Pressing T-shirts for 15 Minutes for a $200 Profit!

While pressing 40 t-shirts on camera for a church that did our t-shirt fundraiser, I show you some tips to ensure you’re heat pressing your t-shirts and transfers the proper way, and I talk about some other relevant things to starting a business with a t-shirt heat press machine.

Please Note: Excuse the heavy breathing in the video below — I later went to the doctor that evening and they said I had a bad case of ‘acute bronchitis’. The kids brought home a nasty cold that just didn’t want to go away…

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Leave a Comment:

89 comments
Dawn says

What type/brand of heat press are your using?  

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    Cartess Ross says

    I don’t have the model number in front of me, but it’s a brand by Hix (16×20). It’s a spare one I use in my garage at home when making videos.

    Reply
      craigbrown says

      If I’m on a low budget and wanna start off with iron press on for heat transfers for my tshirts is that ok to start off with the tshirt business until I know that my business is growing to buy a heat press machine and maybe other equipments

      Reply
        kimross says

        Hi Craig< I'm not sure what you're asking, but if I understand correctly. There's no way you can use an iron. An iron does not get hot enough, I apologize. Just pace yourself, save up for the heatpress and do what you can. Again, an iron will not work because it does not get hot enough.

        Reply
    Shanonne Johnson says

    I love it you are so funny. You are real, most poeple are so fake an phony and all out for themselves.

    Reply
      kimross says

      Hi Shanonne,
      We thank you for your kind words and taking the time to leave a comment! =)

      Reply
Deb says

How can someone new tell where the center of the shirt is?

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    Cartess Ross says

    As you print more and more, you’ll be able to eyeball it. In many cases, the t-shirts you order will have a vertical line/crease going down the center. It’s not always 100% accurate, but it gives you an idea of where the center is… If that line isn’t present, or you feel it’s off centered, you can use the tag in back of the shirt as your guide and center from that.

    If you’re trying to align letters and numbers and it’s important to have it centered, try a tool like the perfect transfer tool — see site here:
    http://www.perfecttransfers.co

    Reply
Sunflower038 says

How can I tell if the transfer is in the center of the tee?

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    Cartess Ross says

    As you print more and more, you’ll be able to eyeball it. In many cases, the t-shirts you order will have a vertical line/crease going down the center. It’s not always 100% accurate, but it gives you an idea of where the center is… If that line isn’t present, or you feel it’s off centered, you can use the tag in back of the shirt as your guide and center from that.

    If you’re trying to align letters and numbers and it’s important to have it centered, try a tool like the perfect transfer tool — see site here:
    http://www.perfecttransfers.com/

    Reply
Cartess Ross says

Hi John,

Hard to say what the problem was… Were most of your designs ‘rhinestones’? I know their process can be slightly different as it relates to applying onto tees…

It’s possible the transfers were from an old batch and if it sat in their warehouses to long, it could become an issue when printing — I recently purchased transfers from another wholesaler who resales transfers for other vendors and every last print failed to transfer…

Ideally, buy direct from the manufacturer of the transfer design and that’ll help ensure you’re getting ‘fresher’ transfers.

Some of the top companies are places like:

http://www.Airwavesinc.com (my top choice)

http://www.DowlingGraphics.com
http://www.TheWildSide.com

Hope this helps

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    john nanfito says

    Thank you very much. I will take a look at these companies.

    Reply
Cartess Ross says

Our t-shirt training course provides more resources, but one of the many places I purchase from is a company called TSC Apparel. You can find them here: http://www.TSCapparel.com

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Cartess Ross says

Welcome aboard and don’t hesitate to ask even more questions from the inside now that you’re a member 🙂

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Cartess Ross says

Some of the top companies are places like:

http://www.Airwavesinc.com (my top choice)

http://www.DowlingGraphics.com
http://www.TheWildSide.com

Hope this helps

Reply
Erlagolphy says

Is it necessary to have a vendors license when just starting or can it be done later?

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    Cartess Ross says

    Some of the companies may require a sales tax identification number to sale to you wholesale… Others may not.

    If you’re asking about business licenses, none of the vendors you purchase from will ask to see a business license. Local city and county governments will require you to have a business license — costs are fairly cheap – contact your local city/county clerk and they should be able to provide you more information…

    Legally, I can’t advise you on whether you need a license or not to begin with… It was several months after I started making money that I then purchased a business license… But that was me and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to follow in my footsteps 😉

    Reply
Cartess Ross says

I’ve purchased transfers that were made with rhinestones and have printed some successfully… But I haven’t had any customized for myself — they were all stock transfers.

Have you tried these:

http://www.justjen.com/rhinestone-transfers.htm

http://www.blinginitwholesale.com

http://customrhinestoneshirt.com/

http://www.dazzlingdesignsinc.com/home/ddi/page_15213/custom_transfer___artwork_set_up_fee.html

http://www.sparkle-plenty.com/curhtr.html

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Cartess Ross says

Shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re buying ‘dated’ transfers… Some transfer vendors put out crappy work — you shouldn’t be having this problem if your machine temp is correct, along with pressure and you’re applying it per the instructions that came with the transfers.

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Cartess Ross says

Absolutely… The most important thing is to just get started. You can upgrade and buy better equipment/transfers as your business starts making money.

Don’t go into debt trying to get this thing started. Start small and grow into it.

Buy used equipment from craigslist/ebay if you need to, but just get going — don’t delay!

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Cartess Ross says

Thanks Rhonda! I’m almost back to 100% capacity — instead of shooting videos at 12 and 3 a.m. in the morning, I probably should have been in the bed resting — but sometimes, I can’t help myself…. Laying in the bed, looking at the ceiling and twiddling my thumbs would have been counterproductive 🙂

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Adrian Osm says

excuse me i have a question would u be able to print my designs into shirts? and if u do how much would it cost?

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Cartess Ross says

Thanks and welcome to the site Karl.

This is indeed a great business to be in and it’s affordable to get started — even if it means saving up for 6-8 months, it’s still a cost effective biz to start…

Keep us posted on your progress and don’t hesitate to ask questions!

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Cartess Ross says

A lot of people are making money with political tees. As with anything, you’ll need to sit down and come up with a marketing plan/strategy to get your designs in front of people who are mostly likely to buy (we cover this in more detail in our online course: http://www.tshirtriches.com/training )

It may mean setting up tables at different rally happening in and around your city… Advertising on various political websites/blogs, direct mailing to people with specific political affiliations, etc…

But there are people who will buy what you have to sell…. Just gotta get your stuff in front of them.

It takes time and planning — and will require some work and effort on your part to find these folks, but they’re out there and they have money to spend.

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Cartess Ross says

Thank you so much!

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Mike says

C…when you made this video, were you concerned about getting burnt at all? 🙂

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    Cartess Ross says

    No concern whatsoever… After you press a few times, it’s not a scary thing at all. I don’t even think about it at all.

    Reply
Cartess Ross says

I don’t know where you can purchase blank ‘plastisol transfer papers’. These are run through a printer — they’re actually screen printed onto by a screen printer.

Contact a local screen printer in your area and ask if they can do this for you — some may. You don’t just buy this paper and start printing from a computer/printer.

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Cartess Ross says

Hi Andruew,

Once you clap down onto the shirt with the top of the handle that applies pressure. If you are unsure, I would suggest contacting the company/individual you purchased the heat press from.

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Cartess Ross says

Thank you very much for your kind words!

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Cartess Ross says

Hi Luis,
You could literally purchase a printer for under a $100 bucks to get started. Your biggest expense will be the heat press. In which, you can easily find a reasonable heat press off ebay. The heat press machines can start any where from $200 and up.
However, these heat press machines are not good machines and it’s not something we recommend. However, these machines are good enough to get start, and eventually you’ll need to replace the heat press machine. You can replace the machine once your business is making money, and when your business can actually pay for itself.

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Cartess Ross says

Hi,
If you haven’t already sign up for our FREE “mini” course and email mailing. There’s also a video explaining how to press the shirts, alignment, etc.

Thanks

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Cartess Ross says

Yes you can… I’ll be putting some options up soon.

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Arielle says

Hi Mr. Ross, my name is Arielle I didn’t have the money to buy your course bt I did manage to listen to all of your free videos I really paid attention too. I didnt have any money so I called my mom she let me use her credit card to buy the heat press because she believed in me, so I came up with a theme of red,white and blue tees for the campaign. I’m selling re-elect Obama tees ppl have been placeing orders, I have to tell you it feels good to be making a honest living now. I have 5 children 13 and under I needed a change I just want to thank you (~.~) I’ve been looking on line for different webites sites for transfers and Tees they are a bit expensive bt I’m maintaining I gotta start somewhere you have a wonderful day.

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gary says

hello cartess,
just wanted to say your videos are very informative. i have learned a lot from them. i will be ordering your course in the very near future. i cant wait to get started. i just watched the video were you print 40 shirts.i learned soo much from just watching. your great!!!!
thanks for all the info, and for just being you, .

sincerley,
gary

Reply
    kimross says

    Hi Gary,

    We thank you for taking the time to contact us and thank you for all your kind words!

    Reply
Claude Desrochers says

Hi Mr Ross, I just start making some t-shirts for myself I have a brand new Ricoma heat press 16×24 and my problem is the teeshirt arount the heat transfers doesn`t stick on the shirt is stay on paper transfer,please I need help,thanks

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    kimross says

    Hi Claude,
    The transfers you purchased should have the directions which provides the temperature the heat press needs to be set on and the amount of time the lever need to stay onto the shirt. Also, be sure to allow the machine to sit 30 minutes prior to using the machine. Try that and if it still continues, make sure the machine does not need to be cleaned, you’ll clean the machine just as you would anything else. IF it continues, just make sure you don’t have any bad transfers that’s causing the issue. If it there’s still an issue…it’s possible there may be an issue with the heat press machine.

    Reply
Larry says

Cartess, how do I monetize my profits in selling 40 tees to make a $240-$280 profit and the four fund raisers make a $500? What do I charge for my service to come up with a profit of $240-$280? We all need to know this so we can have a guide to charge for our shirts and service.

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    Cartess Ross says

    Keep in mind this was a fundraiser… The church get tees from us at wholesale — around $7 bucks and they resold them for $21.95. The markup their prices as high as they want. Which explains why they only sold 40 tees. If the prices were lower — like around $15.95 they could have probably sold 100+ tees. The higher they charge, the less the’ll sell.

    But, 40 tees at $21.95 – $7.00 wholesale cost still leaves them with a $14.95 profit x 40 tees = $598.00

    Cost me around $100 bucks for the tees and transfers… And if I’m charging $7/each tee x 40 of them = $280 – $100 for my costs, leaving me with $180 bucks for an hours worth of work — not bad.

    No secret formula — u just gotta know your numbers and I work in volume — 40 tees was a small order, which is why I did it on video so I could show and explain while I pressed the tees on video.

    I buy in huge bulk so I can get transfers for much cheaper — thus allowing me to make a much larger profit… It’s all a numbers game.

    Reply
Alan says

Cartess, when starting out, is there any data on the most popular sizes and colors of shirts? I want to be able to take advantage of case pricing, but obviously don’t want to buy every color in every size. Appreciate the help and the information you provide.

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    kimross says

    Hi Alan,
    The data you’re asking about would basically come from you knowing your market and knowing what your audience wants. If you have a particular niche you’re going after great. From there, you’ll learn what items are more likely to sell faster and what you need to purchase more of. 🙂

    Also, it doesn’t mean you have to go buy the entire store or stock up on items you “think” you need. You may purchase a few shirts here and there, as orders come in and until your business is able to afford to support itself and purchase an inventory based on your sales and what you know about your market. Again, the colors, sizes, etc. will be determined on the market of individuals you’re targeting to be your clients.

    Reply
Sylvia Jones says

Hi Cartess,

What size transfer would you suggest to order for most T-shirt sizes? Is it do-able to have the design tranferred on one size transfer paper and it will accomodate small-XXXL Tees? For example, ordering 12×14 transfer for all size Tees. Thanks

Sylvia

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    Cartess Ross says

    Hi Sylvia… A standard adult size transfer of 11×11 can easily fit onto adult small through 4XL with no problem. You can even go 11×14. The absolute max would be 14 x 11.25, but even I wouldn’t go that wide on standard adult size.

    You should be fine with a 12×14 for the size ranges you’re targeting.

    Reply
Ian says

Hi Cartess, your videos have been very helpful!

I’m excited about starting a T-Shirt business, have just got hold of a heat press transfer and have two questions.

1.Is it better to get an inkjet, laser, or sublimation printer?

2.What kind of transfer paper do you use?

Thanks,

Ian

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Evan blakely says

hi u doing mr.ross I have a few question what size heat press machine do u use in your video? I Been seeing good deals on 15/15 press machine. Is that size okay to start off with?

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    kimross says

    I’m using a 16×20 and the 15×15 is a great machine to get started with…

    Reply
Evan blakely says

Thank you very much

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Evan blakely says

I’m planing to use inkjet printer and buy screen print transfer. Is okay u think if I get a all on one printer? Or should I get a separte printer just for my transfer?

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Evan blakely says

I have a buch of old white t shitrts could I practice on old shirts ? Or is it best to practice on brand new shirts ? Thank u

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    kimross says

    Hi Evan,

    It probably will not hurt to practice on old shirts. However, you’ll get a better idea of what you’re doing with the new shirts. However, just make sure to apply heat to the old shirts before applying the transfer to be pressed onto the shirt. This will allow you to straighten the shirt out as much as possible and that will make a difference.

    Reply
Evan blakely says

Okay thank you very much I’m was listen to your interview with Tim. So if I buy the 29 dollars package That tims gives his info how would I receive it in a download ? After I pay how quick will I get the information? Thank u

Reply
    kimross says

    Yes, it’s an ebook that’s received immediately after following the steps during the process.

    Reply
Evan blakely says

Thank you so much. On 16*20 press machine will I be able to press coffee mugs and shot glasses? Or do I need to get some kind of attachment to do those kind of things

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Xan says

Hi Cartess,

Is 8.5×11 inkjet transfer sheets too small to print most designs? I’m leaning more towards 11×17 sheets. God Bless you!

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    kimross says

    Hi Xan,

    It will be too small you’ll need a printer that prints up to at least 13″ x 44″

    Reply
Almetra says

Hi Cartess,

I have started mt tshirt biz, I purchased some heat transfer from a company. I followed their intructions on applying the transfers. I can’t seem to get them to apply correctly every time. I did some research and found that you can over cure them. I ca,,Ed the company any they only give you the same instructions again. Some time they are like plastic which I found out is (over cured) and some time some of the ink transfer and some don’t. I have messed up a few shirts with this adjusting presser and temp and still I only have one perfect transfer. The ones with the heavier ink seems to be my problem. I am trying to do a Labor Day Fair, I need help.
Thanks

Reply
    kimross says

    HI Almetra,

    I would really recommend you contact that company directly. You can try adjusting the temperature to a higher temperature. If you’re already setting the temperature on 385 go higher and be sure to allow the heat press machine to sit 30 minutes prior to using it. Again, I recommend you contact the company directly.

    Reply
Jakki says

Hi Mr. Ross,

I would like to know can you print on both sides of a T-shirt and
you say that the transfers you are using are open stock does that
mean anyone can order them?
Thank you
Jakki

Reply
    kimross says

    Hi Jakki,

    You would print on the back of the shirt just as you have printed on the front. Print on the front of the shirt and flip the shirt over to print on the back. Stock transfers are pre-made transfers with designs already made. You may purchase the transfers for personal use or to resell as your own.

    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/

    Reply
Kelsey Harvey says

Thank you !!

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margaret says

I noticed that in the video, you had t-shirts of various colors and sizes to fulfill the fundraising order. Do you keep a stock pile of t-shirts in different colors & sizes? Or are you ordering the tees when you get an order? Also, what sizes do you sell the most of for men and women’s?

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    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Margaret,

    We usually keep a stock of shirts on hand. When we first got started we ordered shirts as the orders came in because we couldn’t afford to purchase a full inventory of supplies. The sizes will vary on the market you’re selling to. You’ll need to learn who your market is and you’ll be able to know which size/shirts tend to sell the most.

    Reply
Grace says

How do you create your own designs to put on shirts if you choose too or want your own designs too ..?.. Please get back !! -Grace

Reply
    Cartess Ross says

    Hi Grace,

    If you’re asking which program to use or how to create designs. I would highly recommend hiring a graphic artist. The programs used are Adobe programs like photoshop, illustrator, design just to name a few. The programs are quite complicated, can take years to learn how to use the programs, and years to create designs that people will actually want to buy from you. It’s best to just hire a graphic artist who does this for a living instead of trying to learn how to do the task and do it all yourself.

    If you try doing it on your own without any design experience, and no experience in using the programs that’s time and money wasted. Use your time wisely and put your time to use into things that matters like starting your business and growing your business.

    Please keep in mind we do offer design services: Please click the link below.
    http://www.tshirtriches.com/t-shirt-design/?awt_l=MFInw&awt_m=3fG_SP3CGyHRtFh

    Reply
fannyg says

If i want 100 tees to have the same design do i have 100 transfer or could i use a couple to get the job done

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    Kimberly Ross says

    HI Fannyg,

    You will need 100 transfers printed in order to have 100 transfers regardless if the designs will be the same.

    Reply
Rhonda Dee says

What brand of transfer paper do you use and what brand of printer

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    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.

    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. 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

    We also have bundle packages available as well. Please click the link below.
    http://www.tshirtriches.com/t-shirt-business-opportunity/

    Reply
Patricia says

Hi. Will any size heat press work if im just starting out?

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Patricia,

    We recommend at least 16×20. Once you have the machine you have it, eventually you’ll need to print on larger items and anything less than the 16×20 you’ll run into issues.

    Reply
Joy says

Hello, Ive watched several of your videos and have gained a lot of knowledge about the tshirt business. I have purchased two heat presses, im looking for transfer companies that i can order my designs from. Can you forward and information that may be of help.

Reply
Benjamin Quarmon says

How you mr ross, I Need your advise. I want to start a t-shirt business. All I have is $500 and my designs. I want to start of with some quality stuff so my customers will be satify with what they pay for. My designs are pretty good but I want a professional artist to redraw them so I can copywriter them. Basically I font know where to start, mr ross. I need ur advise

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Benjamin,
    Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you have some great ideas and are ready to get started, but need to know exactly HOW to get started. In our course, we go over step by step how to start your business from the ground, including where to get your supplies and how to get your designs put on tshirts, how to market your business, and even information regarding copyrights. Consider this course as a map to guide you on starting your business. We have done the legwork for you and put it into simple modules that take you step by step on how to be successful. It’s not easy, but it is definitely worth it when you can be your own boss. We wish you the best!

    Reply
asmanubani says

What type/brand of heat transfer papers dark and white

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    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.

    Using this method, you don’t need to worry about the colors in your design or the colors of the garment you are using. You will get a uniform, crisp design regardless.

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
Rhonda says

Cartess – Does the heat press need to be pre-heated before starting the transfers? If so, what’s the recommended time.

Thanks

Reply
    Cartess Ross says

    It doesn’t have to be, however, some prints seem to do better with pre-heating the garment for about 2 seconds… Even when I do that, I don’t clamp it down, I just manually let the press touch the shirt. Some transfers, I don’t do it at all. Try pre pressing one and try one with out pressing and see if you can see/feel the difference.

    Reply
Patrick says

Hi where can I get the design from

Reply
    Judy Jolley says

    Hi Patrick!

    If you’re asking which program to use to create designs. I would highly recommend hiring a graphic artist. The programs used are Adobe programs like photoshop, illustrator, design just to name a few. The programs are quite complicated, can take years to learn how to use the programs, and years to create designs that people will actually want to buy from you. It’s best to just hire a graphic artist who does this for a living instead of trying to learn how to do the task and do it all yourself.

    Reply
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