How to Start A Custom T-Shirt Business with Crio

Are you considering starting your own custom t-shirt business? Now is a great time to launch into the world of customized hard goods and apparel!

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Now, let’s dive into what you need to get started with your new custom t-shirt business! The most important piece of equipment you will need is a Crio white toner laser printer. This is a decision that you will want to carefully consider as which printer you invest in will determine what size prints you can make for T-shirts, whether you can achieve a true black, and more.

1. Crio White Toner Printer

Crio 8432WDT

Crio 9541WDT

2. RIP Software

To get the highest quality images and prints out of your Crio printer, it is highly recommended to use the provided RIP software (CADlink Digital Factory Toner Transfer Edition).

The benefits of a RIP software can be numerous and range from color customization, white toner controls, cost minimization, and improved quality of the print.

3. Commercial SwingAway Heat Press

Once you have decided on a Crio laser printer, the second piece of equipment you will need is a heat press.

A heat press is required for consistent heat application and pressure on laser transfer paper.

When deciding on your heat press, our biggest recommendation is to invest in a high-quality 16”x20” swing-away American made press for the best heat transfer results on distinct materials and substrates. Purchasing a low-quality press out of the gate will often cause way more headaches than it is worth with an additional investment in a better press down the road.

4. Laser Heat Transfer Paper

Now that you have your two main pieces of equipment – a Crio white toner printer and a high-quality heat press, you will need some paper to print on!

For heat transfer, you cannot use simple copy paper; you will need a special type of paper known as laser heat transfer paper.

There are different papers for different substrates and applications. There are papers for light garments, dark garments, hard surfaces, stickers, and temporary tattoos offered by a variety of brands. All laser heat transfer papers are self-weeding.

5. T-Shirts or Other Garments

Next up, you will need some T-shirts to transfer your designs onto! Since the Crio white toner printers allow you to transfer onto cotton, polyester, blend fabrics, and more as well as light and dark-colored garments, the sky is the limit on what T-shirts you can use. 

We suggest finding a wholesale distributor who can provide you with the styles and brands you like at convenient bulk prices.


6. Additional Supplies

There are other miscellaneous supplies to have on hand. The most important is parchment paper or silicone sheets, which works as a cover sheet to protect your heat press from adhesive transferring and is required (*A Teflon sheet is not recommended).

You will need a T.seal finishing sheet to increase the garment’s durability. The T.Seal can last up to 500 presses!

You will also need heat press pillows to protect your garments from the direct heat of your press while helping to eliminate press lines.

Lastly, it is also best to have a pair of scissors handy as two-step transfer papers will require you to trim the outer edges of the paper before pressing it onto the shirt. Heat-resistant gloves and heat tape will make your life easier!

Go From Printing to Finished, 7 Full Color Shirts in Under 7 Minutes

Simplify your workflow and complete short run orders faster than ever before, without compromising quality or accuracy or worrying about maintenance issues. It is as fast as making 7 full-color shirts in only 7 minutes!! Experience lightning-fast printing and a smooth workflow with Crio today!

Exceptional Profit Potential

When printing custom T-shirts, you can expect to make on average between 50% and 75% profit per shirt. This means that if you sell a T-shirt for $20, you will take home $10 to $15 after you’ve subtracted your costs of goods sold.

The profit calculator below will help you decide whether a Crio white toner printer is right for you and your shop. The calculations are based on t-shirts, but there are no limitations on the endless types of products you can create.

Benefits of Owning a Crio POWDERLESS DTF+ Printer

Any Color, Any Material 

Create beautiful, vibrant prints that transfer onto hundreds of different light and dark materials such as cotton, polyester, denim, wood, acrylic, glass, metal, and more!

No Maintenance

Unlike sublimation or inkjet printers, Crio white toner printers require no regular maintenance other than replacing standard consumables, as needed.

Expert Support with CrioCare 

From instructional how-to videos to free live training, Crio offers unparalleled support to ensure your success. For peace-of-mind, every Crio® printer also comes with a 2-year onsite warranty.

Print To Profit

Print 1 or 100! With the white toner process, you don’t need to set a minimum order quantity. You’ll be able to accept short-runs to large custom orders and still profit.

No Weeding

Crio white toner transfers are self-weeding. There is no cutting and no weeding to deal with. Increasing production speed, saving both time and money.

Full-Color, High Resolution

Easily print full-color, high-resolution designs or photographs with up to 1200 x 600 dpi to transfer with incredible detail.

The Crio® Experience

Free Rip Training

Free RIP Training

Every Crio Printer comes with intuitive drag and drop RIP Software. Users get access to free, live RIP software training to get you up and running quickly.



Crio offers industry-best support. When other manufacturers only support their equipment. Crio supports the entire decoration process. 

Crio Community

Crio Community

MyCrio is a success resource filled with content exclusively for Crio owners. Join the forum, watch how-to videos, learn ways to profit, market our business and more. 


Support Tablet

The Crio remote support tablet is your all-in-one tool for success, reloaded with links to everything you need to be successful. 


Profit Guides

Based around “customer success first,” Crio continually creates content to help market your business, get customers, enter new markets, and profit. 

How-to videos

How-To Videos

We understand the versatility of Crio white toner printers means there’s a lot to learn, we simplify the learning curve with how-to videos for specific papers and applications.

Download FREE eBook

Download our “Everything You Need to Start Your Custom T-Shirt Business” eBook for a full guide of everything you need to start a business with a Crio white toner printer. From initial investment costs to all the supplies you will need to be successful, we lay it all out for you. It even includes a checklist and total cost estimates.

Download the FREE eBook and get connected with a Crio dealer to learn more!