Looking to start your own at-home clothing business on Etsy? Investing in a machine for printing on clothes is a great way to start your side hustle!! However, it’s important to know what kind of machine to get, here’s what you need to know.
Digital clothing printing machine vs heat press machine
Digital printers offer more durable prints, but it’s a lot more expensive to get started. In addition, you won’t be able to do specialty prints (glitter, rhinestones, etc.) like you would with a heat press.
Ricoma 4 in 1 Multi-Heat Press
This fantastic machine can do so much and it comes at a very affordable price. Start your home customization business for less than $600.
Plus, in addition to printing on any type of clothing, this machine can also press designs on hats, mugs, decorative plates, and almost anything else you can dream up, too.
Print sizes are: 12″x15″ for shirts, 3″x5.5″ for hats, 11oz mugs, and 8″ plates.
This is a great machine for printing on clothes, not only because it’s affordable and versatile, but it’s also very high quality. It has a heavy-duty steel frame and a thick plate that provides even temperature and pressure for quality prints.
PS. If you don’t care about all these extras, you can get a cheaper press that’s only for clothes. However, many of these cheaper ones do NOT stay above 400 degrees and you can’t press sublimation designs on them, so pay attention to the specs!
HRM DTG A4 Digital Printer
If you’d prefer to go digital, prepare for the sticker shock. Professional machines start at $15,000. A home machine, like this one on Amazon will cost you a few thousand, a bargain comparison!
Don’t be fooled by the cheaper “clothing printers” on Amazon. Those machines are actually DTF and not DTG, these are essentially over-priced heat transfers and will not get you the quality that you’re looking for, so buyer beware!
However, if you’re read to invest a bit of money into your home business, the above machine is highly rated and the company will even help you set it up. Plus, unlike some other printers, like the Ricoh Ri100, this machine works on dark-colored shirts!
The only negative, other than the price tag, is that it does not work on bulky garments. So, if you need to print DTG on light-colored, bulky garments, try the Ricoh Ri100.
Ricoh Ri100 Digital Printer
The Ricoh Ri100 DOES have some very nice printing capabilities and is very easy to use, but not being able to print on dark color shirts is a big negative for me. However, if you don’t plan to offer those, it might not be to you! As you can see above, it works very well on a variety of light-colored items from shirts to tote bags to face masks.
In short, a heat press is the way to go if you’re on a budget or just doing small projects for yourself or your church. However, a digital printer, while expensive, is a great investment if you’re planning to turn this into a business.
Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.