T Shirt printing machine

Guide to Buying a t shirt printing machine from silk screen to transfer


The machine and equipments which are involved in making a printed t shirt vary depending on the type of print you require. The simplest and basic off the shelf solution is to buy basic transfer paper and print your design on to the special paper and then apply a home iron to attach the paper to the t shirt. That is probably the most elementary way of getting printed tshirts. The more industrial or professional way of printing on t shirt is the screen printing method which require more detailed and sophisticated equipment and knowledge to get the end product which a quality finished t shirt. We will try to cover each method and the machines which are used. Finally the most difficult way of printing on to tees will be rotary method


Sublimation: This printing option is a great way of printing on t shirt when order is small in quantity and the colour has many colours. The machines required for this is a sublimation kit, a ink jet printer and a heat press. You need a special transfer paper and the t shirt must have a polyester surface

Screen printing: This option requires more work and equipment but is ideal for bigger runs. You would need screens, exposing unit, dryer, ink, squeegee and a carousel to easy management for multiple colour prints.

Cad Cutter and plotter: This would require a optical eye cutter which you using a laser cut around plastic vinyl material to get the design which you want.Those cut bits would be weeded away to get the design you require. So the basic machine is the cutter and plotter.

Rotary printing method: This approach requires a whole fabric tunnelled into the machine to be printed all over. These require heavy duty machinery plus printed rollers to print on the fabric. The machine is very expensive and requires a lot of space.

Costs and suppliers of machines


Costing of the machines vary depending on the type of printing method used. The most expensive is the rotary printing which costs near a million dollar. Second in line would be screen in which the whole set up could set you back £3000 for a basic machine - if you want a multi colour automatic carousel then it could be as much as £20,000. The sublimation and cad cutter could be set up within £1500 and £800 for a basic heat press.