
  • Laser copier – 17 to 25 secs
  • Embroidered appliqués – 19 to 30 secs
  • Sublimation – 24 to 30 secs

7. Place your t-shirt on the plate

It’s now time to print your garment. When placing the garment on the plate, ensure the side that faces up is the one you want to print on.

8. Set the transfer paper on the garment

When doing this, make sure it’s face-down. Also, ensure it’s in the pressing area in the heat pad and silicon pad zone. Are you using an embroidered appliqué? If so, let the embroidered side face up and the adhesive side face down.

Using a heat transfer vinyl? The shiny side ought to face up, while the matte side should face down.

9. Cover the transfer

Does your machine have a silicon pad? If so, the transfer doesn’t need covering.

But, if it doesn’t have that protective pad, or if you’re using heat transfer vinyl or an appliqué, you’ll need to place a thin piece of cloth on the garment and transfer.

Such a piece of cloth goes a long way in offering the transfer the protection it needs against the heat.

10. Start pressing

Pull the handle down to close the heat press.

Hit the start button. The timer will start. Once the time you set is depleted, hit the start button once more to stop the heat press.

Next, open the heat press and remove your garment. With most fabrics, you’ll need to peel the transfer off while it’s still hot.

Now, your design should be printed on the garment. That’s of course if you went through the process properly.

Final Thoughts

Want to press a different design on the back of the garment? First, insert a cardboard piece in the garment.

Set a lower pressure by adjusting the plate height and press the garment. Doing that ensures that you don’t reheat the front image.

Using the heat press is that easy. Did you find this guide helpful? Why not share it with your friends?

How To Do Screen Printing On Plastic Bags At Home?

Looking to bring out your uniqueness with your plastic bags?

If so, you should place your designs on them and set them apart from the crowd.

If you’re a business owner, then you probably know that branding is very important in marketing. One efficient branding method is printing your logo and business name on your packaging materials. And, with the plastic bags becoming increasingly popular as packaging materials, the knowledge of how to print on them at home is definitely handy.

Also, if you’re in the business of plastic bags, adding printing to the package is one of the ways of maximizing your profits.

To help you achieve all that, I thought I should share with you some valuable knowledge on how to screen print on plastic bags.

How to Print on Plastic Bags?

There are different ways of printing plastic bags, depending the number of bags you’re looking to print on.

For a higher number of bags, it’d be good to utilize a more cost-efficient style – a large web press.

This style entails holding a roll of plastic (which comprises 2 sheets, one below the other) with a press. The rolls then pass through several ink units, thereby getting printed on.

The most common commercial method of printing on plastic bags is known as flexography.

So, What’s Flexography?

Flexography is a printing method where elevated plastic or rubber plates and inks are used for printing.

This is a process where a raised image area of rubber printing plates is used to deposit ink on your substrate.

An adhesive is used to fix the plastic or rubber plates to the heat press’s rollers. The rollers turn, enabling the plates to come into contact with the papers and print on them.

The last step in this kind of printing is where the actual plastic bag is created.

Now, we’ve talked about printing on many plastic bags. What if you have just a few bags to print on?

That brings us to our main topic – screen printing on plastic bags. In case you don’t have a large order to work on, screen printing is the most efficient method.

Contrary to the flexography, where you can print many bags at the same time, screen printing lets you print only one bag at a time. Also, the method is manual.

Here, a mesh is used to transfer ink to the bag. As you move the squeegee across the screen, the small holes in the mesh are filled with ink.

With this method, you can even print on recycled bags and still achieve great results. Though screen printing is typically easy, it needs mastering especially with regard to plastic bags.

So, in the next few moments, I will guide you on how to do successful screen printing on plastic bags.

You’ll need these items to do Screen Print On Plastic Bags at home:

  • Well-stretched plastic bags
  • Squeegee
  • Plastic knife
  • Stenciled screen
  • Framed screen
  • Photo emulsion mixed with sensitizer
  • Popsicle stick
  • Black ink
  • Light cardboard pieces
  • Latex hand glove
  • Plastic Canvas
  • Darkroom
  • 250 watts bulb

Here are the steps to follow for Printing Plastic Bags:

  • Build a frame and fix it to a screen. For an effective and durable output, be sure to build the screen with high-grade materials. After that, prepare the design you’re looking to print on heat transfer vinyl.
  • Look at your design carefully. Are there problems? Remove them. Following that, soak the design with the emulsion mixed with sensitizer.
  • Place the light cardboard pieces into each plastic bag. That way, you’ll have stopped the ink from soaking to the other side of the plastic bag.
  • Place the design template at the spot where you want the graphic to appear.
  • Is the plastic bag moving too much? You can use a rubber frame or colored tape to give it some stability.
  • Use the popsicle stick or the plastic knife to pour the ink onto the screen, and use the squeegee to spread the ink all over the screen.
  • Be sure to cross over the design with the squeegee severally. Don’t be forceful but instead apply moderate pressure on the template.
  • When applying the ink, raise the template’s corners to ensure the ink doesn’t ooze to the other side of the bag.

The image wasn’t printed as expected? Try repeating the process several times to get the work done.

9. Now, inspect the bag to make certain that the design was printed as expected. Remove the template gently, place it on the canvas, and clean it with cold water.

10.Let the template dry for about an hour.

Got a blow-dryer? You can use it to hasten the drying process.

Once the template is dry, check the design to ensure it’s okay.

Final Verdict

I take it that you’re looking for an awesome output. Therefore, print only one color and make sure you’re printing a dark color on a lighter one and vice versa.

If you’re printing on a transparent bag, only use a black ink.

Did you find this guide helpful? Why not share it with those you know can benefit from it?

Feel free to leave a comment. We will be happy to reply you.

Heat Press Time and Temperature: Guide and Instructions

Hello friends,

How easy do you think it is to transfer a graphic onto your garment using the heat press machine?

Some of you think it’s easy while others think it’s hard. That’s okay.

For a beginner, following a step by step guide can be pretty helpful and they can do a perfect job. But, the transfer process is not always easy for those who are just starting out.

Why? The settings for time and temperature should be perfect but achieving this can be difficult if you’re not conversant with the workings of the heat press machine.

For the transfer to be great, you’ll need to set the temperature properly and determine the degree of pressure to apply for a particular kind of material, like polyester, cotton, and so on.

Also, you ought to know when to peel out – when the heat press is hot or cold.

Does that seem overwhelming? Don’t give up yet.

I have composed a quick guide to help you transfer the designs properly without any hassles.

Before we delve into this, there’s something you should know – the material you’re printing on matters a lot. Different materials need different time and temperature.

Heat Press Time and Temperature

Follow these instructions to achieve a perfect transfer without stress:

Multi-purpose materials

Multi-purpose materials are bestsellers and can be utilized for multiple design purposes. Use these settings:

Temperature – 350 °F

Time – 10 to 12 minutes

Polyester

One thing you’ve got to keep in mind about polyester is that it doesn’t like high temperature. Use these settings:

Temperature – 270 °F

Time – 10 minutes

Only peel when the heat press is hot.

Stretchy materials

Stretchy materials like swimming costume need the following settings for a perfect transfer:

Temperature – 335 °F

Time – 12 to 14 minutes

Only peel when the transfer is cold.

Full-color designs

Looking to produce a full-color design? Then you need to apply these settings:

Temperature – 350 °F

Time – 10 to 12 minutes

Peel when the transfer is hot

Vintage looks

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a vintage look, apply the following settings:

Temperature – 350 °F

Time – 10 to 12 minutes

Peel when the transfer is still hot

High-textured designs

Printing a high-textured design but want it to glitter? If so, use these settings:

Temperature – 350 °F

Time – 15 minutes

Peel when the transfer is hot

Sweat shirts

Are you printing the design on a sweat shirt? Here are the settings to apply:

Temperature – 360 to 380 °F

Time – 10 to 13 minutes

Only peel when the transfer is still hot

Glowing in the dark

Printing a design that is supposed to glow in the dark and shine when exposed to light? Follow these settings instructions:

Temperature – 350 °F

Time – 10 to 13 minutes

Stubborn fabrics

In case you’re face with a difficult project where you’re supposed to print on stubborn fabrics or hard materials, use these settings:

Temperature – 330 °F

Time – around 15 minutes

Metallic finish

Maybe you’re looking for a metallic finish. That is, a design that will have a metallic appearance. In that case, use these settings:

Temperature – 320 °F

Time – around 20 minutes

Remove when the transfer is warm

Reflective materials

In case the material you want to print on is reflective, like a reflective jacket, here are the settings to follow to ensure a perfect transfer:

Temperature – 305 °F

Time – 10 to 12 minutes

For great results, peel out when it’s cold.

Light/dark fabrics

Now, you might be asked to do a graphic transfer on a white fabric. In that case, use these settings:

Temperature – 385 °F

Time – 25 to 30 minutes

In case the transfer you’re doing is on a dark fabric, utilize these settings:

Temperature – 365 °F

Time – 25 minutes

Consider peeling while the transfer is hot.

Final Verdict

Those guidelines should cover almost all the designs you’ll encounter in your heat pressing business.

Remember, the machine you’re using also matters if you’re looking for an excellent transfer. Also, be sure to check the user’s manual for your machine.

If you follow the instructions they’ve written there carefully, I believe everything should fall into place pretty effortlessly.