T-Shirt Business Starter Kit

Starting a t-shirt business is easy and has little-to-no barriers to entry.

Many people start a t-shirt business as a hobby or a side hustle to earn more money.

There are lots of ways to print your own shirts, but using a heat press to print shirts is the quickest and easiest way to get started.

In this post, we will guide you through everything needed to start a heat press business, including the equipment you will need, along with other accessories and tools that will help your business grow.

A heat press is a machine used to print t-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel. At the most basic level, a heat press is all you need to start a t-shirt business.

heat press for heat applied transfers

Since it is the only piece of equipment you really need, you will want to do your research and buy a heat press that will last and give you the quality of printing that you are looking for in a business.

[Related Content: How to Choose a Heat Press]

Printing shirts with a heat press is not the same as your childhood days of using iron-on transfers with an iron, though the concept is the same.

With a heat press, you can use actual screen printed transfers, which are of higher quality than the transfers you were printing with your ink jet printer and computer at home.

It is screen printing that you can apply with a heat press instead of having the entire printing press, inks, screens and mess that go with that.

All you need is a heat press to get started.

There are also lots of t-shirt heat press starter kits available at a very low cost, but the less you spend on a heat press, the less quality you will get. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. This is especially true with heat press machines.

So even though it may be *very* tempting to buy that cheap t-shirt heat press package online for only $300, $400, or even $500, re-think before you waste your money.

[Related Content: Why You Need to Spend More Than $300 for a Heat Press]

Don’t go cheap. It will cause you more headaches and you will want to quit before you really get started and you will miss out on the full potential you could have earned.

As with almost anything, having the right tool is half the battle.

If you are starting a t-shirt business, you want a high quality press to give you consistent and quality results.

You should also be able to pay off the heat press within the first few orders of t-shirts you sell anyway.

With all that being said, these 3 heat press business packages will give you the printing equipment you need to print your own shirts successfully and confidently.


Heat Press Starter Packages

These heat press kits make getting started easy and give you all the basic things needed to start a t-shirt printing business.


Basic Heat Press Package

This starter package is economical but still gives you a quality heat press machine with the kit.

Basic Heat Press Package

The Basic Heat Press Package includes:

  • 15” x 15” MAXX Clam Heat Press
  • 15″ x 15″ Quick Slip Pad Protector
  • 8″ White Champ Number Kit
  • Easy Prints Marketing Kit
  • free transfer order up to $50
  • free shipping

Don’t underestimate the MAXX line of heat presses. This heat press will definitely give you what you need to start a t-shirt business on a budget price without sacrificing the quality you need.

The package also comes with a Quick Slip Pad Protector for the heat press, which will help speed up production as well as protect your lower platen giving it a longer life at the same time.

Quick Slip Pad Protector on heat press

The Quick Slip Pad Protector quickly slips over your lower heat press platen.

The Number Kit contains our best-selling number style with enough transfer numbers to number an entire league of teams.

Number Kit of number transfers

The Easy Prints Marketing Kit will help you grow your t-shirt business with sales and marketing tools including:

  • full color Idea Book™ artwork catalog to show your customers
  • color selector which contains actual heat applied ink swatches of all the stock ink colors
  • a pack of full size transfer samples to heat apply your own display set so your customers can touch and feel actual samples of printed apparel
  • window cling to display on your store front or car window
  • wall chart for transfer application instructions to hang by your heat press
  • $10 coupon off your next order
  • T-shirt and transfer ready to apply stating you sell custom apparel
  • Pricing guide
  • Apparel catalogs

T-Shirt Business Marketing Kit

The heat press package also comes with a $50 credit on your account to place an order of transfers to get you started quickly.

And last, but definitely not least, the whole package ships to you for free.


Pro Heat Press Package

The next heat press starter kit available is the Pro Heat Press Package.

Pro Heat Press Package

The pro package comes with an upgraded heat press to make your printing a little easier with additional bells and whistles.

The Pro Heat Press Package includes:

  • 16″ x 16″ Hotronix Auto Clam Heat Press
  • 16″ x 16″ Quick Slip Pad Protector
  • 11″ x 15″ Quick Change Platen
  • 11″ x 15″ Quick Slip Pad Protector
  • Heat Press Counter Caddie™
  • 8″ White Champ Number Kit
  • Easy Prints Marketing Kit
  • free shipping

The Hotronix Auto Clam is a little bigger than the Maxx heat press in the Basic package, but also has upgrades in other ways, too.

This heat press auto opens when the application is complete. It also has a digital read-out for the pressure, so there is no guessing on which pressure you are at (pressure is a key part of the heat printing process).

Heat press digital pressure readout

The Hotronix® line of heat presses feature a digital pressure reading.

The Pro package also includes an additional size lower platen, 11” x 15”, perfect for smaller size clothing such as children’s clothing and other smaller apparel items like tote bags. This quick-change lower platen swaps out very easily with one lever.

interchangeable platen

Both platens come with a Quick Slip Pad Protector.

One item that comes with this Pro package that does not come with the Basic package is the Heat Press Counter Caddie™. This stand transforms your heat press, allowing threadability™. The Counter Caddie allows you to “thread” or “dress” your lower platen so that there is only one layer of fabric while you are heat pressing.

Counter Caddie threading

The Counter Caddie will help you to be able to thread apparel onto your Hotronix or Maxx heat press.

Threading can help save time, and combined with the Quick Slip Pad Protector, can speed up production by 40%.

[Related Content: How to Press T-Shirts Faster]

The Pro package also comes with the Number Kit, Marketing Kit, and free shipping on the entire package.

Don’t forget that the Marketing Kit includes a $10 off coupon for your next transfer order.


The Elite Heat Press Package

The third t-shirt business starter kit contains a top-of-the-line heat press that will take your heat printing to the next level.

Elite Heat Press Package

The Elite Heat Press Package includes:

  • 16″ x 20″ Hotronix FUSION® Heat Press
  • 16″ x 20″ Quick Slip Pad Protector
  • 11″ x 15″ Quick Change Platen
  • 11″ x 15″ Quick Slip Pad Protector
  • Free transfer order up to $100
  • 8″ White Champ Number Kit
  • Easy Prints Marketing Kit
  • free shipping

The Hotronix FUSION IQ™ Heat Press is the most advanced heat press. With the FUSION IQ controller, you can manage users, generate reports, and troubleshoot issues.

Hotronix FUSION heat press

This heat press machine also saves application instructions so that you just choose a transfer type without setting all the individual settings each time you switch transfer types while heat pressing, all with touchscreen technology.

The Hotronix FUSION heat press features a draw platen or swing-away option, to work in a heat-free zone while positioning apparel and transfers.

place your transfer

Threadability is already built into the FUSION, so that you can dress apparel right onto the lower platen.

Not to mention, this heat press comes with a large 16” x 20” platen size, to really open up the area and allows for larger applications.

The Elite package also includes the smaller 11” x 15” quick-change interchangeable platen along with Quick Slip Pad Protector covers for both sizes.

With this package, you receive a heat applied transfer credit of $100 for your next order of custom screen printed or digital transfers.

The Number Kit, Marketing Kit, and free shipping are also all part of this great, money-saving heat printing equipment package.



All three of these t-shirt business starter kits come with everything you need to start printing your own t-shirts. What these packages come with, but other packages don’t, is the other pieces that will help you continue to grow your t-shirt business.

The Easy Prints Marketing Kit comes with tools to help you sell the custom printed apparel that you are printing. It’s hard to find this tool with any other heat press starter kit out there on the market. But with Transfer Express, our goal is to help you grow your t-shirt business, so we give you the tools necessary to do so.

The transfer credits will help you place your first custom transfer orders.

With just a heat press, heat applied transfers, and blank apparel, you have exactly what you need to start your own t-shirt business and print your own shirts.

Watch how easy it is to print a shirt with a t-shirt heat press.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 9 comments

Will I still need a printer?

Dealer Services

Hi Valincia,
You won’t need a printer. All you need is a heat press to apply the screen printed transfers that we print for you.
Let us know if you have any additional questions!

Vonda Herrin

Can I print my own transfers or do I have to use your printing service? How long will it take for me to receive my printed transfers from your company?

Dealer Services

We offer screen printed and digital transfers so you could not print this type of work at home without a big equipment investment. To start try our transfers, you apply these with a heat press to any apparel Orders ship in 1-3 days based on which product

Gabriel Fayomi

How much is each of the packages. Will I ever be able to print my own designs and what are the transfers papers you use?

Dealer Services

Hi Gabriel,

You can find all of the packages with pricing here:

You can definitely send us your own artwork if you have it, and we can print that for you. We have several transfer types as well, which you can find here:

Tex Hooper

I like your printing tips. I need a printer. I’ll have to get one with a scanner.

Esperanza Gallegos

I have a ministry and want to be able to use the picture of a rose that I have been using as a logo. This is a picture I took and use it on Facebook. Can this picture be uploaded and used to make a transfer? You can see the picture under “The CAlling” on Face Book.

Dealer Services

Yes, you can use a photograph. You can use a full color transfer type to use the photo as is.


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