How to Start a T-shirt Business at Home with STAHLS'

How to Start a T-Shirt Business at Home

Learning how to start a T-shirt business has never been easier! Back in August, Josh Ellsworth released an in-depth video on all the transfer types, equipment, and marketing tips you need to get started. Our goal is to provide you and your business with the materials, equipment, and resources needed to take your business from passion to profits.

This post breaks down the top tips you need to start your T-shirt business, and where you can find additional resources and education to take it to the next level.


Top 4 Popular Heat Transfer Types

We have a material that’s right for any size job. From special effect materials, to full color transfers and more, you can use your heat press to achieve a variety of looks your customers will love.

Screen Printed Transfers

Using the same plastisol inks as regular screen printing, you can achieve an identical look and feel using only a heat press. Goof Proof® Screen Printed Transfers from Transfer Express are the easiest way to decorate T-shirts.

  • Group multiple images on one sheet if using the same colors
  • Simply cut apart the designs and heat apply
  • Decorate a T-shirt in 4 seconds
  • Durable and fast heat application

Heat Transfer Vinyl

CAD-CUT® HTV allows you to use your heat press to create looks in special effect finishes not possible with other decorating methods. You can get heat transfer vinyl in glitter, metallic, foil, and reflective finishes perfect for any market and item.

  • Decorate on demand
  • Fulfill smaller runs
  • Buy by the roll for use with a vinyl cutter
  • Purchase cut and weeded HTV designs through Custom Services
  • Achieve multi-colored looks with layerable materials

Print/Cut HTV

Printable HTV from our CAD-COLOR® line allows you to print full color designs for a wide variety of substrates. Choose from lightweight, stretchable, and dye inhibiting materials to create high-end looks for any job.

  • Print as many colors as you want without increasing costs
  • Decorate a variety of fabrics in multiple finishes, including glitter
  • Best option for 3+ colors and low quantity orders
  • Compatible with Roland®, Mutoh, Mimaki, and other solvent print/cut systems

Digital Screen Printed Transfers

This new advanced technology is perfect for those looking to offer a premium product at a higher price point. UltraColor™ Soft Transfers from Transfer Express have all the benefits of digital and screen printed transfers in one. They’re a great choice for T-shirts and performance wear, and feature a popular matte finish.

  • Larger sheet size, 5 sheet minimum or purchase by image
  • Multiple colors on one sheet – single step application
  • Low temperature application for heat-sensitive fabrics
  • Print full color with no limitations on detail

Check out this grid to help you determine which decorating method is right for your business.


Investing in the Right Equipment

You’ve probably thought about investing in a heat press, but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you think you can get away with using your home iron to fulfill orders until you’ve saved up. Purchasing a heat press might be less expensive than you think!

STAHLS’ manufactures a wide variety of heat presses—from entry level to high end. You can be sure no matter which heat press you choose, you’re getting accurate time, temperature, and pressure: the three most important aspects of heat printing.

We recently launched the perfect starter heat press for your start-up business: the A2Z™ Swing Away. It comes equipped with features you’d find in our higher-end line, but at a price that can’t be beat.

Check out this blog post and video on choosing the best heat press for your business.


While heat transfers and equipment aren’t the only things you need to start a T-shirt business, they’re the most important. STAHLS’ has so many other resources to help you get started, like this eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a T-Shirt Business. Once you’ve decided on the tools you’ll need, check out this one on Marketing your T-Shirt Business and learn all the new markets you can start selling to. In the meantime, check out the full video on How to Start an At Home T-Shirt Business below!

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