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Confused on printers etc

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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 12:24:03 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Confused on printers etc

Hi everyone, I'm wanting to have a start up in t-shirt printing I have a name for the business and designs I'd want to do, I esnt to practice and get things right before offering my services, but im hitting a roadblock in regards to best type of printing heat transfers etc, I see loads of people online saying sublimation but I have purely white designs also that i would want to print to black or dark tops!

Obviously sublimation doesn't print white.

Questions are, is sublimation printing the way forward? Inkjet or laser? Can I use their ink to t-shirt print? And now do I get a white design printed to transfer onto dark shirts?

Any help would be great!!
 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 7:19:39 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

You are looking for the perfect answer to all of your needs (a natural impulse). But there isn't one.

With screen printing you can print on any color garment with no compromises. If you are limiting your designs to ONE color, you can keep the press simple and cheap. If you are a handy DIY type, you can get by with some home-built solutions for exposure unit and the like. You can flash with a heatgun, or spring for the real deal. If using water base inks, you can cure with a heat press (which all the transfer methods would require anyway).

Plastisol transfers are another option. They are professionally screen printed and sent to you. You heat press them onto the desired garment as orders come in. Only equipment you need is the heat press. The more you order of any particular design, the lower the unit cost. Still, this is worth considering even at tiny volumes (and thus high per unit costs), because that is far cheaper than buying a bunch of equipment and supplies and then finding out you can't successfully sell your designs. This is how many/most of the big T-Shirt sites operated before DTG (and perhaps they still do).

JPSS heat inkjet (pigment ink Epson printers) transfers look very nice on white cotton shirts. On any other color, the clear areas will look visibly different (darker) than the rest of the shirt. There is no white ink, only the shirt color, so very limited uses beyond a white shirt.

Inkjet transfers for dark shirts are of necessity thicker and heavier because they must include an opaque white layer to print upon. They are all variously too thick and crinkly and/or too fragile and crack prone and short of life expectancy.

Laser transfers for darks can also be heavy and crack prone (there are RIPs aimed at compensating for that by punching holes/dots throughout the image ... YMMV). Printers with white toner are $$$$. Paper with a white substrate built in are $$ and finicky. Line "A" paper up with "B" paper and press, and rub, and trim, and peel .... Lots to go wrong. YMMV. Also quite limited in terms of gradations compared to an inkjet; it takes experimentation and experience to learn what will transfer, and what will not.

DTG .... Lots of $$$$$, lots of risk, lots of maintenance, lots of $$$$ even if you aren't using the thing (all assuming a DTG capable of printing on dark garments). A horrible idea if you don't already have the sales to keep the thing busy, as these things die from lack of use, and do so quite expensively.

Dye sub is for white polyester. Period. It can be great if that would meet your needs and market; also easy to print on mugs and stuff from there since you already have a printer setup with the ink.

In the end, it comes down to which imperfect option best matches with your own imperfect capabilities (DIY, handy), limitations (space, $, time), and your goals. Get over the idea of finding the ultimate perfect answer ... it's compromises all the way down ;-) So figure out your limitations, capabilities, goals, and then learn enough about each option to make your least bad match. Knowing very little about you at this point, I would encourage the Plastisol transfer route, at least as a way of testing your ability to sell the stuff, regardless of whether you make any money doing so--the point being to test the waters before investing lots of $$$$$ and time in losing more money and time.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 9:29:42 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

I'm at the juncture of buying a printer for sublimation, or one for pigment JPSS.

My understanding is they can be pretty much the same animal at the entry level (but sticking with one ink system), so costs will start out the fairly much the same.

Cotton blanks cheaper AND in greater demand.

Sublimation may have the print quality advantage... BUT IS THIS THE CRITICAL FACTOR? Or is the quality close enough for most people who would rather have cotton?

In everything I'm reading now, sublimation seems preferred over pigment JPSS. But I don't see a clear choice between these options at basically the same budget.

I don't really have any special insight into my customers future needs and preferences that would offer more wisdom than a coin flip.
 
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 10:01:17 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoXid
Knowing very little about you at this point, I would encourage the Plastisol transfer route, at least as a way of testing your ability to sell the stuff, regardless of whether you make any money doing so--the point being to test the waters before investing lots of $$$$$ and time in losing more money and time.
great post NoXid (dtg - did i mention lots of $$$$)

i agree with the above for cjermy90, especially since they have their own designs
check out 613originals or versatranz and get some plastisol samples to test
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 10:06:22 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeedUp
I'm at the juncture of buying a printer for sublimation, or one for pigment JPSS.

My understanding is they can be pretty much the same animal at the entry level (but sticking with one ink system), so costs will start out the fairly much the same.

Cotton blanks cheaper AND in greater demand.

Sublimation may have the print quality advantage... BUT IS THIS THE CRITICAL FACTOR? Or is the quality close enough for most people who would rather have cotton?

In everything I'm reading now, sublimation seems preferred over pigment JPSS. But I don't see a clear choice between these options at basically the same budget.

I don't really have any special insight into my customers future needs and preferences that would offer more wisdom than a coin flip.
if you get an epson to start with, get two sets of refillable xl carts one for the dyesub and one for pigment
now you can swap carts and test both to your heart's content (or until the epson's end of life suicide program kicks in, right around month 12.01)

just do a head cleaning or two when swapping carts

(21 more posts and the color revolution begins....)
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 10:22:23 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by into the T
if you get an epson to start with, get two sets of refillable xl carts one for the dyesub and one for pigment
now you can swap carts and test both to your heart's content (or until the epson's end of life suicide program kicks in, right around month 12.01)

just do a head cleaning or two when swapping carts

(21 more posts and the color revolution begins....)
So the advice to stick with one type of ink is not biblical in nature?

And is that epson suicide program urban myth or a real thing? I've heard it before, but I'm not a conspiracy theorist kind of guy.
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago May 19, 2020 10:34:54 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeedUp
I'm at the juncture of buying a printer for sublimation, or one for pigment JPSS.

My understanding is they can be pretty much the same animal at the entry level (but sticking with one ink system), so costs will start out the fairly much the same.

Cotton blanks cheaper AND in greater demand.

Sublimation may have the print quality advantage... BUT IS THIS THE CRITICAL FACTOR? Or is the quality close enough for most people who would rather have cotton?

In everything I'm reading now, sublimation seems preferred over pigment JPSS. But I don't see a clear choice between these options at basically the same budget.

I don't really have any special insight into my customers future needs and preferences that would offer more wisdom than a coin flip.
There are people having success with either option. One way to break the tie might be to consider what things you might like to eventually do in addition to shirts. For instance, I use my pigment printer to print cards and art prints. But if I had dye sub ink in that thing instead, then I could do mugs instead. And if at some point you change your mind, then also change your ink, and away you go. (You wouldn't want to be constantly switching back and forth between ink types due to the expense of wasting that much ink, but it is not an issue otherwise.)
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 6:57:23 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

For white on black with stock designs why not go with plastisol transfers? They are reliable and easy to do.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 7:19:26 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeedUp
So the advice to stick with one type of ink is not biblical in nature?

And is that epson suicide program urban myth or a real thing? I've heard it before, but I'm not a conspiracy theorist kind of guy.
oh, it's real
i may have exaggerated the actual date for effect (my guess is it is based on # of prints and not time)

Quote:
This is the normal product life cycle for highly mechanical devices like printers. This message is a warning that certain parts have reached the end of their usable life and that your printer will no longer work until it is serviced.
if you scroll down on this page there is a utility to download to remove the message and continue using the printer


you can also forgo the extra set of carts for the pigment and just use the epson carts that came with it to test with
then you can make a comparison with dyesub to see if you just stick with that
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 8:50:47 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

So, you want to print on black cotton tees. That is the most troublesome and expensive of all tee printing operations. We ALL started there. Then we learned compromise.
The question not answered is regarding the characteristics of the product you want to deliver.
How heavy a hand is acceptable?
What abourt durability?
Is this home wear, causal wear, active wear, athletic wear or street wear?
The final question based on previous responses is, 'What is your budget?"
Knowing your answer to none of these question I suggest following the advise of
IntotheTee. Refillable cartridges for Sublimation AND dye. 3 or four head cleans between swaps and you will have MAXIMUM agility in exploring what you can make profitably and have the latitude to make more money with the upsell.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 10:01:26 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by into the T
oh, it's real
i may have exaggerated the actual date for effect (my guess is it is based on # of prints and not time)
  1. You'd think that consumers would reject this blatant planned obsolescence en masse, forcing a change at Epson. Makes me think twice about buying one.
  2. While it's reassuring to think I could alternate between pigment JPSS and dye sublimation with a few cleaning cycles, I still wonder on the MARKETING side: Would more people prefer a white cotton JPSS print (because that's what they want to wear) or a white polyester sublimation print (with slightly better image durability)? Personally, I like the cotton. OR (to confuse things a bit) a 50/50 white sublimation (good or bad compromise)?

Last edited by TeedUp; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:06 AM..
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 2:41:08 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeedUp
  1. You'd think that consumers would reject this blatant planned obsolescence en masse, forcing a change at Epson. Makes me think twice about buying one.
  2. While it's reassuring to think I could alternate between pigment JPSS and dye sublimation with a few cleaning cycles, I still wonder on the MARKETING side: Would more people prefer a white cotton JPSS print (because that's what they want to wear) or a white polyester sublimation print (with slightly better image durability)? Personally, I like the cotton. OR (to confuse things a bit) a 50/50 white sublimation (good or bad compromise)?
A lot of people use a 50/50 for JPSS, and the like. 50/50 is not so good for Dye Sub, unless you want a more faded effect.

A "normal" consumer will not reach End of Life on an Epson printer, so there is no outrage from the general public on this issue. Those using in production environments are generally OK with the disposable nature of the printers given their low cost. The official reason the End of Life code exists is to prevent the waste ink device from overfilling and thus overflowing. As noted, if one is ever faced with this, one can get a download to override the EoL, and can rig an external waste ink container.

Unless you go to a specialized made-for-dye-sub (expensive) printer, most printers other than Epson won't work with Dye Sub ink, because many printers use heat to expel ink from the nozzles, and what happens when you heat Dye Sub ink?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 5:25:05 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoXid

A "normal" consumer ....
i've been called many things, 'normal' ain't one of them

i have a narwhal in my front pocket and a unicorn in my back pocket,
there is a song in there somewhere
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 20, 2020 6:11:14 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

One thing to consider. Inkjet printer will clog. Not a matter of how but will eventually happen. Worst time is when it happen in the middle of an order.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago May 21, 2020 12:41:10 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused on printers etc

I guess I need to see side by side comparisons JPSS pigment on cotton and sublimation on poly, fresh pressed and after various cycles of washings to get a better feel.

But IF the preference is a cotton shirt, then to what degree is a JPSS pigment transfer on cotton an inferior product to sublimation on poly?

Is it a close judgement call?

Is the difference only apparent after many washings?
 






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