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Expanding your business with a heat press showroom image

How to Start a T-Shirt Business with a Heat Press

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Heat pressing is the easiest and most cost-effective way to decorate apparel. The profit opportunities are endless because there are so many markets where you can sell custom apparel. Decorate for everyday fashion, sports, schools, clubs, corporate, health and fitness, and more! Use your heat press to start at T-shirt business and generate profits while expanding your product and service offering.

Are you ready to start a T-shirt business? With a heat press, you can begin production immediately without investing in any additional equipment. Compare our heat presses or read our Heat Press Guide: How to Choose a Heat Press for help deciding which heat press is right for you. Follow along for a step-by-step guide on how to start a successful T-shirt business with a heat press.

Step 1: Know the Top Selling Markets

  • Schools & Sporting Goods
  • Fashion & Fitness
  • Corporate & Promotional Wear

Step 2: Learn What Items to Decorate for Every Market

Schools & Sporting Goods: Personalize for Student, Player, or Fan

Sporting goods - schools - personalize sports teams, clubs, and more

Schools & Sports

Player Jerseys
Club Uniforms
Little League T-Shirts
Sporting goods - spirit wear - personalize spirit wear

Fan Wear

Spirit Wear
Athletic T-shirts & Hoodies
Sporting goods - fundraising - personalize promotional shirts tote bags and more


Promotional T-shirts
Banners, Flags & Signs
Tote Bags
Sporting goods - non-apparel - equipment bags, water bottles, mugs, koozies, and more


Equipment Bags
Water Bottles
Mugs & Tumblers

Fashion & Fitness: Create Trendy Looks with Stylish Finishes

Fashion - create custom designs for everyday wear

Everyday Wear

Fashion - Create custom home goods & decor

Home Goods & Décor

Mugs & Tumblers
Pillowcases & Towels
Fashion - Create custom personalization items with monograms, unique placements, and more


Names & Numbers
Personal Gifts
Fashion - Create custom athleisure gear, performance wear, and more


Performance Wear
Workout Gear
Yoga Pants & Leggings

Corporate & Promotional Products: Branding for Any Business

Corporate - create custom promotional products for your local business

Local Businesses

Company Logos
Dress Shirts & Polos
Hats & Outerwear
Corporate - create custom government apparel, community spirit wear, and more


Local Government Uniforms
Community Spirit Wear
Fundraising T-shirts
Corporate - create custom apparel that is reflective for first responders, construction workers, and more


First Responders & Construction Wear
Reflective Vests & Jackets
Running & Outdoor Gear
Corporate - create custom food service apparel and gear

Food Service

Restaurant Uniforms
Cooking & Serving Aprons
Face Masks

Step 3: Choose What Type of Heat Transfer to Apply with a Heat Press

Pre-cut and Pre-spaced letters and numbers

UltraColor™ MAX Direct-to-Film Transfers

Custom full color heat transfers that are easy to price, order, and apply.

Dimensional Emblems photo

Dimensional Emblems

Premium embossed, full color patch alternative with textured options

SimStich - simulated zig-zag stitching for heat applied yet embroidered finish image


Simulated zig-zag stitching for a heat applied, yet embroidered finish

Screen printed transfers using image gang sheets with transfer express

Transfer Express

Screen printed transfers with multiple image gang sheeting

Genuine leather, laser-etched patches

Leather Patches

Genuine leather, laser-etched patches to create rugged, yet refined looks

Any Word. Any Way. customizing jersey fronts image

Any Word. Any Way.™

Perfect for customizing jersey fronts
in many materials

CAD-PRINTZ full color digitally printed transfer image

CAD-PRINTZ® Full Color

Digitally printed transfers with no color limits and low minimums

High-end, fully embroidered patches that don't require sewing

Embroidered Patches

High-end, fully embroidered patches that don’t require sewing

What additional equipment can help grow my business?

If you’re ready to take on more in-house production and further expand your heat pressing T-shirt business, you can purchase a vinyl cutter to create heat transfers for any type of apparel. With a vinyl cutter, you can cut HTV without having to outsource one- and two-color logos. Great for on-demand log and design creation, a vinyl cutter is the next piece of equipment to invest in to take your T-shirt business to the next level. STAHLS’ Vinyl Cutter Packages give you everything you need to start cutting vinyl immediately and save you hundreds of dollars!