Interview: Using High Heat Inks to Print Quality T-shirt Transfer at Home 

By  Cartess Ross

Tim's Daughter
Tim’s Daughter

Tim Braun spent about 50 minutes with me discussing the process he uses to print his own transfers from home…

Unlike the typical transfers purchased from the store and the cheap inks that come with inkjet printers, Tim’s method of printing transfers with high heat pigment inks allows him to print quality t-shirts on-demand.

He currently has several of his t-shirts in 2 nationally known retail chains with more stores waiting to see how well those 2 stores perform with his tees…

So if you’re just getting started in the t-shirt business and you’re looking for the cheapest way to get started… This is it.

Listen in on this amazing interview!

***IMPORTANT — The audio has a lot of static and I’ll warn you now that it’ll be annoying hearing all of the popping sounds. There are periods where you won’t hear the popping sounds at all so bear through it… I assure you that the interview will have the information you need to get going. The recording application I used was a new one and I didn’t realize the quality would be affected because of the Internet based telephone service I use at home. I’ll try and get this transcribed in the coming week or two.

[interview is no longer available]

During the interview, Tim talked about the various types of  products you can upsell to others who purchase your t-shirts by adding the ‘sublimation’ process to your business… Take a look at the extra profits he’s earning below:

These are ceramic Christmas ornaments (I forgot to mention these) that I’m making for the city. I made 300 numbered, two sides.  I get $5/ea and I make 6 at a time.  They cost $1.23 ea.The second photoshows all 300 finished on one side.  The third one shows a snowflake type I’m doing for someother businesses.  This was all done with a heat press, the special inks/paper and nothing else.

These are custom made clocks.  It’s done on a coated-hardboard, also with a heat press.  Very simple.

The left are signs we make.  The middle is a sample of magnets andthe right are coasters.  All w/ heat press

The left is a mouse pad and the right are school pennants. Both with heat press.

So You Want to Design and Sell T-shirts!!

Tim has put together an eBook that lists his sources and suppliers… He also supplies a contact name of an individual whose very knowledgeable about almost every type of printer on the market and this person can best recommend what printer to get or what inks to use with the type of inkjet printer you already have.

In addition, Tim also covers these topics as well…

  • What type of paper to get along with his source
  • He also explains why you should always get the 11×17 sized sheets
  • What you must do before printing your first transfer
  • And what to do AFTER your transfers come out of the printer
  • Tim also explains why you should have a Teflon sheet and Teflon  pillow
  • He also includes his supplier for blank t-shirts and how to get free shipping
  • Tim provides a few FREE marketing tips that’ll help get you into local stores
  • He also touches on sublimation printing and why you should add this to your business TODAY

All of Tim’s ‘Get-Started-Now’ info is packed inside of 16-pages of no-fluff content… No fillers, no fluff… Just 16 solid pages of key information to get you started right away…

Cartess Ross

I will guide you through this process and provide you with proven strategies to help you build a t-shirt company. As one of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago, I've sold millions of dollars in t shirts to people all over the world. I founded TshirtRiches in 2007 to teach others how to turn their t-shirt ideas into a business. So if you're ready, hop onboard and let's make this money!

Cartess Ross

  • Cartess
    There’re so many different types of heat transfers,
    How do you tell whats the best and closes to screen printing for long lasting shirts
    If I look at my t-shirts that I bought over the years
    I cant tell if its a screen print or a heat transfer shirt.


  • Thanks for sharing this interview with us. I am getting back into the business and this interview gave me some great ideas. Thanks again and please continue to share and God will bless you tremendously.

  • Hi Cartess,

    I just ordered Tim Braun’s E-book but when I logged on to the members area to get it, it’s no where to be found. Please let me know where the e book is downloaded so that I may start reading.



  • Melita Kovacs says:

    Tim spoke about two kinds of ink to use in printing that is the pigmented ink and dye ink for sublimation. Would that mean we need to install two printers to do both? Or if we just want to start a business just t shirts (cotton shirt), what brand of printer he can advise and where to get the cartridges that can use refillable ink to make your production cheaper? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon. Regards

    • Melita,

      You should only use pigmented inks if you want to produce a quality printed shirt. Sublimation MUST use it’s own special inks. They aren’t pigment or dye, but a special ink that turns to a gas at a high heat. You should have a different printer for each.
      Hope this answers your questions. The ebook will give you a lot more information.

      • question,

        if I just starting out, should I go with the pigmented inks or the sublimation inks?

        • Hi Mern,

          You may do which ever print you feel most comfortable with. As well as whatever plan you have for your business in regards to the type of products you wish to provide.
          I would recommend starting there and deciding what exactly it is you wish to do and what’s within your budget.

  • Tyler Hogan says:

    Hi Cartess,
    Regarding sublimation heat transfer printing, what inks would you recommend printing with? Pigment vs Dye

    • You have to use a sublimation ink. It’s a special ink that turns to a gas when heated. Sublimation will not work with dye or pigment ink.

      • what printer is best for sublimation printing? and I am trying to figure out how to buy your book tim

  • I just purchased the ebook. where is it located? i do not see it when i log in to the modules.

    • After you purchased, you should have been directed to a page to create a user/pass… And from there, you login to access the book. I just sent you an email with the book and your login details earlier.

  • Awesome interview, packed full of very usefull information. One question, if you are printing your designs and they are going straight to the store, how do you protecting your design? I know there is not a lot you can do but do you have any suggestion.


    • Wenallis,
      Short of registering a federal copyright (expensive) for each design, there’s not much you can do. You already automatically have a copyright on anything you design without doing anything (you should always place a copyright notice on anything you want to protect). The question then arises, “Do you have enough money to go to court and protect your copyright?” Most businesses are honest and will honor a copyright notice, but if you are worried about someone stealing you work, it could happen, but it’s not very probable.

  • I listened to the interview a few times and i’m still confused on what ink I should be using to print. I own a hp printer and I would like to know the type of ink i should be using and where to get the cartridges that can be use to refillable ink to make your production cheaper?

    • You can only use Epson printers for inkjet high heat pigment inks. For more info on the types and where to get the inks and papers, please read the ebook on printing with high heat inks that Cartess has.

  • I thought you were going to post what printer and inks we need to get. And the suppliers. Am I to assume we now have to purchase that information?

    • Tim has packaged it up and put into an eBook. The short answer to your question is a yes. He’s shared a bunch in the interview and the cost he’s asking for will save you a TON of money in the short run. So far, the reviews have been great from others who’ve purchased. It’s well worth it.

  • Tim and Cartess,

    I really like printing my own transfer and making t-shirt per order to reduce inventory and also be able to adapt to new trend and changes, but because of Cartess’s strong recommendation of getting heat print tranfers, I was little unsure either.

    Now, Tim is doing fine with Epson pigmented printer. I’m little more confused, but it all comes down to $$$.

    What would you recommend? My plan is to start with 2 to 3 dozen designs and gradually grow to many (several hundreds)

    A. invest a few hundred dollars for in-house printing up front

    B. Stick with heat press transfers from vendor but go with limited design and reduce per T-shirt cost

    • Hi Justin…

      I’d go with option A. Print your own to kind of test the market first. If you’re on a tight budget, better to use the money to see which of your designs would actually sell well. Once you determine that, if you then decide to go custom screen printed transfer route, then by all means.

      If I were starting out, I’d likely go this route — print my own stuff to test the market and then upgrade.

      I imagine Tim will chime in…

  • Hey Justin!

    You have pinpointed The BIG question that everyone must determine for themselves. I agree with Cartess completely, and that is what I have done. My biggest sellers are now transfers I have custom printed and I continue to print several by inkjet while I test the market.
    While I believe this is the best way to get started, also remember this is also a good way to make great $$ for overnight printed shirts or same-day shirts. You can’t do that with only custom printing.
    Good Luck with your venture!

    • Thank you Tim. I know you mentioned about “testing out” design with few shirt, but still wanted to make sure that custom heat press transfers would still make sense or not when you start out with new business.

      Anyways, thank you both Tim and Cartess. I need to do little more prep before I open up my web store and finalize more designs but these tips would helpful

  • gabe arroyo says:

    hey cartess and tim, i purchased tims book but i dont see it available on the site to view when i log in. is this a seperate email course that you send to me directly via email. i am anxious to read his point of views and advice on what has worked for him.

    • Try logging in now — when u login, you’ll see a link in top navigation menu that says “My Products”. Hover your mouse over it and you’ll see link referencing Tim’s ebook.

  • Hi Cartess,
    I’m currently listening to your interview with Tim (quality content) thank you.. Just curious is Tim’s ebook something your paid members receive as benefit for being a member or is this something we members purchase as well. I didnt see the ebook when I logged into the members only section so I assume we probably purchase It but I wanted to be certain.. Thanks again for the great content you bring.

    • Hi Sean,

      Thanks for the kind words… Yes, the ebook is additional as it’s not my content. Before we did the interview, Tim received a bunch of emails and phone calls from people who saw an earlier post on the website. After that, it was decided to package up an ebook that he could sell so he wouldn’t be tied up answering a bunch of questions and receiving a ton of e-mails.

  • Hi Tim,
    I just listened to your interview, thanks for sharing and congratulations on your success. I have several question most are probably answered in your ebook so I wont bother asking until I read the ebook. However I am curious to know what was the Fire Department shirt you ceated that went over so well? Do you have a sample of the shirt /design on your website? Thanks so much!!

    • Scratch that post Tim, I found the design.. Great stuff!!!

  • Tim and Cartess:

    I have been hesitant to start printing my own transfers because I’m concerned with having to cut out the left over transfer off the sides. I don’t think that will be too much of a problem. but what about the interior parts of designs, to give an example, in one of Cartess’ videos he used the Epson WorkForce 7010 and printed a fish. You can cut off the outside excess but what about the inside of the fish? Will that not feel a little sticky or something since it has not been cut away? And secondly, If a person is using the Epson Workforce 7010, what kind of inks should one use and where can they be purchased? The reason I ask is because since I saw Cartess using the Epson Workforce 7010 and seemed to like it, I checked it out and thought it was good cuz it’s a wide format printer, so I purchased it. I have had it a few weeks now but haven’t even opened the box cuz I’m unsure about using the inks that came with the machine, not to mention my other questions about the transfers. Is there a weed free transfer that can be purchased for inkjet printers? Because no-one seems to have any. I am really unhappy about this situation. I feel like I’m in limbo. Please help.

      • Galina,

        Sorry for the delay in answering your questions. There is no need to cut out the interior parts of the design. It will appear as clear and will wash out. You should always use high-heat inks, not the ones that come with the printer. All of this and more,, and where to get the inks, that you will need to know is covered in my ebook Cartess has. Good luck with your venture!!

  • Just purchased a 7010 epson printer. What paper setting do I want the printer on? plain/bright paper., glossy photo, matt photo, premiun paper?? Thank you. Denny

    • Hi Denny,

      You may set the settings on your printer to best quality for printing.

      • Denny,

        Use the pain paper setting. In Epson printers, if you use the glossy setting which automatically sets to high quality, the printer doesn’t use black, but a combination of the other three colors to make black. This will not give you a true black, so use plain paper or matt paper. The matt paper setting will place a heavier ink in the paper. I prefer just using the plain setting, but remember to use only high-heat inks!!
        Good Luck!

        • Thanks Tim, I appreciate your feedback. I ordered the pigmented inks already. I purchased the red grid paper you recommended. However, I am having a hard time getting a good transfer. Alot of the ink stays sticking to the transfer paper. I bought the ifrared temperature gun, and actually had to set my press at 335 degrees to obtain the 350 degree set point. Directions on paper say 15-20 seconds. Do you think this is too long? Seems like paper is too hot, or heated too long? I have experimented and can’t seem to get a good transfer. Any suggestions? I find it hard to believe it has to be so precise. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Denny

  • Jorge Campos Larreynaga says:

    Hello Mr. Ross, I am slightly confused still. So I would use pigment ink to use on my Epson Printer? thanks in advance !

    • Correct… The ink that comes with the printer are not as good as the high heat pigmented inks.

      • Jorge Campos Larreynaga says:

        Thanks! May I purchase pigment ink anywhere?

  • I bought the red grid transfer paper Tim was talking about. I went by the directions @350 defrees F for 15-20 seconds. It transfers the outer portion of the print is fine, but the center is always screwed up, and pigmented ink stays to the transfer paper. I checked the plate with my infra red temp gun. It is somewhat of a cold spot compaired to the outer egdes. I’ve tried more heat, less heat, more pressure, less pressure, longer set time, less set time, and 2 hours later have not gotten a good shirt yet. What the heck am I doing wrong?? Why doesn’t all the ink come off the paper? I let the prints dry about 10 minutes before I try to apply them. HELP!!!! Den

      • Den,
        It sounds like you have a problem with your press not having an even temperature. You said the center has a cold spot, what was the temp in the center and the edges? It sounds like you are doing everything right, so if it is not transferring where the cold spot is, the problem lies with the press.

        • Another question Den, are you using 100% cotton shirts?

          • Tim, I am using 100% cotton shirts. The temperature is only abour 5 -7 degrees different. Do you think that’s a big deal? It’s a brand new press. How long do YOU press the red grid paper? 15 or 20 seconds. The company I purchased the inks from actually helped me set up my printer. You were right, he is a heck of a nice guy! He had me set it on matte setting. You think i’ts too much ink on the paper? If ink stays on paper should you increase heat, or increase the time you press it? Or shorten press time? I purchased your e-book. WORTH EVERY PENNY!! Thanks for your time and efforts helping me. Den

          • Denny,
            If your heat is right, and you are pressing for 18-20 seconds, then it has to be your pressure. Experiment with different pressures and see what happens. This is where experience comes in and you will eventually know where any problem lies. Good Luck!

  • Is there a particular brand of ink jet printer you would recommend? Just thinking of doing t-shirts and sweat shirts. Thanks.

    • Hi Gustavo,

      We recommend using any epson printer! We have the Epson WF-7010 which is the one we used for the heat transfer video. I’m sure there are better printers out there than the one I just suggested. Just be sure to read the reviews on what others say about the different epson printers available.

  • Debra Engelhardt says:

    I purchased the Epson 7010 and have not received it yet; my question is: Can I not use the ink that comes with the printer?? I purchased the one that includes the built in CISS, which is way more expensive, but thought I would save money on ink. The printer comes filled with pigment ink.

    • Hi Debra,

      You could. Just keep in mind, the pigment ink will make a world of difference in the quality of the printing and of course the Epson printer. 🙂

      • Debra,
        You can use the ink that comes with the printer, but it will probably crack after being washed and will not hold up as well. You should use high-heat pigmented inks.

        • Mike Hill says:

          I just bought an Epson wf7510, i bought the empty ink cartridges, and i just wanted to know does it matter what brand of the heat transfer ink i buy? I’ve noticed several heat transfer inks on ebay.

  • Hi Cartess/Tim,

    I am looking in to buying a Ricoh® SG3110DNW Geljet with Sublijet-R inks to be able to sublimate Coffee Cups for the corporate market here in the UK.

    Could you use these inks to print transfers for t-shirts to be pressed with a heat press?

    Best regards,


  • Hi,
    where can i obtain some of these HIGH HEAT INKS for the epson pigment printer and also what is the spray called that tim uses for the stickers?

  • Hi So the high heat pigmented inks+good printer machine and the papers that i can buy in your website will give me the good quality like i can order in : http://www.transferexpress.com?

    • Hi Alex,
      This method is much better than purchasing transfers from local stores and using regular printer ink. No, this will not be a better quality or equal to screen printed transfers.

      However, it will it’s another alternative to produce descent shirts to your customers; without having to worry about designs peeling or fading after the first wash. This actually allows a better start until you’re able to afford to have your designs screen printed.

  • Thank for Fast reply ..!! =)

    1)i saw that there are about 5 colors high heat pigmented, so i will be able to print only this colors or i can print all the colors…?

    2)I will start with the high heat pigmented inks but after how much time the quality of the print on the shirt will Decreased ? (i don’t want to sell bad quality of t shirts…)

    Have a nice day..!!

    • Hi Alex,

      No problem! You’ll be able to print all colors you need to print! 🙂

  • I’m purchasing a heat press off of eBay.com today or tomorrow because that’s what I can afford right now. I have a HP inkjet printer and I contacted HP and they said their ink is pigmented ink. I value your opinion. In your opinion, should I stick with my HP printer or should I purchase the epson printer? I know that printing my own designs will save money as compared to purchasing them from a vendor. Also, I think it would be better to purchase the transfer paper from you. I’m trying to count up the cost as well as cut and consider the expense but I don’t want to ever compromise quality. I’m trying to understand this whole process. Ive watched your videos, done my homework and my head is full of knowledge. So i understand all the info ive taken in, and it gets confusing at times, all i need is my designs, t-shirts, heat press, transfer paper, printer, high heat pigmented inks, marketing plan and get to get started? Please help me with clarification so I can get started.

    • Hi Celia,

      If you’re really concerned about quality wise than we do suggest you have your designs screen printed. You should consider having your designs sent out to be screen printed.

      However, if you can not afford to do that now since you’re just getting started, we understand. However, we do recommend the Epson WF-7010 printer over the hp.

      >>>> all i need is my designs, t-shirts, heat press, transfer paper, printer, high heat pigmented inks, marketing plan and get to get started? >>>>>
      Yes, but you should study and know the market you’re wanting to go after as your customers as well.

  • Frederick Robinson says:

    I was not able to listen to the interview, when i tried to click on the link nothing happend

    • Hi Frederick,

      Please make sure there wasn’t an issue with your internet connection.

  • Hello Cartess & Tim,

    This is a great way to do sample shirts and test marketing! Thanks for the info. We have an epson printer, but not this model. I see the model that Tim used is discontinued and the suggested model is the one Cartess uses. My concern is about the Epson accepting non epson ink? Our current epson only excepts Epson ink…it has to recognize the chip on the cartridge and we cant get them refilled because of that. We have to purchase Epson ink. Is this new model (the Epson WorkForce 7010) able to accept the inks you specify? I love my epson, but our recent ink problems have changed my mind. I’m hoping you can put my mind at ease!!!
    Thanks for the info. and all you do!

    • Hi Dan,

      The printer we recommend is the Epson Wf-7010. This printer will allow you to use the high pigment inks.

  • If I invest in an expensive printer, will the process of printing on transfers be simple and efficient? I am a little skeptical spending $200-300 if it will not work out.

  • Hi, ordered Tim’s Ebook and don’t know how to access it. Thanks!

    • Hi Yvonne,

      It appears that you didn’t complete the process to create your own username and password. Please check your email; I have created it for you.

      • Hi Kim, sorry about that! Thank you for fixing it for me. 🙂

  • I wanted to buy the e-book, but my main reason was to get a list of the suppliers for the high heat pigmented ink. Before I purchase it I wanted to know if the list of suppliers included a list of more then just a few companies of this. Thanks

    • Hi Chynell,

      There are several companies included in the ebook. 🙂

  • Hi Cartess or Kim,
    I cannot see any “download” or “play” button to hear the interview with Tim. Can you help?

    • Hi Teri,

      I apologize it’s been worked on as I reply to your comment.

  • I cant get the interview to play at all either,,

  • BTW internet connection is fine on my side.. just when I click on the link for the interview it does not take me to it..

    I would love to hear it…..

  • hi, i just purchased the ebook, but where can i find it?

  • Hello,
    Where can i go to purchase Tim’s ebook since the interview is no longer available?

    • Hi Jackes,
      I don’t believe it is around anymore. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance!

      Thank you,
      Judy Jolley

  • Tims interview is unavailable. How can I get the book?

    • Hi Carol,
      Unfortunately the book is no longer available. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  • I wanted to know how I buy tim book because I want to know more about sublimation

  • AJ Franklin says:

    I can’t find a link for the pigment ink cartridges all 4 and the ink any tips

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