I have always wanted to start a sublimation t-shirt business, however, I could not encourage myself to start from scratch for a long time. Until one day I decided to invest some money into good sublimation equipment. This included a sublimation printer, heat press machine, sublimation inks, and various other additional supplies.
This led me to start from a small sublimation printing business for beginners and grow it into one that can now support all my financial needs. In this article, I have discussed how to start a sublimation t-shirt business along with some essentials that are required to generate a high quality and attractive sublimate.
How to Start a Sublimation T-shirt Business? Sublimation Set up
Table of Contents
What is Sublimation T-shirt Printing?
Sublimation T-shirt printing is a special art of transferring the sublimate to a fabric. However, the process is not as simple as you might think and can take a lot of time and effort. In order to successfully print out the sublimate, you need to first print it on a piece of paper. After then transfer the ink to a fabric, which is polyester or cotton in most cases.
Afterward, heat is applied to the fabric to properly integrate the ink into the fabric and make it an integral part of the T-shirt. This type of printing is preferred over other types because it is long-lasting. The ink does not fade away over time even after continuous washing.
Process to Start Sublimation T-Shirt Business
First things first. You need to prepare some essentials for starting your sublimation T-shirt printing. These include a
- Sublimation printer
- Heat press
- Sublimation blanks
- Sublimation ink
- Additional supplies
I have discussed all these products in detail to help you understand everything clearly.
Sublimation printers are the most important component to start a sublimation T-shirt business. You will not be able to print out anything without a printer and therefore, should choose a performance efficient option for yourself. You will find a variety of options available in the market with unique features.
However, not everything that is shining is gold. It is important that you check the resolution of the printer. It will help you make sublimates that are clearer and offer the finest details of the design. Also, check the adjustability and versatility of the printer if you are interested in customizing the designs.
After you have purchased a suitable printer for yourself, then the next step is to look for a heat press. This will be used to customize the designs and paste them onto the fabric. It will also help you in integrating the ink inside the fabric as opposed to pasting it over one. It will help you generate prints that are vibrant in color and feature outstanding consistency.
By sublimation blanks we mean the blank objects you would be producing your sublimates on. The majority of the users prefer sublimating over mugs and keyboard pads. However, in this case, you will be using a T-shirt for sublimation. One thing you should keep in mind is that the shirt should be made up of cotton or polyester material. It will integrate the ink into the fabric completely. Other materials might not retain the ink for long and might lead to color fading over the years.
Now it is time to discuss the sublimation inks. You will get sublimation inks when you purchase the printer one time and might need to purchase it afterward. The majority of the printers are only compatible with the ink of the same manufacturer. It may be display poor performance if you use with any other ink.
Therefore, you should pay great importance to the purchase of sublimation ink. You can also go for options that come with additional ink that can be used for up to two years. A variety of Epson printers are highly popular for their large ink tanks that can store large amounts of ink and reduce the need for frequent refills. This is the complete process how to start a sublimation t-shirt business.
What T-shirts are Best for Sublimation Printing?
We highly recommend those T-shirts that are made up of polyester or 100% pure cotton to achieve the best results. Because these fabrics are capable of retaining the ink better and can easily integrate the ink into their fibers when exposed to heat. Thus, becoming resistant to color fading as opposed to other fabrics that might start to lose color after a few years of use.
We have discussed it in detail that how to start a sublimation t-shirt business. A sublimation T-shirt business is not a difficult task. All you need is some initial investment money in your hand and you are good to go. Firstly, you need to invest in the equipment required for manufacturing and this step covers most of the requirements to start a business. Once you have gathered all the required items, you can proceed by producing sublimates on T-shirts. You can promote them in your local community and on social media. This will help in increasing your reach and will help you in gaining orders easily.