- Learn the Basics of Heat Printing
- Heat Printing Decorating Comparison
- Getting Started with a Heat Press
- Getting Started with a Vinyl Cutter
- Getting Started with Print/Cut
- Expanding with a Heat Press
- Compare Stahls' Decorating Services
- Compare Stahls’ Letters & Numbers
- Glossary of Heat Printing Terms
- Guide: 7 Popular Heat Transfer Styles
- Heat Press Buying Guide
- eBook: Starting a T-Shirt Business
- eBook: Marketing Your T-Shirt Business
- Stahls' Team Decorator Catalog
- Unbranded Decorator Catalog
Getting Started with a Heat Press
There are 3 important factors to consider when getting started with a heat press.
1. Heat Press
The only piece of equipment you’ll need to start your own T-shirt business is a heat press. The best option for beginners is the Auto Clam Heat Press, which opens automatically once it's done pressing a garment. This unique feature allows you to multi-task without running the risk of over-applying or burning a garment.
Platens come in several different sizes. It's best to plan ahead for larger projects by purchasing a larger platen than what you need now. Start with a 16" x 20" and purchase smaller platens if needed.
2. Decorating Products
The most popular decorating products are also the easiest to use.
Pre-Cut Letters & Numbers
- Easiest, least expensive way to start personalizing.
- Arrive loose, pre-cut, in packs of 10 or 20.
- Arrange the letters and/or numbers on the garment and heat apply.
- Choose from more than 40 font/style options.
- Depending on the quantity, material, and size of the pre-cuts needed, pricing is as low as $0.06 per character.
Pre-cut letter and numbering kits are great to have on hand. If someone asks for one-off personalizing, you can do it instantly.
Pre-Spaced Text & Numbers
- Name and/or number arrive pre-aligned on a carrier.
- Carrier greatly reduces labor and time.
- Depending on the quantity, material, and size, pricing is as low as $1.25 per text or number.
- Perfect for name/number team orders.
- Order as few as one name or number.
Pre-spaced is a great time saver when you’re in a hurry. Ordering online provides you with the convenience of uploading team rosters.
Any Word. Any Way.™
- Best product option when the same team name or word needs to be placed on multiple garments.
- Great for fan wear that complements sports uniforms.
- Similar to pre-spaced text only with more customization options, including split fronts and tails.
- Depending on the quantity, material, and size, pricing is as low as $1.09 per word.
- Sew and no sew options available.
While there are many products within Any Word. Any Way., start with CAD-CUT® materials which do not require sewing.
Auto Open Clam
3. Heat Transfer Materials
The material choice is typically based on the type of fabric of the garment/piece being decorated.
Be aware of polyester fabrics; they tend to bleed through heat transfer materials. When decorating polyester fabrics, select CAD-CUT® Thermo-FILM® to prevent dye migration.
To get started, review this chart of popular heat transfer material and fabric combinations.
|Popular CAD-CUT® Heat Transfer Materials and Fabric Combinations|
|Heat Transfer Material||Thermo-FILM®||Fashion-FILM®||Premium Plus™||Glitter Flake™|
|Best for||Sports/Uniforms||Lightweight Fabrics||Stretch Fabrics||Special Effects|
|Benefits||Blocks dye migration||Great for T-shirts||Great for performance wear||Hottest selling special effect material|
|Recommended Fabric Types||Polyester||Cotton||Lycra®/spandex||Cotton or polyester|
Ready to start heat pressing?
Download the Getting Started with a Heat Press Checklist.
Videos for Materials, Services & EquipmentView All Videos >
See the latest innovations in CAD-CUT® heat transfer materials and learn tips, tricks, and instructions on creating the best designs possible.Go To Materials Videos >
Learn how to use Stahls' products to start your own T-shirt business. Watch videos on services, accessories and more.Go To Services Videos >
Find the right heat printing equipment for your business and learn how to keep it running at full capacity.Go To Equipment Videos >
An error has occurred, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Please contact Customer Service at