What Are the Best Printers for Your T-Shirt Printing Business

Are you thinking of starting up a t-shirt printing business? If so, you’re in for an exciting adventure. You’ll get to be your own boss, set your hours, and reach the world with the creativity of your designs. The most important part of any t-shirt printing business is deciding which printer to use. 

There’s a lot of conflicting information available online but you don’t have to get overwhelmed. Start here for the best printers the t-shirt business has to offer.

Direct-To-Garment Printers

Direct-to-Garment printing uses an inkjet printer to transfer complex designs onto t-shirts. It’s easy to set up and can be used for small batch orders. While the colors are fade-resistant, they are not as vibrant as some other printing methods.  

DTG is a popular method and style of printing for many businesses. Here are the top three:

Epson F2100

This printer is small enough to sit on a table or bench, is unobtrusive and out of the way. It operates quietly, making it ideal if you have more than one going at the same time. The DTG printing ink provides a bright, high-quality design.

It prints complete jobs in a little under two minutes in the highest resolution option available. The included quick-load platen allows for a fast transition from a finished t-shirt to the next printing project.

Brother GTX

Brother has made a name for themselves in the DTG printing industry. The GTX is small enough to sit on a table or bench, making it practical for businesses with limited space. The printing technology and ink used for each print job provide the brightest DTG jobs on the market. 

Lightning-fast 45-second printing speed and high resolution make this machine ideal for the timely production of small to mid-size t-shirt order batches.

Ricoh Ri 6000

Ricoh is a firm contender in the printing world. Their Ri 6000 offers a solid value for small businesses looking to increase production without spending too much. It prints full-color, detailed graphics in less than 53 seconds per shirt. CMYK-plus-white technology lays a white base on dark shirts to ensure vivid printing that pops. With 1200 DPI resolution, you won’t have any issues printing detailed images.

Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is an ideal printing method used for printing designs on polyester fabric. During the process, the dye is infused into the t-shirt material, creating a permanent bond and becoming one with the fabric. 

Since the print job is fused into the material, there is no chance of fading, wear, or cracking in the design. This type of printing only works on white polyester t-shirts. 

Here are the top three dye-sublimation printers on the market:

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400

This is a desktop sublimation printer, making it the first of its kind. It creates perfect transfers for polyester material t-shirts. The included software will help you design, resize, and create images for printing. 

Speed options range from the highest quality at slower speeds to fast print lower quality options for trial runs. At 1200 DPI, the resolution provided is perfect for detailed and high-quality printing.

Epson Artisan 1430

While not desktop size, this printer can sit comfortably on a dedicated table or bench. It produces extremely high-resolution images perfect for detailed sublimation jobs on polyester t-shirts. Each image has photo-quality detailing and is completely borderless. 

The wireless feature makes this printer a favorite for many who want the freedom to use remote operation. Printing speed is ideal for large batch printing needs.

Epson Stylus C88+

If you want a sublimation printer that is compact and even portable, this is the machine for you. It is one of the most affordable options on the market that doesn’t sacrifice any quality. 

It uses DURABrite pigments for instant drying that is smudge, scratch, fade, and water-resistant. It provides rich, colorful prints that are of high quality for any polyester t-shirt job.

Choose Your Printer

When deciding which printer is best for your t-shirt printing business, it’s essential to determine whether you want to choose direct-to-garment or dye sublimation. The biggest advantage of direct-to-garment printing is the wide variety of fabrics that can be imprinted. 


The colors may not be as vivid as dye sublimation, you are not restricted to the type of t-shirt material you can use. 

If you want the most vivid option available, however, dye sublimation is your printer of choice. With unlimited color and design options, your t-shirt can be as detailed as a photograph and will look as sharp as the real thing.

Once you’ve decided on your preferred printing method, narrow down the options by comparing price, speed, resolution, and the size of each printer mentioned. Decide whether you need a printer that can fit on a desk or table, whether you need wireless capabilities, or whether your priorities lie in the cost. 

Once you’ve figured out your answer to those questions, you’ll be able to choose the best printer for your business. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.