5 Ways to Heat Print T-Shirts

5 Ways to Print T-Shirts with a Heat Press

Start your T-shirt business the right way ‒ with a heat press. Not only is it easy and inexpensive, but there are many decorating methods to choose from. STAHLS’ offers different ways to print T-shirts to serve as the foundation of your decorating inspiration. With both simple and advanced options, here are 5 ways to print T-shirts with a heat press:

  1. CAD-CUT® Heat Transfer Vinyl
  2. Emblems & Patches
  3. Screen Printed Transfers
  4. Pre-Cut Letters & Numbers
  5. Digital Transfers & Transfer Paper

CAD-CUT® Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl is the most versatile way to decorate a T-shirt. Whether you’re personalizing a garment on the fly or creating a new design from scratch, heat transfer materials are the easiest to work with.

With the versatility of CAD-CUT® HTV, you have so many options when designing. From standard cotton tees and performance wear, to tri-blends and nylon, there is a CAD-CUT® material for any job.

Our popular HTV, CAD-CUT® UltraWeed™, is the best all-around material for T-shirts. It’s lightweight with a soft hand, making it ideal for today’s popular and fashionable tees, and the ease of cutting makes it the best choice for fine-detailed designs. CAD-CUT® UltraWeed™ is available in over 45 colors and can apply to a variety of garments, including heat-sensitive fabrics.

If you want to add extra flair to your garments, heat transfer vinyl gives you that option. With our special effect materials, like reflective, foil, and glitter, you can highlight your design and make the garment stand out from the rest. Similarly, other great effect materials include glow-in-the-dark HTV and the shimmering CAD-CUT® Hologram.

With such a wide variety of options, it’s no wonder CAD-CUT® heat transfer vinyl is the most popular way to print T-shirts. Buy the material by the roll and cut out your designs as the demand for them arises, or upload your artwork to STAHLS’ and let us create custom HTV designs for you. Above all, using HTV makes personalizing and customizing customer’s T-shirts simple.


Emblems & Patches

Create stand-out looks with premium heat-applied emblems from FlexStyle® by STAHLS’ Custom Emblems. These highly detailed emblems raise the perceived value of any garment or item they’re applied to. Emblems like these add color and dimension to apparel and will help you break into new markets.

Schools, organizations and clubs, corporations, and fashion boutiques are all great markets for emblems. Coaches and players want to be true to their school with emblems that show off their team. Businesses and organizations can utilize emblems to promote their business or cause. And there’s nothing like an eye-catching emblem, full of color and detail, on a fashionable tee.

Offerings range from the detailed color and raised texture of FlexStyle Texture to the shiny 3D bubble effect of FlexStyle Domed. There are also genuine Leather Patches with three different color offerings, as well as Embroidered and 3D Embroidered Patches that add a classic embroidered look with only a heat press. Any style emblem or patch you choose is sure to elevate your T-shirt and command attention.


Screen Printed Transfers

You don’t need screen printing equipment to get the quality and soft hand of a screen printed design. Heat applied screen printed transfers allow flexibility with your inventory and you won’t have to worry about the mess. No need for emulsion, no need for ink or a squeegee. Just place and heat apply.

Screen printed transfers from Transfer Express take the techniques and feel of screen printing and combine the ease and simplicity of heat printing. These transfers are made using the same plastisol or water-based inks common in screen printing, with the designs being printed onto a release paper.

STAHLS’ Transfer Express® screen printed transfers have major advantages. For instance, there’s no added labor time for weeding or layering colors like with HTV. Multi-color designs apply in the same amount of time as single color designs. If stored in a climate controlled room, screen printed transfers can last for years. Great for on-demand printing, their simplicity can be a real time-saver for bigger jobs, too, because the actual work of printing the screen is already done for you. All you need to do is heat press it.

Screen printed transfers have many creative design options. From traditional one or two-color designs to full color digital screen printed transfers. If you can design it, chances are it can be made into a screen printed transfer.

If you’re just getting started using screen printed transfers, the fastest and easiest transfer to apply is Goof Proof®. They apply in just 4 seconds and are incredibly difficult to mess up. As you become more comfortable with screen printed transfers, experiment with other types for new decorating applications.


Pre-Cut Letters & Numbers

Pre-Cut Letter & Numbers are durable and easy to apply. Pre-cuts are available in a variety of font styles and materials. Most commonly used to decorate player jerseys and uniforms, they also look great on T-shirts and are a perfect way to add on-demand personalization to tees and more.

Say you’re at a basketball tournament, printing and selling shirts on demand. You can use Pre-Cut Letters & Numbers to customize these shirts, so Mom and Dad can get their daughter’s name and number on their shirts. Charge a small amount to customize each item and the profits can really add up.

Another idea is to create a T-shirt with a print stylized like a sticker nametag. For example, a stock transfer can say “Hello my name is…” and you can add the customer’s name or nickname on demand. Customizing a shirt directly in front of a customer adds to the overall value of the shirt. Having this experience will link you with their shirt and will make your company memorable.

Pre-Cut Letters & Numbers come in many popular sizes and styles, so you can create the perfect T-shirt for any customer or job.


Digital Transfers & Transfer Paper

Full color digital transfers offer the ability to decorate with detailed and ornate designs. Gradients, shading, and a huge color palette mean the only limitation is your imagination. With STAHLS’ CAD-PRINTZ® Digital Transfers, you can easily achieve full color custom looks for any job.

Transfer Paper Experts™ also makes achieving these elaborate looks simple. All you need is a printer and you have access to an array of transfer papers. Each type of transfer paper has its own ideal use. For instance, InkTra® Opaque Stretch is a transfer paper for any color garment, with great stretch and rebound, and is to be used with inkjet printers. If you want an opaque transfer paper, but have a laser printer, you’ll want to choose Opaque Print laser transfer paper.

No matter what color or fabric, Transfer Paper Experts offers printable transfer paper to make your full color digital art come to life. Their transfer papers work with any type of T-shirt. Get started printing colorful designs with ease.


In an ever-changing industry, it’s important for your business to stay informed, get inspired, and experiment with new techniques. These 5 methods of printing T-shirts form the basis of using Heat Print Technology to grow your business. As a great visual reference, we created this infographic of the 5 Ways to Print T-Shirts. Save it, print it, and put it up in your shop!

Download the 5 Ways to Print T-Shirts Infographic:

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27 thoughts on “5 Ways to Print T-Shirts with a Heat Press”

  1. Hi Cedric,

    To order CAD-PRINTZ® full color digital transfers, select “Order Now” on the digital transfers page, log into your Stahls’ customer account, then select the fabric to which you’ll be applying your transfer, the type of media on which your transfer will be printed, and the size and quantity of transfers you’re ordering.

    At this point you will be prompted to upload your artwork and add the order to your account.

    For more information on the ordering process, visit our CAD-PRINTZ® Custom Digital Ordering page.

  2. Hi.I am interested in starting my T-shirt business in bulk(same colors and 1 design).My question is,what is the best simpler one to start with?Screen printing?Thanks.

  3. This article provides details about the 5 ways print t-shirts heat press . I enjoyed reading this article and would suggest others it as well. Thank you for this article! This is really very informative for us and look forward to more such in future for all of us.

  4. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and a nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog and have some great content. Keep up the good work.

  5. It is really good ways for me. Because of COVID-19, I became a worker in the garment industry,be a womens wholesale clothing vendors and I learned a lot from your article, which I didn’t know before, thanks! Hope you and your family are healthy!

  6. You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers.

  7. Hi Stephanie, yes it’s possible to heat press on uniform pockets. Let us know if you have more questions about transfer types or application. You can reach us at 800-478-2457. Thanks!

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