Why Use Heat Transfer Paper for Making Your Own T-shirts?

Heat Transfer Paper T-shirt

Heat transfers, also known as plastisol transfers, is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to create t-shirts for your home business. Plastisol transfers are much different from the type of heat transfers printed from a home computer.

With plastisol transfers, a screen printer will go through the exact same process of screen printing a t-shirt, but instead of printing onto the shirt, they print the design onto a special release paper (plastisol transfer), which can later be used with a heat press machine to transfer the plastisol inks from the paper and onto a t shirt.

So you’ve essentially got yourself a screen print quality t-shirt because the same inks traditionally used by screen printers, are now on your transfer paper… The quality of the transfer is great and these types of t-shirts can last for many years without peeling, breaking or fading away.

Heat Transfer Paper to Avoid like the Plague

Not all heat transfer papers are the same… Don’t buy the heat transfer paper from local hobby stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joann’s. These are much different from screen printed transfers, or plastisol transfers.

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The type of heat transfer paper sold in these hobby stores are more like iron on transfers. They’re are cheap and do not provide the same quality as the screen print transfers I recommended earlier. These cheap t shirt transfers will usually break, fade and smudge almost immediately after the first wash.

Your customers will be upset and angry with you and will likely never purchase t-shirts from you again if you print with these cheap iron on transfer papers.

Plastisol screen printed transfers are the way to go. I’ve been using this screen print transfer method since 1999 to press and sell hundreds of thousands of screen print quality t-shirts to customers all over the world.

Here are a few other reasons why you should consider using this method for getting your t-shirt designs onto t-shirts:

Quality: Your clients want quality. They are putting their trust into you, and you want to produce a product that is durable, looks great, and will last a long time. When your clients are satisfied with your product, they are more likely to recommend you to others.

Low cost: The heat transfer method is very cheap compared to other methods of creating t-shirt designs. Depending on your designs and methods for getting these printed, your costs can be much cheaper than the traditional screen printed route.

Easy to do:  Almost anybody can make t-shirts with this method. You come up with the design concept, send the artwork to a screen printer specializing in this method and that’s it.

Quick turnaround:  Making and pressing a bunch of t-shirts for your home t-shirt business is easy with this method. It typically takes only 8-10 seconds to transfer a design from the plastisol transfer, and onto the t-shirt when using a heat press. You can reasonably press about 50-60 t-shirts per hour.

Versatility: I like this method because you can transfer your designs onto a bunch of stuff other than just t-shirts. For example, you can transfer your designs on to hoodies, sweatshirts, pant legs, sleeves, aprons, jackets, etc… You can also purchase other types of presses and get your designs onto puzzles, coffee mugs, caps, etc…

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Leave a Comment:

17 comments
Virgil Moore says

I was looking to create my own plastisol heat transfers what materials do I need to make this possible? Thank you.

Reply
    Cartess Ross says

    I outsource this entire process to screen printers. You’ll need to have all the typical equipment a screen printer uses in order to make your own plastisol transfers. Unfortunately, we don’t screen print so I couldn’t tell you what supplies you’d need to accomplish this. Sorry.

    Reply
leslie says

Very helpful information. Thank you so much

God Bless

Reply
Danel says

Thanks for the info

Reply
Alicia says

Cartess, you are a God send, I literally just purchase 2 custom shirts today for a special event tmrw. How would you fill that order when you have to order screen transfers. Do u keep standby transfer? What do u do?

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Alicia,

    We thank you. However, 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://protege300.com

    Reply
T. Wilkins says

Thank you so much for quickly responding to my question. I appreciate this valuable information.

Reply
Edgar Santaella says

Hello Mr. Ross,

My question is WHERE DO YOU GET THE TRANSFERS PRINTED?

Thanks.

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    HI Edgar,

    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
M.P Nyakane says

I’ve the desire ito start my own t-shrt business. M in free State South Africa

Reply
Angel Rivera says

Goon day. My name is Angel and have an idea for a tshirt that can go global.
I saw the heat machine I want. Is there a special type of printer I can buy to do the transfer designs myself. Or…..

Help. Need advice .

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Angel,

    Here’s some more information you may find useful!

    Your biggest expense getting started will be the heat press machine 16×20 in size. We no longer sell the machines. The brand of machines we recommend, Hotronix. You can contact Stalhs directly to purchase the machine. The machine starts at $995 and up. http://hotronix.com

    Here’s some more information you may have very useful!

    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://protege300.com

    Reply
Frankye says

Do you carry the plastisol transfers? If I have a custom order and need only 1 could I get that, or is there a minimum amount that has to be ordered?

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    HI Frankye,

    I apologize we do not offer supplies.
    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 find the list of vendors in the course 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
Greg says

What is the different with printing transfer with a sublimation printer, than getting a screen printer to print your own design?

Reply
    Kimberly Ross says

    Hi Greg,

    Sublimation printing is basically printing on non-cotton items. The other scree printing, is mostly printing on cotton 50-50 or 100% cotton.

    Reply
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