The heat press that never fails

With the t-shirt design industry worth more than $580 million in the USA alone, starting a t-shirt business makes more sense than ever. Especially when you look at how easy it is to make your own t-shirts. You can even sell t-shirts as a side business. That is, until you make enough money to go full time.

In our Heat Press timelapse video above, we wanted to see how many t-shirts we could create in under 7 hours. Our goal here is to see, how you can get the most out of your heat press. How many t-shirts can you press and what that translates to in profits. And, are there any expert tips which we can learn to boost your t-shirt business.

Are you getting the most out of your Heat Press?

Getting Started

For this experiment, we asked our newest and least experienced colleagues. We wanted to offer you a good honest answer, to anybody just starting out in the t-shirt making business. When you start out making t-shirts, you need to get use to the process.

What is the heat transfer process?

  1. How to print your design properly?
  2. How to create a No-Cut transfer?
  3. How to create a No-Cut transfer t-shirt?

Learn the Basics

Once you get use to the t-shirt making process and you’ve made a few t-shirts, you begin to pick-up tips and tricks along the way. Tips and tricks which make your process faster and more efficient. Basically, you learn to stop making mistakes and start making more t-shirts, faster. Which equates to more profit.

For this video, we decided to use our FOREVER Laser-Dark (No-Cut) transfer paper. The reason? This paper is the best heat transfer paper for printing colourful designs on black t-shirts. With the best washability and durability. And, now that we’ve launched our FOREVER B-Paper PRO – which replaces our FOREVER B-Paper LowTemp – we have even higher washability, durability and more vibrant colours. That, and our designs are more stretchable thanks to the new FOREVER B-Paper PRO formular.

We also wanted to put our very own heat press to the test. We released our INSTA 256 FOREVER Edition heat press earlier this year. And, what a machine it is. We chose to partner up with INSTA because they have a long-standing reputation of producing reliable, consistent and the industries toughest heat presses. So, what better way can we test this reputation, than pressing all day long.

Experience Pays

So, what did we learn from our heat press timelapse video? Glad you asked. Well, we learned a lot. After 6 hours and 45 minutes of pressing t-shirts, we ended up with exactly 60 t-shirts. That works out at around 9 t-shirts per hour or 1 t-shirt every 6 minutes. Now, just remember, our colleagues are complete newbies. Of course, they know how to operate the heat press and understand how to marry the A&B papers. As well as pressing to the t-shirt.

With this in mind, these are some good numbers. If we sell one t-shirt for a regular t-shirt price, say $20 and we factor in all our costs for material, labour and bills, etc. Then, we are still making a good amount of profit. Around $10 profit.

What did we learn

Firstly, we realised that spending a little more time learning how to marry the A&B papers properly, goes a long way to helping you make more t-shirts. Basically, you can reduce the number of mistakes most beginners make with the A&B marrying process. Reducing the mistakes has a direct effect on the amount of money we save and how many t-shirts we can produce in a certain amount of time.

Experience = Speed

The second thing we realised, was that by creating one t-shirt at a time, we were limited to how many t-shirts we could create. Could we increase the number of t-shirts that we could produce, by first creating the no-cut transfers first and then pressing them to the t-shirts? This topic got some of us wondering. Some of our more experienced colleagues already use this process. First the no-cut transfers and then the t-shirts. And, what was surprising, is that they use two heat presses to increase their speeds.

As both heat presses are marrying the A&B papers, they are trimming down the previous no-cut transfer. They can do this because they have a 45 second difference between press one and press two. This allows them to produce more t-shirts in the same amount of time.

Share your experience

Please share how you create t-shirts and what your person process is when you have to create a lot of t-shirts.

For more tips & tricks on creating t-shirts, please take a look at our other tutorials. Our tutorials are primarily focused on how to make your life easier, so you can create designs for heat transfer papers and white toner laser printers.

You can learn more about our products over at our products page. We have a large range of products, which help you create and customise almost any garment or surface. Our goal is to help your business grow.

Or sign up for the White toner transfer newsletter and we will send tutorials, tips & tricks and inspiration straight to your inbox.