How to print T-shirts at home using image transfer paper at minimum cost?



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Dinosaur on a paper
Image transfer paper is a special type of inkjet paper where on its one side you can print anything you want (any art or text or logo, graphics, photographs etc) using any colored or black & white inkjet printer. Then that paper can be used directly on the body of the t-shirt to print the art on the t-shirt using a clothing iron machine or heat press. However, with black & white inkjet printer you will only be able to print black. The paper comes in A4 size with a minimum of 10 sheets (papers) in one set. The red gird (or some other design) on one side of the paper shows that we don't need to print on that side.

Suppose you made an image in photoshop on your computer (or you simply took the image from Google or some website) and you want to print this image on a blank t-shirt. Then this image transfer paper could be very useful. First, print this image on the image transfer paper using any of the inkjet printers. It doesn't matter which brand the printer is as long as it is working fine.

Suppose you printed the image of a dinosaur on the paper. Now what you can do is to cut the paper around the boundary of the dinosaur as shown in this youtube video. This way the paper will be cut exactly in the shape of the image as we don't want to print the full paper on the t-shirt and only want to print the dinosaur portion.

Now take the blank t-shirt and put it on some hard and plain surface and use the clothing iron (or heat press) on it to remove any creases. Not put the dinosaur image paper on the t-shirt exactly at the place where you want to print. The paper should be placed in a way so that the image is printed in the right order on the t-shirt (check this video for more).

Now its time to apply and press the iron press for at least 1 min on the paper to print the dinosaur image on the t-shirt. After a minute or so you will be able to remove the paper and then you will already find your dinosaur image printed on the t-shirt and you are done. The design thus printed will never go or fade away even if you wash the t-shirt in a washing machine or by hand.

This is the cheapest way to print t-shirts at home. Otherwise, people are using DTG (direct to garments) printers which costs around $15000 to $16000 per machine. Though in China the DTG machines can be bought for $1200 or more. The above method is good if you want to start a home-based t-shirt business or if you want to print something specific on your own t-shirt for personal matters.

If you are in India and want to buy A4 size image transfer paper you can do so on Amazon here. This is actually a good business to start on a small scale. You can make use of a tool called photoshop on your computer to create images of your choice and then print them on the t-shirts you want to print and sell. If you are not good at making graphics using the photoshop you can take the help of quality graphic designers. They can be hired on sites like upwork.com and freelancer.com. You can buy 100% cotton made blank t-shirts from any wholesale market in India. In Delhi, Gandhi Nagar is the best place to buy blank t-shirts. So you see it is not difficult to start a t-shirt printing business from home.

Also, read > How T-shirt printing could be a monopoly business in India?

Written by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice