T-Shirt Business Supply List

These are the tools, materials, and products I’ve come to rely on over the years for smooth operation of my business. I will try to keep this updated/make sure products are still available. If you have a question about any of the products linked here, leave a comment at the end of this post or contact me here!


I actually got my screens from a local print shop that had bought a new press and was unable to use their screens for the new machine. The ones linked are the brand new version of what I’ve got! I like these because I’m able to fit two designs per screen which saves money and storage space.

Silhouette Cameo
If you’re not ready to purchase this yet, save it to a list and check back often – I was able to catch it on major sale and have seen it on sale quite a few times since then!

These things were my saving grace when I struggled with the traditional emulsion process and was looking for an alternative. I’ve still got them on screens that I’ve been using regularly for 2 years now!


Printing Press
I actually purchased the DIY Screen Printing Kit, but I ended up not using any of the extra materials that came with it because I found a simpler way of creating screens. The press linked here is exactly like I have – one station, one press – and has great reviews.

Ink – white
I’ve never found another white ink that goes on and dries more opaque than the one linked here. It’s a bit pricier, but in my opinion totally necessary for a quality print.

Ink – black, red, and many other colors
I’ve used several of colors of this brand including black, red, green, shiny gold… and more. They all look great on the fabric. I will mention that I only have a one color press, so I’ve never layered these inks and can’t attest to, for example, what the red looks like when layered over a white ink on a dark colored shirt. But it looks great by itself on a white or light colored shirt! 

Putty Knife
This is used to get ink out of the tub and on to the screen. 

Platen Adhesive – Non-spray & Spray
I list two options here because I’ve used both and liked them, but prefer the non-spray. When you use the spray adhesive, the area immediately surrounding your platen will also get some of the spray mist on it (floor, printing press, anything else sitting close by) which can build up over time and be difficult to remove. Also, the spray stinks pretty bad – I always held my breath, sprayed, and left the room for a few minutes. Alternatively, the non-spray is basically a type of glue in a bottle that you squirt out directly on to your platen and spread around – no stink! I listed both because the spray is cheaper and may be just fine to those who are just starting out or doing this as a hobby.

Platen tape
When you are constantly re-applying platen adhesive in order for your shirts to stay put while you’re printing, you’re going to get some build up on your platen. I wasn’t very good about cleaning this up regularly and ended up having to use several rounds of mineral spirits and a straight razor to scrape off all the old adhesive and t-shirt fibers from my platen. Yuck. With platen tape, you cut a piece off to fit your platen and after a while (a few months or a few weeks depending on how many shirts you’re processing), you simply pull off the tape, toss it, and apply a new piece. Voila! Fresh platen!

Smoothing tool
I use this little plastic guy to smear the non-spray version of the platen adhesive around on my platen.

Screen tape
I use this to tape off my screen so I don’t get ink where I don’t want it. I just ordered a new package and went back to see when my last order of it was – the stuff lasted me over a year of pretty regular printing. It’s not too sticky, but stays in place when your squeegee passes over it.

I started out using a wooden squeegee and was okay with it, but when it got warped enough to crack I decided to get an aluminum one and oh my goodness I can’t believe I printed so many shirts without it! It’s so much more comfortable to use and won’t warp so I don’t have to worry about part of the squeegee not putting the right pressure on the screen as I print. 

Drying Rack
I searched and searched and could not find my drying rack anywhere. My mom picked it up for me at Home Goods for $20 a long time ago. This is a similar concept and would fit about the same amount of shirts, I just can’t say I’ve used this exact one. You want one that has enough space between rows so you can slip in shirts with wet ink without being too close to another shirt that’s already hanging so you don’t transfer ink where you don’t want it.

Shower Head
I started printing during the summertime, so I went outside with the garden hose to rinse my screens. But then winter came, so I had to figure something else out. I got this guy and I just rinse my screens out in my bath tub! It does make a little bit of a mess, especially with darker inks, but I wash the tub down after I’m done rinsing and clean it regularly as I would any other tub and there is no staining. I wash my squeegee and putty knife out in the sink because I think it’s easier.

Heat Press
I haven’t always had a heat press, but it definitely made curing my shirts a million times easier. This isn’t anything fancy, but it’s taken on thousands of shirts over the past couple of years and is still kickin’. Click hereto read about a cheaper ink curing method.

Teflon Sheet
If you get a heat press, you’ll need this to put over the shirt as you press it so there’s a barrier between your design and the press.

I offer a few vinyl designs in my shop (instead of screen printing), and this is the kind I use.


Poly Bags
I’ve ordered from the same listing since I first began and sometimes the strip you tear off to close the bag is different than the time before and one of the versions is a little trickier than the other, but the actual bag is always great quality. I know I have fit at least 5 shirts in one of these before (I roll them before I put them in), but I want to say I’ve even fit 7.

Label Printer
I used to print my labels on printer paper, cut them out, then tape them on. This may seem a little steep, but if you start processing shirts regularly, please save yourself the time (and paper cuts) and get you one of these bad boys. It does go on pretty good sale from time to time.

These are off-brand, but they’ve always worked perfectly with my label maker.

I put a sticker on the outside of the package over a blank part of the label before I send it out. I use this company and think they’re great! I get the cut to size, square, 2 inch by 2 inch on matte sticker paper.

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