Print more than a t-shirt with your heat press!

So you’ve got yourself a heat press, and you’ve figured out how much business you can generate by using transfers to decorate t-shirts. That’s fantastic! And some of you are happy to continue running your custom t-shirt business and generating income that way. Others might say, “Okay what’s next?”

Here is the good news… You can print more than just t-shirts with your heat press! In this article, we’ll review a few of the additional items we’d recommend trying out. Remember, any time you are using a new substrate (that’s the item you’re decorating), we recommend going through the testing process again to ensure you have the correct heat and pressure. You may also want to use different types of transfers for different substrates, and this is something our in-house transfer experts can help you with. 

Hoodies and Jackets

Hoodies and Jackets are easy add-ons to your t-shirt business. Printing these items – depending on the material – can be very similar to printing a t-shirt. One thing to keep in mind with printing thicker garments is that you’ll need a heat press with proper clearance. Our Insta 256 16”x20” press and our Insta 288 20”x25” press are both excellent options. If you are looking to print in higher volumes we recommend graduating to our automatic machines which are our Insta 718, Insta 728, and Insta 828.


Accessories, like bags are always in demand with consumers and being able to customize them will give you a leg up over your competition! Sports bags, school bags, travel bags, fashion bags… the list goes on. When printing the different materials found in bags, it is imperative to do proper testing and ensure you have the best type of transfer for the job. It is also key to choose a press that allows space for the undecorated portion of the bag to hang down out of the way. Our 907 press is perfect for this if you’re doing transfers smaller than 6” X 6”. For larger transfers, our Insta 256 or Insta 728 have swing-away designs which will provide the space needed to properly prepare the bag and transfer it for application. 


Who doesn’t love unique, custom-printed socks?! Socks are a fun way to make a fashion statement and express yourself, so it’s no wonder consumers are demanding special designs. Since socks are relatively small compared with items like t-shirts and hoodies, you can often fit multiple pairs at once on your press. This will help you crank out the volume when needed!

Wood and Metal Items

You may not have known this, but you can print onto materials like wood, marble, and metal with your heat press! It’s especially important to get testing done for these types of substrates, and it’s also important to ensure your heat press has enough clearance to evenly print on thicker items. Sheets of metal or pieces of wood can be printed on to create wall hangings, artwork, or custom plaques. This business can be high margin if you find the right niche and create a quality product. As always, we are here to help suggest the right press, settings, and transfers for your needs. For printing on large metal, marble, or wood surfaces, we recommend our Insta 288, Insta 828, or our large-format Insta 1020 machine. 

Okay, now are you ready to take your customization business to the next level? Once you’ve mastered t-shirts, there is a whole world of products to move on to. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice before taking the next step! 


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