My name is Gary. I have been working as a brand graphic designer for 20 years now, and I am here to share my wealth of knowledge with you. I teach people how to design, market, and promote their t-shirt business.
Screen printing has been the staple for the t-shirt industry for years, and it is not going anywhere.
But, for all those guys who are starting on a smaller budget, there are alternatives that you can use to get into the t-shirt industry, because screen printing might be an expensive option, while starting a t-shirt business.
So, let’s get into it!
Top 5 Alternatives To Screen Printing
1.) Heat Transfers
This one is a little confusing because some people think of them as the machines that they buy in a box with an inkjet printer from Walmart.
And when you use them, then the print looks like this:
It is done by one of those stock heat transfers, and they are not good. As you can see from the image that the print is cracking, and it looks bad!
Now, I am going to show you some things that you need to do to maintain good quality. So, please do not get the store board stuff!
I suggest that you use a laser heat transfer with a special kind of paper.
Or, you can use a special white ink laser printer!
The special paper is the forever flex soft laser printer, where you can use a standard laser printer, and you can print your artwork on the paper:
And then you marry it with a b-sheet and heat, press it, then peel it off!
Now, place your t-shirt on the heat press, put another cover sheet down, and print it!
Before you know it, you have your t-shirt ready!
It’s all simple, and you can use a standard laser printer at your home, which is not that expensive!
Another way you can do this is to use a white toner laser printer like the Uninet icolor 560
You take that print, and you add it over there to the heat press. Now, get your B sheet, and you marry both of them together, and heat press it!
That’s it, and just peel that off!
Now, put your t-shirt on the press, and put the B sheet on the top:
Now, you press it!
Now, another print is ready for you!
2.) Custom Plastisol Heat Transfers
This is a little bit of cheating right here, because in many cases, these are like screen printers.
You are not screen printing them, there are screen printers at the facilities, and they send the designs to you. All you have to do now is to heat press all the designs on your t-shirt.
Here’s one design:
These work great! And here’s the list of places where you can get the custom plastisol heat transfers.
3.) Vinyl Cutter
This one is very popular, and a lot of people do this, and it is called the vinyl cutter.
Vinyl cutters have been used for years for many things, besides t-shirts.
But you can use these for t-shirts!
A vinyl cutter is a machine that takes vinyl and cuts it.
Once you get the vinyl, then you have to weed it.
After you are done weeding it, then you can put it on a heat transfer, and then you are done!
Also, if you want to get a high-quality vinyl cutter, then you can check this out!
4.) Bleach and Freezer Paper
This one is a little doozy and it’s old-school. But, it is picking up a lot of popularity.
I don’t think that this is good for doing large runs, but I know a lot of people who do this!
So, if you want to print some t-shirts, then it is a great way to get started by using bleach and freezer paper.
You can put freezer paper on your printed artwork, and then cut out the stencil made out of freezer paper, put it on the top of your t-shirt, and bleach it!
Now, iron it, and you have yourself a t-shirt!
5.) DTG (Direct To Garment) Printer
Alright, guys, this is the last one, and this one is the closest thing that you get to the quality of screen printing.
These are direct-to-garment (DTG) printers, and these are fantastic, and they print as good if not the better quality to that of screen printing.
These are great, and these are like an inkjet printer at home that you can use to print t-shirts.
I mean, these are phenomenal, the main issue is that they are expensive.
These are not suitable for people who are starting. This is for the people who are established, and they are getting sales, and now, they want to take their t-shirt quality to the next level.
So, a direct-to-garment printer is fantastic, and I would strongly recommend a company called OmniPrint International, where they have all kinds of DTG printers.
Therefore, you should have a look at these if you are established in the t-shirt industry, and you should have deep pockets to boost your t-shirt business to the next level.
Start a t-shirt business or die trying!
I hope you liked this blog, and that it adds value and experience to your t-shirt business journey!
The t-shirt industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and you need to get your cut from it.
So, to help all of the aspiring t-shirt entrepreneurs, I have created something called the Start A T-Shirt Business Or Die Trying Master Course.
In this course, you are going to learn about printing t-shirts at home, and you are going to learn Photoshop and Illustrator. It has so much information, and it is crazy.
Also, the job market is not doing too well these days, and the only way to fight a bad economy is to create an economy of your own.
So, cheers to your t-shirt business!