What is the best inkjet printer for making t shirt transfers?


I’ve been heat pressing t-shirts for over 15 years now and have literally sold hundreds of thousands of t-shirts to people all over the world. And in my professional opinion, I believe heat transfers printed from a home inkjet printer are sub-standard.

The quality isn’t great, and the artwork tends to peel, crack and immediately fade after it’s first cycle through the washer and dryer.

Selling this type of quality to your end-customer is suicide. It’ll destroy the reputation of your business before you even get the chance to launch a successful business.

I highly recommend against this method of printing.

However… For those of you who insist on doing it your way, here are a few options that’ll get you better results than the typical heat transfer paper purchased from local hobby supply stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Wal-Mart, or JoAnn’s.

The quality produced from those cheap heat transfers is total crap. You will be disappointed with what you press onto the shirt — especially the Avery brands. I honestly don’t know how they can get away with selling these.

If you’re going to do it yourself, go with high heat pigment inks. This method will require specific types of inkjet printers and special inks.

Here’s a package I purchased from one of the leading pigment ink suppliers

High Heat Pigment Inks

What you see in the picture above are replacement cartridges at the top… These cartridges will replace the cartridges that come with your inkjet printer.

You’ll use the syringes to pull the ink out of the bottles and inject them into those cartridges. These cartridges will replace the inkjet cartridges, thus providing you with high heat pigment inks that will now print onto the transfer paper, and then you’ll press onto a t-shirt.

If you insist on making your own transfers at home, this process will give you a much better quality print versus the typical ink that comes out of your inkjet printer.

Regarding the ‘Best Inkjet Printer’? Epson so far has been a top recommended seller.

However, they’re starting to lock-up the chips within their printer that prevents you from swapping out the cartridges. The other manufacturers have not done it yet, but it’s reasonable to think they will start doing it based on how the results pan out for Epson.

If you’re interested in learning more about high heat pigment inks, check out the following websites… I recommend you give them a call and get firsthand information on which inkjet printer to go with. Technology is constantly updating and changing. They’ll also recommend a sup

Regarding the best type of paper … Do a search for Red Grid Transfer Paper.

If you join our e-mail list, you’ll get access to my free t-shirt startup course. I’ll also recommend a specific company where you can get the best deal on this red grid paper.

Sign-up below … it’s FREE!

Leave a Comment:

58 comments
joshua washington says

I just want to thank you so much for the information and the motivation to keep grinding for my goal.

Reply
Tammie says

Thanks!

Reply
Sayana Gaines says

I’m very interested in starting my own T-shirt line and I am eager to learn all I can

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Sayana,

    That’s great!
    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.
    http://tshirtriches.com/protege300

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
eric says

do you have a printer that you recommend? i see a lot of people talk about the epson c88+, yet when i read the reviews i hear i see a lot of complaints.

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    HI Eric,

    We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

    Once you have your designs created; you can send the digital files of the designs to transfer companies. They can take your design and screen printed directly onto the special release paper. There are no printers involved in this process. All the designs are printed by screen printing equipment. Once the designs have been screen printed onto the special release paper instead of directly on shirts. They’ll send you the transfers; which you’ll press directly onto the shirts using the heat press machine you’ve purchased.

    The cost of having designs printed will vary; it depends on the amount of colors you have in the design. The more colors you have in the design the more it will cost. If you’re starting with a limited budget; we recommend no more than 2 colors.
    Another fact in cost of getting the designs screen printed will be determined by the amount of transfers you have printed. The less you have printed the more you’ll pay. The more you have printed the cost to have the transfers printed, cost drops.

    Or you can locate a local screen printer in your area to screen printed directly onto blank shirts you supply the screen printer to print on. It’s actually cheaper to purchase your own shirts and give to the screen printer. The price once again will be determined by the amount of colors in the design and how many shirts you have printed. You’ll need to locate a local screen printer in your area to determine prices.

    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.
    http://tshirtriches.com/protege300

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
Jerry Greene says

Im looking for aTshirt supplier, heat transfer printing company, and a label printing company

Reply
paddy toman says

would like to see the start up course

Reply
Mike says

What is the best printer that can do both heat transfer an sublimation should i buy. Budget around $700

Reply
Brandy Foster says

Hello
Wanted to sign up

Reply
Pavan dolase says

Which printer is best used for T shirt printing sublimation heat press. Please tell me model no price total set of digital T shirt printing please tell me sir.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Pavan,
    We do not recommending using a computer printer to make t-shirts. We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so. Hope this helps!

    Judy

    Reply
Jose San Miguel says

I have a brothers MFC-J6720DW printer is that a good printer to use

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Jose,
    The most important thing is that you are able to change out the cartridges with the special inks.

    Reply
Melissa Dyer says

Thank you for the information because I am trying to start a small home t-shirt printing company and is having problems finding affordable equipment until I get established to buy more expensive equipment.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Melissa!
    Definitely check sites like Amamzon or Ebay for less expensive machines. Just make sure you do a lot of research on the brand and read several reviews from actual users. Good luck to you!

    Judy Jolley

    Reply
Lse says

Hi!

I am looking to start a printing business – home based. Instead of printing on only tee shirts, I am looking to print on bags, pillow cases and etc.
Will a printer and a Silhouette Cameo 2 cutter be good enough?
Although, I understand a screen printed transfer is recommended but I plan to start small. Thanks in advance.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Lse!
    We have never used vinyl or a Silhouette machine personally so we cannot get you any advice in that direction. However, you can use screen printed transfers on bags and pillow cases. Try checking out the stock designs to see if they fit more in your budget. Sorry we couldn’t be of more assistance!

    Judy Jolley

    Reply
ShaTara Wilson says

Thank you so muc for posting this article. A life and money saver.

Reply
Charlene says

I think that it is completely insane that you are telling people not to do heat transfers. For people wanting to start their own business there is nothing wrong with heat transferring for t shirts. Most companies charge a ridiculous price to screenprint on a shirt. Every screen print company in my area uses siser heat transfers for glitter or foil imaging because you can’t get that with screen printing!! Follow your dreams people and heat press away. You can get same quality and your hard work will pay off. Shirts aren’t made to last 10 yrs. I mean the quality of the material alone in 2016 won’t give room for that so heat pressing is a great way to start a small business for those who aren’t rich*.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Charlene,
    We are not telling people to not use a heat press. We are telling people that we do not recommend printing from a home computer due to quality issues and to use screen printed TRANSFERS. Many transfer companies offer glitter, foil and even rhinestone transfers (Transfer Express is a great example). I hear vinyl is a good option, however we do not personally use it and have not tried it, therefore we do not suggest it to our users on the basis that we do not recommend things that we have not used. Many people also do not like the feel of it. They prefer a soft hand design. Screen printed transfers are the best option we have found for people to start their tee shirt business successfully. No, tee shirts are not made to last 10 years, but transfers printed from a home computer do not last past the first 10 washes in our experience. For a novelty tee or a shirt made for a special occasion, sure this might be suffice for your customers. However, most customers are looking for a quality product when they spend their hard earned money with a business. Your business relies on repeat customers and customer word of mouth. If your business is not delivering a quality product, you will not do well in these areas.

    Judy Jolley

    Reply
Gail Calbert says

Do you print your own transfers and then heat press them yourself, or do you have the designs professionally printed and heat press them yourself? Is 100% cotton or cotton blend the best for tee shirt printing?
How do heat transfers hold to washing with the least amount of fading?
Is Gildan a good quality tee shirt to use or not?

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Gail!
    We order our transfers from screen print vendors such as Transfer Express. We do not recommend printing your own from an inkjet printer due to quality. When using screen printed transfers, the design often outlasts the tshirt. The transfers are made using screen printing techniques that have been around for centuries due to their great quality. 100% cotton or a 50/50 cotton blend is recommended for hot split transfers, however if you are looking to use a different material there are transfers that are made for those as well (cold peel, elastiprint, etc). We personally use Gildan, so absolutely a good quality tee!

    Thanks!
    Judy Jolley

    Reply
John says

Hello there I’m very interested learning more. Thanks

Reply
Deborah Royals says

This is something I’m thinking about adding to my business I have now but I know Very little about making t-shirts

Reply
Tania says

Thanks and blessings ❤️

Reply
brad says

im interested to see your ideas…. i have a solid plan i think, but will take any advice i can.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Brad!
    Check out tshirtriches.com/training to find out how you can become a TShirt Riches member and get full access to our course.

    Reply
mukare says

thanks for posting this article

Reply
Ed Owen says

Interested in whatever information we can get on this topic. My son is a graphic designer and has started selling tshirts. Looks like it might turn into a family business. Than you.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Ed!
    I encourage you to take a look at our TShirt Riches training course! In the meantime, check out our You Tube channel for some free content on transfers and heat presses.

    Thanks!
    Judy

    Reply
Melissa says

I just came across your stuff a day ago and i’ve learnt so much keep up the good work you have been such a great help

Reply
Metrel says

Very inspiring thanks

Reply
Amanda Salinas, TX says

I have been looking to start a tshirt printing business along side my wood art/crafts. I have been researching for days on what route and brands of equipment I should use. You have thus far been the most help! Could you direct me on your choice of heat press and do you think the 5 n 1/ 6 n 1/8 n 1 heat press packages are a good investment just to start out?

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Amanda!
    We recommend Hotronix brand heat presses, however we understand that they may be too expensive for those starting out. It is certainly possible to find a decent press on sites such as Amazon or Ebay, however you will want to do extensive research on the brand/model and read several reviews by actual customers. We do not have any experience with all in one presses, so we can’t really say either way. Gecko is a decent, less expensive brand though!

    Thanks,
    Judy Jolley

    Reply
Linda Escobedo says

Looking at starting t-shirt business.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Linda,
    Here’s some more information you may find useful!

    Your biggest expense getting started will be the heat press machine 16×20 in size. The brand of machines we recommend is Hotronix.

    The machine starts at $995 and up.
    http://www.tshirtriches.com/heat-press-machine-101/

    We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

    Once you have your designs created; you can send the digital files of the designs to transfer companies. They can take your design and screen printed directly onto the special release paper. There are no printers involved in this process. All the designs are printed by screen printing equipment. Once the designs have been screen printed onto the special release paper instead of directly on shirts. They’ll send you the transfers; which you’ll press directly onto the shirts using the heat press machine you’ve purchased.

    The cost of having designs printed will vary; it depends on the amount of colors you have in the design. The more colors you have in the design the more it will cost. If you’re starting with a limited budget; we recommend no more than 2.
    Another fact in cost of getting the designs screen printed will be determined by the amount of transfers you have printed. The less you have printed the more you’ll pay. The more you have printed the cost to have the transfers printed, cost drops.

    We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors as well as vendors to purchase blank shirts.

    The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

    If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list http://www.tshirtriches.com/where-to-get-custom-t-shirt-transfers/.

    Or you can locate a local screen printer in your area to screen printed directly onto blank shirts you supply the screen printer to print on. It’s actually cheaper to purchase your own shirts and give to the screen printer. The price once again will be determined by the amount of colors in the design and how many shirts you have printed. You’ll need to locate a local screen printer in your area to determine prices.

    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
Rabhul says

I want to know that transfer paper can be used in normal printers for t-shirt printing

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Rabhul,
    We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

    Reply
Viliami says

Sorry I don’t have a actual website but I want to start a small printing business here in nz

Reply
Adil Sheikh says

I want to know about the best methods of transfer printing tshirts.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Adil!
    We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

    Once you have your designs created; you can send the digital files of the designs to transfer companies. They can take your design and screen printed directly onto the special release paper. There are no printers involved in this process. All the designs are printed by screen printing equipment. Once the designs have been screen printed onto the special release paper instead of directly on shirts. They’ll send you the transfers; which you’ll press directly onto the shirts using the heat press machine you’ve purchased.

    The cost of having designs printed will vary; it depends on the amount of colors you have in the design. The more colors you have in the design the more it will cost. If you’re starting with a limited budget; we recommend no more than 2.
    Another fact in cost of getting the designs screen printed will be determined by the amount of transfers you have printed. The less you have printed the more you’ll pay. The more you have printed the cost to have the transfers printed, cost drops.

    We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors as well as vendors to purchase blank shirts.

    The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

    If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list http://www.tshirtriches.com/where-to-get-custom-t-shirt-transfers/.

    Or you can locate a local screen printer in your area to screen printed directly onto blank shirts you supply the screen printer to print on. It’s actually cheaper to purchase your own shirts and give to the screen printer. The price once again will be determined by the amount of colors in the design and how many shirts you have printed. You’ll need to locate a local screen printer in your area to determine prices.

    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
Tempress Lewis says

new to the business haven’t purchased anything but a heat press so far so any suggestions would be great.

Reply
Deep chand says

Sir what is start up course. M starting T shirt printing business.ls it free.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi there!
    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
Samuel Fannin says

Thanks

Reply
Tasha Hall says

I want to start my own business but I am clueless lol. What kind of printer do I need and what kind of heat press machine is the best.

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Here’s some more information you may find useful!

    Your biggest expense getting started will be the heat press machine 16×20 in size. The brand of machines we recommend is Hotronix.

    The machine starts at $995 and up.
    http://www.tshirtriches.com/heat-press-machine-101/

    We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

    Once you have your designs created; you can send the digital files of the designs to transfer companies. They can take your design and screen printed directly onto the special release paper. There are no printers involved in this process. All the designs are printed by screen printing equipment. Once the designs have been screen printed onto the special release paper instead of directly on shirts. They’ll send you the transfers; which you’ll press directly onto the shirts using the heat press machine you’ve purchased.

    The cost of having designs printed will vary; it depends on the amount of colors you have in the design. The more colors you have in the design the more it will cost. If you’re starting with a limited budget; we recommend no more than 2.
    Another fact in cost of getting the designs screen printed will be determined by the amount of transfers you have printed. The less you have printed the more you’ll pay. The more you have printed the cost to have the transfers printed, cost drops.

    We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors as well as vendors to purchase blank shirts.

    The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

    If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list http://www.tshirtriches.com/where-to-get-custom-t-shirt-transfers/.

    Or you can locate a local screen printer in your area to screen printed directly onto blank shirts you supply the screen printer to print on. It’s actually cheaper to purchase your own shirts and give to the screen printer. The price once again will be determined by the amount of colors in the design and how many shirts you have printed. You’ll need to locate a local screen printer in your area to determine prices.

    We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

    Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.

    http://tshirtriches.com/training

    Reply
B says

Thank you for the advice

Reply
Add Your Reply