image of a t-shirt press by Colman & Company

Adding a T-Shirt Press

Using a T-shirt press in your custom apparel business can add an additional source of revenue. A t-shirt press helps you reach more potential customers, as well as gives you a great way to bring your business with you on the road.

And, if you’re just starting, a t-shirt press is a relatively low-cost way to start building your business.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the advantages the t-shirt presses that you can get from Colman & Company, as well as give you a to-do-list. The list will help ensure you have everything you need to get up and running.

Advantages of A T-Shirt Heat Press

Low startup costs – T-Shirt press machines start around $1,000 or less. Making them affordable.  They will create a quick return on your investment. In other words, you can often sell enough to make your investment back quickly. Plus Profits..

It’s possible to make two to three times that amount in a single weekend pressing names and numbers for a little league.

Versatility – From sports teams to company shirts, there is a vast market out there for t-shirt press apparel. Your press can be used to create custom cut vinyl images. 

Also, names and numbers are a cinch.  Plus, you can press on beautiful spangle transfer designs as well as rhinestone transfers.

Space Saver – You can position a t-shirt press on an existing table or counter.   Even if you’re an at home business, the heat press doesn’t take up a ton of space.

On-the-go – t-shirt presses are also great for on-site custom apparel. You can take the machines to an event – whether it’s a sports tournament, conference, or trade show. You can create and cut the designs, and sell your custom apparel right at the event.

Education – Buying from Colman & Company means you get access to videos, support, and other educational materials to help you learn how to use the machine. They help you troubleshoot any issues.

Starting Your Own T-Shirt Press Business

What do you need to do to get your custom apparel business started?

    1. Get a business license. If you’re not already in the custom apparel business, you’ll need to get a business license.

      Depending on your state, the requirements for this will vary. You can check online or with your local small business organization.

    2. Find the right heat press for your business. There are multiple sizes of t-shirt presses. For commercial purposes, we always recommend going with at least a 15×15.

      The size of the heat press determines the size of the transfer image you can use.A smaller t-shirt press (like you can find at hobby stores) aren’t made for constant, commercial use.

      You can end up spending more than buying a good press that regulates the heat better. If you order a machine, before your press arrives, order a few blanks, and see which ones you enjoy working with the most.

      Taking time to learn which shirts work well with your machine will help you make good recommendations to your customers as well as get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

    3. Practice, practice, practice. Before you start filling your first order, practice on your machine

      Get comfortable with how to operate and maintain it. Try the different types of vinyl. Know how the different t-shirt blanks react to the heat press. Check that you’re centering the design correctly every time.

      Make up a checklist, so new employees know how to align the designs and how to press them.  Teach them to use the checklist till the become more experienced with your process.

    4. Start advertising. Now you can start getting out there and marketing your business. Check out our blog for tips on Facebook, Google, and word of mouth marketing.

      Use some of your best looking samples to show potential customers what their apparel could look like.

    5. Set pricing standards. Take the time to understand and work out what your pricing should be.

      You need to take into consideration the cost of the blank, the vinyl or other material, and your hours, plus profit. A straightforward calculation you can start with is a 75% profit margin.

      Meaning if the plain t-shirt, plus all the vinyl cost you $5, then you sell for $20.

    6. Machine maintenance. Properly care for your machine every day.

      Proper maintenance will ensure that it runs smoothly. Leaving issues unchecked can cause your t-shirt press to go out of services before it’s time.  Or worse yet, cause you to miss a significant order until it’s

    7. Sample blanks and materials. We’ve put together some great recommendations for plain t-shirts and blank shirts that work well with most t-shirt presses.

      Ask your sales rep or the support team at Colman & Company.

    8. Stock materials. Over time you’ll start to know what blanks and vinyl customers order the most.

      Having stock on hand ensures you can fill orders quickly without having to wait for them to be shipped to you.

Explore Your Profit Options

There are plenty of advantages to starting your custom apparel business using a t-shirt press machine.

From the low startup cost, the versatility of products you can create, to the ability to sell products directly at events.

You’ll find the learning curve on using a heat press machine is relatively short. Your turnaround time (how long it takes before you can start selling) gives you an excellent cost to profit ratio.

Whether you’re ordering premade transfers or creating them yourself, adding a t-shirt press to your t-shirt business adds more profit, opportunities, and you can have fun at the same time