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T-Shirt Printing


iDesign

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Any of you done any t-shirt printing before? I am thinking of doing some hobby printing and see if I can make a small income with it.

I would be going for heat press transfers with a epson printer using pigment ink or sublimation ink to start with.

Feel free to share your tips if you have any ;).
 
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ZipedX

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I have no tips for you IDesign, only done smallscale (two colors) screenprints.

However it would be interesting to follow your progress.

Best of luck to you.
 

iDesign

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Yes, ill certainly keep you all up-to-date with some of the latest clothing designs and progression.
 

ALB68

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I am very familiar with all of the processes for garment decoration. I currently do color separations for 3 screen printers. I would be glad to help you out with info that I have. You can ask your questions here or PM me if you like,
However, I must say that I don't hold transfers in very high regard.
Any of you done any t-shirt printing before? I am thinking of doing some hobby printing and see if I can make a small income with it.

I would be going for heat press transfers with a epson printer using pigment ink or sublimation ink to start with.

Feel free to share your tips if you have any ;).
 
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Tierrat

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I am very familiar with all of the processes for garment decoration. I currently do color separations for 3 screen printers. I would be glad to help you out with info that I have. You can ask your questions here or PM me if you like,
However, I must say that I don't hold transfers in very high regard.
ALB68 sorry if this is a stupid question but is they another way to make tee Shirts without having a screen printing machine and wont cost a lot of money?
 

iDesign

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ALB68 sorry if this is a stupid question but is they another way to make tee Shirts without having a screen printing machine and wont cost a lot of money?
Heat Press Machine & Printer?

Thanks Larry, i'll contact you if I need any help!
 

ALB68

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Actually screen printing is a very simple process. However it does require a bit of skill but you can do it without a commercial machine. Do a little research and you could actually make a home made screen printing setup Only problem is you would probably limit yourself to one color and very low volume.
Most any kind of garment decoration is going to require some kind of machine. Transfers as mentioned above would involve a printer (capable of printing with pigmented inks, dye inks won't last in the wash) and a heat press to put the transfer on the garment.
Then there is dye sublimation. Again, a printer capable of printing sublimation inks and a heat press to transfer the design. Sublimation is limited to light colored garments and fabrics that are 100% polyester or very high polyester content.
You can also buy heat transfer fabrics and materials from someone like Stahls and either cut your own things to apply or buy them ready made, Again, at a minimum a heat press would be required.
Plastisol transfers are another method. This employs using a transfer made by a specialty process that applies screen printing to a carrier and again a heat press is employed to make the transfer to the garment.
Today, there are DTG (Direct to Garment) printers available (if you won the lottery or something).
So it boils down to this, it is either screen printed or transfers of some kind with a heat press. Can't think of anything right off that would not employ a machine. However, heat presses and printers are not very expensive, and you could get a pretty good low volume setup for probably less than a $1000.00.

ALB68 sorry if this is a stupid question but is they another way to make tee Shirts without having a screen printing machine and wont cost a lot of money?
 
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rogerthat

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Great info ALB68
I am in a related industry and would not have been able to summarize so well!
Stahls is the king of all types of transfers, they also sell machines to apply them and a good way to start up at a relatively low cost but in order to ever make real money you need volume, speed and low costs which will likely mean automated press screenprinting at least for the next few years
The transfers are ideal for one time prints or an order of 12 shirts but too inefficient and costly for hundreds of shirts
 

dv8_fx

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I've done small scale, color silk screen prints before but never actually did mass heat transfer prints. I sub-contract printing of heat transfers to a specialty printer who deliver them to my shirt supplier for production.

Check with your local printers and/or shirt suppliers of how much the cost is for production of transfers and shirts. If reasonably priced and profitable for you, then do the design , sub-contract production, and you handle marketing and distribution.

A lot of work involved when your starting out, but with a little patience and persistence from you, it pays good dividends most especially if your designs are good. Could be a start of a new brand.

To give you a starting-off tip, be it silkscreen or heat transfer prints you intend to do.... keep an eye out for politicians during voting season or supermarkets, department stores and companies during upcoming SALES, marketing/promotion drives or festive seasons ;). In a way, they're a great source for one-time, medium or large scale production. Small scale may usually be unprofitable and unpredictable.
 

SPWA

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I don't do a lot of it, usually just on demand, but I have a full sublimation set up, with Garment Press, and another device for Mugs. Quite easy to use.
 

rogerthat

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I agree with dv8 way to start out is to focus on the design, marketing and sales
A google search for contract screen printers should result in some contacts in your area
Contact then make sure tegu work on contract and will accept you as a new small but growing client, tour their site to get a feel for how things work, but don't pay them for the blank shirts just the printing
There are 5-10 large wholesalers from which you should be able to setup an account to but the blanks as long as you have a reseller id

From there you handle the design, sales, send the files and the blank shirts to the printer and they can drop ship to the end user
Can be quite profitable but takes time and is a very competitive market with risks involved
This way is much less risky than investing on your own equipment though
FYI: political clients, bars, restaurants, car dealers, radio stations prepay/credit card only
Those are they worst about paying so cover yourself with those types of accounts
 

dv8_fx

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I forgot to point this out in my earlier post....

I don't know the expenses you may incur with what you plan to do.

But as a hobby, there may not be much left of your side income after deducting the costs of materials and investment in specialized equipment if you decide to do so.

As pointed out by Larry (ALB68), it might not be that expensive if you take on silkscreen printing. You just have to learn how to properly create the stencils and invest in a small, sort of production-line silkscreen press.

You can even do manual CMYK full color silkscreen printing. Like this one shop I know close to home in my country of origin....

.

Just a thought that may start something profitable for you....
 

ALB68

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The shirt your showing was made using what is called 4 color process. You achieve photorealistic results by halftoning the image and printing using almost transparent process inks. Basically after the artwork is properly separated and printed to a film to make the screen, the printer lays down the ink dark to light. More or less CMYK in reverse. (in the video he is reverse laying down the K (black) last) The ink blends together to create the colors. Note this is on a white shirt. Won't work on dark colors. To do that, you change processes to what is referred to as simulated process. Regular screen printing inks are used and a white base is put down to print subsequent colors.
A huge market for heat pressed stuff though is athletic and sports uniforms. It's not real practical to screen print them because of the wide variety of numbers and letters used. Anybody with a plotter or laser and a heat press can get in that ballgame pretty quick.
I forgot to point this out in my earlier post...

I don't know the expenses you may incur with what you plan to do.

But as a hobby, there may not be much left of your side income after deducting the costs of materials and investment in specialized equipment if you decide to do so.

As pointed out by Larry (ALB68), it might not be that expensive if you take on silkscreen printing. You just have to learn how to properly create the stencils and invest in a small, sort of production-line silkscreen press.

You can even do manual CMYK full color silkscreen printing. Like this one shop I know close to home in my country of origin....

.

Just a thought that may start something profitable for you....
 
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dv8_fx

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Thanks for the informative input, Larry. I'm not into this sort of work tho I keep an eye out for client shirt needs. I just supply the demand. :cheesygrin:

I contracted these people to print political shirts for a client who wanted something different for his campaign at the time. The shirt was a big hit among party members and constituents. The only thing was I didn't make that much of a profit as you would expect from a high volume order. Customs import tax killed me..... :rofl::banghead: .

Oh well.... maybe next time. The thing is, nobody around here can do the prints with the quality the shop in the video produces.
 

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