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hello members my name is Paul
i have been made redundant recently and so im looking to start a t-shirt business
i need all the help i can get
i have done some research but cannot work out why the price for set up is so vast
i only have a little money so i just want to put my toes in the water to see how things go before i spend any real money would appreciate all expert advice on how to start this as cheaply as possible
many thanks in advance
 

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Ryonet at silkscreeningsupplies.com has some good startup packages available that contain everything you need to get printing some shirts to familiarize yourself with the process.
You could see about taking a class at a local college just to understand some aspects of it without investing in equipment.
If you have no background in digital art I suggest you get started learning that, as it is a huge factor in helping customers who cannot do it themselves, and necessary to get art the way you need it.
The fact of the matter is that to get set up as a real business, there is a lot of overhead involved. To do real production you'll need a decent press, atleast 6 color 4 station ideally, a flash dryer, a tunnel dryer and a bunch of other small things that add up, so expect to spend a chunk of money to get started.
 

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Paul,

Be sure & do plenty of research on this business. Visit the Small Business Administration website Small Business Planner and look over business plan information. That will help you understand the details for managing your business.

Here are 3 different methods for decorating T-shirts, Screenprinting, DTG (Direct to Garment Printing) and Thermal Transfer. There are other methods also but these should get you started.

Designing graphics is going to be one of your biggest challenges. There are many software programs for you to choose from. Look at the Serif suite of software: Web Design, Photo Editing and DTP software | Serif – Inspiring Creativity, they have 3 dfferent programs we use, PagePlus X4, PhotoPlus X4, and DrawPlus X4. My wife uses them along with Adobe PS, CorelDraw, PhotoImpact, and the Serif programs seem to be well laid out & easy to use. I can even use PagePlusX4.

Hope this helps.
 

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I would recommend getting a heat press, they're really easy to use, and the costs for paper and ink aren't that expensive. I tried screen printing, but buying screens is pretty expensive, and making them is a little complicated. You can get presses for around $250, and as long as you get good paper like JPSS, your customers should be satisfied. And like others have said, DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. Familiarize yourself with all the different kinds of t-shirt printing, and all the materials required for them.
This is the heat press I got, only $250, I am very satisfied.

Digital 15x15 Clamshell Flat Heat Press (Free Shipping) [HP4801] - $249.99 : Sunie.com, Leading Provider of Signs Equipment.

Hope this helps.
 
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