How to start a t-shirt printing business?

  • How to start a t-shirt printing business?

Key Learnings from the Article

 You can start a t-shirt printing business with very low investment and earn a very high-profit margin. In the t-shirt printing business, you can get success within three months.

1. Reasons to Start T-shirt Printing Business

  • You can earn Rs. 50,000-1,00,000 per month in this business. 
  • It is a low-cost high-profit business.
  • You can print a t-shirt within 10-15 minutes.
  • You can operate this business from home and sell online.
  • T-shirts have a high market demand.
  • You don’t need to open a factory for this business.

2. Total Addressable Market Size of T-shirt Printing Business

  • In India, the t-shirt market is worth more than Rs. 23,000 crores, which is expected to grow more than Rs. 61,000 crores by 2027.
  • T-shirt printing business will have a market share of more than Rs. 22,000 crore by 2025.

3. Success Stories

i. started its business in 2013 with an investment of just Rs. 30,000. Today, the worth of this company is about Rs. 85 crore.


Wear Your Opinion ( started in 2011, and today, its turnover is about Rs. 80 crore.


It started in 2011 and today, it’s worth about Rs. 22 crore.

iv. Alma Mater Store

It started in 2009 and today, it has become a million-dollar company.

3. Prerequisites for T-shirt Printing Business

i. Market demand

There are two types of t-shirt market:

  1. Already printed t-shirt market: In this, you can print t-shirts as per your desire and sell them through wholesalers, retailers, and online platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, or your own website.
  2. Customised printed t-shirt market: In this, you print t-shirts as per the specific requirement of your customers. You can charge more as compared to t-shirts which are already printed.

ii. Location 

You don’t need a typical shop to start the t-shirt printing business. Instead, you can:

  • Set up a stall inside malls or exhibitions
  • Partner with any showroom
  • Partner with event planners and design customised t-shirts for special events like a football match
  • Open your own online store or do e-commerce business 
  • Partner with gift shops
  • Use online platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, or Shopclues

iii. Required machines/inventory

You can easily manage t-shirt printing machines in your home. For a small-scale t-shirt printing business, you require:

A. Heat press machine

  • Its size is 16×20 inch.
  • It transfers graphics on the t-shirts.
  • Its price is between Rs. 16,000-50,000.
  • It can be ordered through online websites like Amazon or local vendors.

B. Sublimation paper

  • Sublimation paper is used to print designs.
  • It can be ordered online.
  • You can get 100 A4 sheets below Rs. 500.

C. Colour printers

  • You can use inkjet, laser sublimation, or solvent printers.
  • It prints designs on sublimation paper.
  • A good colour printer can cost between Rs. 15,000 -20,000.

D. Computer/Laptop

  • It is used to design graphics, manage inventory, billing, provide support, and online sales.
  • A good computer/Laptop costs between Rs. 15,000-20,000.

E. Colour ink set

  • It is needed for the colour printer which can cost about Rs. 7,000.
  • This ink can be neon ink, foil, and metallic ink, shimmer ink, soft hand inks, etc.

F. Plain t-shirts

  • A plain t-shirt may cost between Rs. 60 to Rs. 120.

The total cost will be about Rs. 70,000 – 1,00,000 to start a t-shirt printing business.

4. Methods to Print T-shirts

The followings are some effective methods to print t-shirts:

  • Screen printing
  • Heat press printing
  • Direct to garment technique (DTG)
  • Sublimation technique
  • Cut vinyl printing (CAD)
  • Transfer paper method

Heat press printing is mostly used in the small scale t-shirt printing industry.

5. Steps to Print T-shirts

  1. Create custom design through Canva or Photoshop using laptop/computers
  2. Print the design on sublimation paper through the printer
  3. Switch on heat press machine and wait till it is heated properly
  4. Put a t-shirt on a heat press machine and then properly put sublimation paper on a t-shirt
  5. Press the heat pressing machine for 10 seconds to transfer the design to the t-shirt

6. Cost Estimates for T-shirt Printing Business

CAPEXValue  (in rupees)
Security deposit40,000
Heat press machine20,000
Printers for fabrics20,000
Marketing cost (website, tie-ups, SEO)18,000
Brand logo sticker1,000
OPEXValue (in rupees)
Room rent20,000
Sublimation paper500
Sublimation tape300
Teflon sheets520
Electricity bill10,000
GFX designer10,000
Custom plain t-shirts (300)18,000
Packing2 (per t-shirt)

7. Business Model

MonthCost (in rupees)Revenue (at Rs. 450 per t-shirt) (in rupees)ROI
1st (no sale)59,82000
2nd (50 t-shirts)59,820 + 50×2= 59,920450×50=22,500-62%
3rd59,820 + 80×2= 59,980450×80=36,000-40%
4th59,820 + 150×2= 60,120450×150=67,50012.27%

8. Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA)

COCA = Total sales & marketing cost/number of customers acquired

If you get 280 customers by spending Rs. 18,000, then your COCA will be 18,000/280= Rs. 64.28.

9. Registration

You can register a t-shirt printing business as:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership firm
  • OPC (one person company)
  • Private Limited Company

Apart from this, you need:

  • GST registration for your business
  • Intellectual property rights and trademark to avoid copying of your business

For all this, you can hire a professional CA.

10. T-Shirt Printing Business – Pitfalls

You should follow these things to avoid business failure:

  • Don’t compromise with quality
  • Don’t make fake promises to your clients
  • Pay attention to designs
  • Plan the business properly
  • Keep a check on inventory
  • Take care of your target audience
  • Keep a check on overheads
  • Never skip marketing

You should implement this business plan if you liked it.

Golden statement by Dr. Vivek Bindra:

Its implementation of information that is going to bring transformation.

Key Outcomes of the Video

  • Use online platforms like Amazon to sell printed t-shirts
  • Use Canva or Photoshop to design graphics
  • Apply heat press printing for small scale t-shirt printing business
  • Hire CA for acquiring registrations and licenses
  • Don’t compromise with quality

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