If you’re looking for a profitable business with low startup costs, custom t-shirt printing can fulfill your entrepreneurial desire. Recent research suggests that the custom t-shirt printing industry will amass more than 10 billion dollars in 2025. Considering the increasing desire of individuals to express their unique style, you can secure a hefty share of this lucrative industry without a professional setup.
From a supply-chain perspective, this business option makes sense for the penny-pinching entrepreneur, as you don’t need a lot of inventory to kickstart your business. With high-quality graphic design software and an at-home screen printer, you can complete an order and have it ready to ship the same day.
When launching your custom clothing line from home, your overhead will be incredibly low, meaning you can offer customized printed t-shirts at a fraction of the cost of a regular t-shirt.
Custom t-shirt printing is also suited to fashion designers and inexperienced entrepreneurs alike. If you’re in the fashion industry or you want to start printing your clothes at home, the following steps will help you reach your goals:
Here is what you’ll need to start printing custom clothing at home:
- T-Shirt Inventory
- A high-quality blank apparel
- A graphic design software
- At-home screen printer
The first step to start printing your custom clothing business at home is to acquire high-quality t-shirts at a reasonable cost. There are a variety of very reputable sources, such as ShirtSpace. You can take a look at their wholesale prices by clicking here.
If you want to run your own business, try to buy in bulk. Purchasing items in bulk will allow you to minimize expenses.
Before committing to a t-shirt retailer, it’s essential to factor shipping time and shipping costs into your final decision. The shipping duration is worth noting if you plan to buy only a few pieces at a time. Because a fashion designer must usually adhere to tight deadlines and work with limited backup inventory, you should keep an eye on the shipping time for this reason, as well.
Much like the age-old sentiment explains, time is money. Not to mention, delays in shipping could cause customers to sever ties with your company, costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in sales. Therefore, it’s extremely vital to evaluate shipping costs before pulling the trigger and ordering hundreds of wholesale t-shirts.
Put simply, buying a t-shirt for $3 and paying half the price on shipping doesn’t make sense. Opt for suppliers with reasonable shipping rates to maximize profits. Otherwise, you may risk losing your business altogether.
High-quality blank apparel
Another critical aspect to consider is the type of t-shirt you will like to print on. If you want to sell t-shirts, then consider cotton t-shirts, which are known for the ease of printing, superior quality, and low cost. While traditional cotton t-shirts will suffice for most custom clothing designers, you may also want to research subcategories such as rung spin cotton and combed cotton. Similarly, polyester and linen are just two of the other choices from dozens of possibilities.
Well-reviewed graphic design software
Experts recommend opting for popular software like Photoshop and Coral Draw if you’re comfortable working with graphic design software and challenging your creativity. If these software options intimidate you or don’t have enough time to watch hours of tutorials, it may be better to try online templates, which have built-in PSD and mock-up files of pre-made designs. Tshirt Factory, Custom Ink, and PlaceIt are just a few of the many online platforms you can use.
If this route doesn’t sound appealing, you can always recruit a freelance designer to design a t-shirt graphic for you. For high-budget projects, Dribble and Behance are two online platforms used to find freelance designers that can refine, tweak, or enliven your design concept. For those designers looking to save money, Fiverr and ODesk are two examples of freelancing websites where you can hire a freelance designer at a fraction of professional platforms’ cost.
At-home screen printer
Screen printing is the most popular method to print custom designs on t-shirts. It’s a popular option because it doesn’t require costly materials and manages to produce exceptionally high-quality prints. It also offers users the ability to print in bulk.
Using a screen printer, you can stencil a graphic on cloth. In a typical setup, the first step is to build a screen and a stencil. Once created, you can push ink through the mesh onto your t-shirt.
There are usually three types of inks used for printing. These are plastisol ink, water-based ink, and discharge ink. Among these three options, plastisol ink is used widely because the ink is durable and versatile, which ensures high-quality graphics.
Nowadays, water-based ink is also gaining popularity due to the ease of use. For 100% cotton, use discharge ink. However, you’ll need to learn how to apply it effectively. Otherwise, you risk smudging or faded color.
Take that leap of faith and launch your custom clothing business from the comfort of your own home. To build a large customer base, you’ll need to secure the supplies necessary. Once you’ve checked off this list of must-haves, you can let your creativity flow into your custom designs and graphics.