Starting a Business With Sublimation Printing

There are many reasons why a sublimation printing is an excellent choice for nearly any custom products business.  

But two reasons stand out above the rest that makes it a great option to START a business with a sublimation printer.


A Sublimation Printing Business is Cheap to Start

 – or at least, it CAN be. Even the top end Sawgrass system is only around $1500.   And some sublimation printers start at about $200!   You can purchase one of those and a sublimation heat-press, and you’re off to races making custom t-shirts and small promo products.

And if you want to go big, the Mutoh J-900X (which prints up to 44 inches) is under $7500. So if you want to start your Business with a wide format sublimation printer, the cost is still very attractive.

When you compare the cost of 

a Sawgrass small format sublimation printer vs. other t-shirt printing technologies, you start to see how economical the Business is to start.


For example, the best sublimation printer to start a t-shirt printing business is probably the Virtuoso SG1000. You can print up to an 11”x17” design that can apply to most white  or pastel poly t-shirts and lots of promotional products (like mugs).


Sublimation Printing is Simple to Learn

Traditional custom t-shirt printing can be a little complicated.

With direct to garment printing, you have pretreatment involved and a much more complicated printer to operate.

Screen printing takes up tons of space and is messy. It’s also an art form that takes time to perfect.

But a sublimation printer is JUST a color printer. Basically, it operates like your home inkjet printer. Except that it’s probably a new design – with features like wifi printing – and it comes with specialty software just for sublimation.

You also get some simple to use software, including Sawgrass CreativeStudio Design Software and Sawgrass Print Manage.

But the reasons you should really be considering starting a business with a sublimation printer are the POSSIBILITIES!

So here is what a starting business with sublimation printing might look:

That’s it! As long as you can create graphics or know someone that can, you’re going to spend around $2,200 to get started.

Want to do custom Mugs as well? Add the Geo Knight DK3 Mug press for $750.

Keep in mind; you could get started with an even smaller sublimation printer for your Business and spend just a few hundred dollars on it. OR the SG1000 can be financed for around $42/month!

Your Business can be anything you want it to be with a Sublimation Printer

The versatility of what you can with a sublimation business is just unmatched.  This video takes you through the basics of the equipment and some of the product you can make:

What can you sell if you start a sublimation business?

You can’t print on everything.

That’s true for every technology – there’s always some material that’s off-limits.

But the two most significant limitations for sublimation is that you can ONLY print on white or pastel things; white t-shirts, white coffee mugs, etc. And you can’t print on cotton or other natural materials – just polyester or something that’s been treated with a polyester-type coating.

So no black shirts. No dark red coffee mugs. No deep blue blankets or pillowcases.

This limitation is why the new white toner printers, like those under the DigitalHeat FX brand, are so popular and why people are willing to invest 3X to 10X the money to get their Business started using one.

DigitalHeat FX OKI white toner printers use WHITE TONER. That’s how they can print on a dark t-shirt and still get a fantastic image!

And you are also not limited to polyester garments – so you can apply a DigitalHeat FX printed transfer to polyester, blends, OR cotton. That’s a big advantage when it comes to accessories too! There are lots of ways to make money with custom canvas bags, for example.

You can print on anything a sublimation printer can as well as almost everything it can’t too.

If you have the ability to invest between $6K and $15K – or around $300/month – you should give this Business some serious thought.

Is the Sublimation Business Right for YOU?

The best thing you can do is start with a clear idea of what you want to make. What your Business will look like. Who your customer is and the funds you have available to start your Business?

Then talk to someone that knows the customization business and can discuss ALL your options.

Just chat with someone now or complete this form to get more information about what your next steps should be.