How to start a profitable T-shirt printing business in 2024?

T-shirt is a product that is worn by every type of person in every place without any age or gender barrier. Whether it is school, college, or parties one can style a t-shirt at any place with different looks. Printed t-shirts with graphic design or customised t-shirts are very trendy and demanding in today’s market.

The T-shirt printing business has high demand in today’s market and will always have demand in the future. So, if you are planning to start a t-shirt printing business then it’s a good decision.

Here, in this article, you will have complete information on how to start a t-shirt printing business with the right strategy. All small details are given in this article.

How to start a T-shirt printing business?

The T-shirt printing business is not as tough as any other business, it does not need a huge amount of money to start, it can be started in less amount of money and one can grow it to a business of lakhs and crores.

The benefit of starting this business is that you can start with less investment and generate a good income from your home.

The business model for t-shirt printing is quite simple. Here, the customer comes to you and demands for a customised t-shirt and for which he gives his own design of which you have to design and print according to the order.

Types of T-shirt printing

There are various methods available for printing nowadays, but there are six of the most common t-shirt printing methods are-

1. Screen printing

This is one of the most common and most demanding t-shirt printing methods available. It is also known as the world’s earliest method of printing which can be done by hand or even machine. These printing methods are used for many apparel businesses as it works excellently for mass production in a short amount of time.

Here, for this method a stencil design is made and it is applied on a fine mesh screen. Then the screen design is achieved by pressing the ink through the openings of the screen onto a t-shirt. Each colour has a separate stencil for it.


  • Screen printing methods last throughout multiple wash cycles.
  • It is profitable on large scales with bulk orders of 100+
  • It can print multiple colours with durable prints


  • The screen printing method is only cost-efficient for large scales.
  • It is low profitable for lower quantities.
  • Screen printing methods produce waste ink and materials which is less environmentally friendly than other methods.

2. DTG (Direct to Garments Printing)

This is also another common method and the best choice for t-shirt printing among others. It allows specialized printers to print ink designs directly onto the fabric [as the name applies].

This printing method is best known for its excellent option of adding complex and multi-colour designs to t-shirts.

DTG printing uses non-toxic vegan inks that ensure the garments are safe for adults and children. It works with many fabrics but you will find its primary usage for cotton blend t-shirts.


  • DTG printing method can produce any quantity of orders quickly.
  • DTG printers are easy to print and mess-free compared to screen printing.
  • This printing method produces zero wastewater as it uses eco-conscious inks and materials.


  • It has less resistance to wash cycles and sun-drying than screen printing methods.
  • DTG printers are not ideal for lower quantities as it is quite expensive than others.
  • Only best for cotton materials.

3. Dye sublimation

Dye sublimation also known as [AOP] All Over Printing is one of the most popular methods of t-shirt printing. Its printing technique for t-shirts results in vibrant and photorealistic designs.

As compared to other method of printing it is more expensive but it gives clear and high-resolution results.

In this method of printing the design is first printed into coated paper and then transferred onto the fabric.

Then the paper is pressed onto the fabric, heated under pressure to a gaseous state, and then cooled, transferring the ink to the t-shirt.

The printing result goes best with polyester fabric, other fabrics do not produce the desired outcome.


  • Dye sublimation’s best result is that it can be printed all over a t-shirt from seam to seam.
  • It gives long-lasting result on polyester fabrics, as the dyes fully penetrate the fabrics.
  • It produces long-lasting designs that won’t flake or fade.


  • Dye sublimation doesn’t produce good results with cotton or other natural fabric, it goes best with polyester only.
  • This method of printing is expensive compared to other t-shirt printing methods.
  • Can’t be used on dark fabrics.

4. Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing [HTV Printing]

One of the most popular methods for t-shirt printing is heat transfer printing. Here, in this method, they use a heat press to transfer a design onto the fabric.

In the previous method of heat transfer printing special inks and dyes are required but, now all you required is a heat press machine and a transfer paper to produce an image. It requires a fabric that won’t melt when heated so, in HTV printing techniques mostly sports jerseys are used.


  • Its method of printing is easier than others, it is best for beginners.
  • Inexpensive compared to other printing machines.
  • It has unlimited colour and design capabilities.


  • Goes only with limited fabrics that can withstand the heating process.
  • It is a time-consuming process for which unsuitable for mass production.
  • It has lower durability than other methods.

5. Airbrushing

In the airbrushing method, air-powered spray painting equipment is required to imprint designs directly onto the fabrics.

The airbrushing method is easy and inexpensive than other methods and it allows complete artistic freedom while applying designs.


  • It is easy to start and you are a good artist you can design by yourself.
  • Inexpensive as compared to other methods.
  • It allows to show one’s creativity


  • It has lower durability than others.
  • It is unsuitable for large-scale production.
  • It has low-quality designs.

6. Plastisol Transfers

Plastisol transfer is a type of indirect screen printing. It is known as indirect screen printing because the methods are similar only instead of printing directly on the fabric here, the design is first put on heat transfer paper before printing.

In this process, the printing plastisol ink is placed on the fabric by using the heat-pressed method to transfer the design.

The plastisol transfer method is applicable on various fabrics like neoprene, nylons, etc.


  • It is durable and the print won’t crack or fade.
  • It can be given special effects as required.
  • It has high quality and realistic look.


  • Unsuitable for large quantities of production.
  • It is a time-consuming method.

Research the Market for T-shirt Printing Business

Market research for your t-shirt printing business is very important before starting your business. So, here are some of the important guidelines you must follow-

  1. Target Audience

First of all, you have to find the right customer like which type of audience or age group people will buy your product. Mainly teenagers and adults are best to target to sell your products. You have to take care of their interests and behaviour.

2. Demand analysis

You can tie up with some organisers who demand for large-scale production in festivals, events, etc. both in online and offline markets.

3. Competitor analysis

You have to observe your competitors. Research about their products, there way of selling products, price and which type of strategy are they applying in this business.

4. Selling Event products

As a business entrepreneur you have to stay updated on the latest trends, events or occasions that can bring large sales to your business. T-shirts based on events are very much in demand and a trend in today’s life.

5. Marketing channels

 Identify the most effective channels to reach your target audience such as social media and other online platforms also make your own websites and promote your websites for large production

6. Cost analysis

You have properly analysed the costs of machinery equipment settings and raw materials required in running your printing business

7. Profit potential

You have to make a proper pricing and selling strategy so, that you can know about your profit and investment.

8. Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is an important criterion in the business from which you will be able to understand your customers interests regarding products.

Gather feedbacks through surveys or focus groups to understand their needs and preferences for the products.

Raw material and its cost (where to buy)

Raw materials expenses for the t-shirt printing business includes blank t-shirts, inks, transfer paper, emulsion and some other printing materials. You can buy these raw materials from wholesale suppliers or manufacturer stores.

For online purchasing of raw materials you can search for Amazon, Alibaba or specialized printing raw material supply websites.For good offers and faster delivery you can search for local suppliers or wholesalers.

Its essential to consider good quality and reliable raw materials for your business. Also, compare the prices and shipping costs of raw materials before the final deal of purchase.

These initial raw materials may cost somewhere about 20k to 50k depending upon the quantity you have ordered.

Machinery equipment and its cost (where to buy)

To start a t-shirt printing business the most important criterion is to buy good machinery equipment like a heat press machine, a good screen printing machine and more.

This machinery equipment for the t-shirt printing business is available from various sources.

For the online market, you can search for Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and more they have speciality range options for printing equipment or even you can directly contact the manufacturer’s company.

There are various types of t-shirt printing machines but you have to decide your types of printing machine according to your budget and mindset of work. The cost of the machine will depend on your choice of machine, where you are procuring it, etc.

For a perfect setting of t-shirt printing machine equipment, it will somehow cost you around 2-4 lacs. It is very essential to research properly and compare the prices of the machines, quality, and reviews of the machines before buying the machine so that you can get the best deal on equipment that will fulfil your demands.

Location required

A perfect and right location is crucial to set up a t-shirt printing business. You can go to areas near shopping malls, tourist places or college campuses.

Its very much essential to consider the area in a proper and accurate way before setting up your t-shirt printing business.

If you have your own space then it’s good to start your business there but if you are buying the area or giving rent then the most important factor is accessibility and affordability of the area.

The cost of the area will depend upon the location, size and facilities but somehow you can expect around 20k to 50k in a month for a small to medium-sized space.

Registration for your Business

If you have decided and thinking of running your t-shirt business than you should register your business as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company[LLC]. Registering as an LLC will provide your business with more tax benefits. Even you can be able to purchase blank t-shirts at cost with your EIN [ through personal social security number].

It’s better to follow all the state’s legal requirements such as obtaining an accurate business license from the appropriate authorities of government to make and run everything in order.

From your busy work schedule if you are not getting time then it’s advisable to consult an LLC service to set it up for you or take advise from a business advisor to ensure that whether you are meeting all the necessary legal obligations or not.

Staff Required

For smooth and fast running of a t-shirt printing business, you will need some staffs(employees) who will help you in managing your business in a accurate way for which you have to pay them a perfect salary.

Employees should be categorised for different categories of work such as

  1. Graphic designer- who will create and design your t-shirt according to the orders.

2. Printing technicians- one who will operate and manage the printing equipment.

3. Customer service representatives- who will perfectly handle and manage the inquiries and issues of the customer for their satisfaction.

4. Sales and marketing representatives- one who will manage your orders and promote your business by attracting the customer through marketing strategies.

5. Accountant staff- who will manage your financial work in the business

Packaging of t-shirts

 Packaging t-shirts is one of the important criteria through which you can reflect your brand and business identity.

 While packaging the most important key factor is to deliver your orders to the customer safely.

A well-described packaging expresses your brand personality and creativity when it reaches to customer.

It is very important to use eco-friendly packaging items such as compostable mailers, paper bags or materials that can be recycled.

It depends on you which type of packaging materials you want for your printing t-shirts. Some of the packaging items include paper bags, cardboard boxes, cellos and ribbons, wrapped papers, clear containers, bubble mailers, stickers etc.,

Also, include a thank you note or small funny or motivational quotes to make your customers happy.

Setting a Price and investment

 The investment in starting a t-shirt printing business includes-

This business depends on your budget at which cost you want to start your t-shirt printing business.

  1. Machinery equipment [e.g., printing machines, heat press etc,]

2. Raw materials[e.g., supplies ink , papers blank t-shirts].

3. Location [workspace rent] and

4. Staffs [labour cost]

For a t-shirt printing business, there are various options like different types of machines available to start this business. There are various types of printing machines so, you can start this business according to your suitability and budget.

After designing and packaging your t-shirts observe and research the prices and deals your competitors offer.

 Make a pricing strategy in such a way that shipping prices, taxes, everyday bills and other expenses can cover these expenses through your sales.

Marketing of t-shirt products

  • After designing and packaging the t-shirts the next step is about marketing your products in a proper way.
  • One of the best ways to market your products is on social media platforms here, you can look into online communities like Instagram and Facebook groups. Building a target audience on social media will boost your sales production.
  • To get noticed everywhere about your products do some advertisement or paid advertising by the advertisement company it depends on your budget.
  • Create your own brand [logo, colour scheme]to identify your products which will reflect your values with your audience
  • Collaborate with some social media influencers and ask them to promote your t-shirt brand on their accounts.
  • Also collaborate with some pop-ups and event organisers to advertise your t-shirt brand by wearing it in different trade shows, festivals, occasions and events.
  • Set up an e-commerce website to sell your t-shirts online to reach a larger audience.


The T-shirt printing business takes some time and efforts to become a successful business. Once your business is properly established then comes the profit.

By looking at the fashion of today’s generation t-shirt printing business has a high demand and it is also known as a profitable business due to the increased variety of customer segments and expansion of production resources.

The profit from the t-shirt printing business depends on its revenue and costs.

Profit=(Revenue- Costs)

Revenue is the total income that you have by selling your t-shirts. Then it is calculated by multiplying the selling price by the total number of t-shirts you have sold.

Costs include the total expenses incurred during producing and selling t-shirts. It includes all the cost of raw materials (t-shirts, paper, ink, etc.) machinery equipment, labor charge, utilities, maintenance and other expenses.

At once when you figure out your revenue and costs than you can subtract the total costs from the total revenue to find the profit.


Starting and running a t-shirt printing business is a good and profitable idea for a beginner. But at the starting point in any field of business, there come some complications with risks.

Competition, design copyright violations, changing fashion trends, fluctuating demand, production costs even some legal issues can bring some disturbance and complication.

 You can tackle these risks by making a good business plan, creative designs, market research and staying updated about your business.


Finally, you came to know how to start your own t-shirt printing business with the tips given in this article.

Starting a t-shirt printing business with a focused mindset, creative and unique designs, quality materials, effective customer service and strategic marketing ideas can bring success and profit to this business. is a website where we try to give some basic and necessary tips to start a business if someone is looking for one.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is needed to start a t-shirt printing business?

Answer- To start a t-shirt printing business the first important and essential equipment is a t-shirt printing machine and then raw materials (blank t-shirts, ink, transfer paper, emulsion, etc). Then some graphic designers and printing technicians design and print a t-shirt according to the customer’s needs.

2. How profitable is the t-shirt printing business?

Answer- It depends upon the sales and production of your t-shirt, there is no specific margin for profit. According to some t-shirt printing entrepreneur it is known that in this field average margin for the t-shirt printing business fall between 30% to 50%.

3. What will be the cost required to start up a t-shirt printing business?

Answer- The cost for the t-shirt printing business depends upon the machinery equipment, raw materials and labour costs. Cost depends into one’s stability if he/she is going to start it on a small scale, medium scale or in a large scale business. For a small scale you can start between 1-2 lacs, in a medium range it will come between 3-5 lacs and if you thinking of starting on a large scale then your budget will be around 6-8 lacs.

1 thought on “How to start a profitable T-shirt printing business in 2024?”

  1. all the information about t-shirt printing business at one place in very details …. thank you very much ……….very good infirmation.


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