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Epson for a shirt brand?

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Old December 19th, 2016 Dec 19, 2016 4:36:41 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Question Epson for a shirt brand?

Is the Epson F2000 a good way to go for our shirt brand? You can see the type of shirts we print here: https://cdaidaho.com/collections/t-shirts

I know that we wouldn't be able to print on tri-blends anymore. So here are a few of my questions:

1. Are ring-spun cotton shirts even comparable in softness with tr-blends or would this be a huge hit in quality if we started printing ring-spun cotton? Or is there a better cotton shirt out there that is just as soft as a tri-blend?

2. Are F2000 prints good for the kind of retail product we are selling? Or do you think people would consider them to be cheap in comparison with our screen prints?

3. After you pre-treat, press, print and then press again, does the shirt look good for reselling? Or is there an obvious square and texture change on the shirt from where the heat press heated the pre-treatment?

Thanks for your help guys! Our shirt company has grown quite a bit over the last year. We are considering the F2000 going into the new year because we have a lot of designs to bring to market, but don't want to spend the money on doing 100 pieces at a time going screen printed. Trying to think of a solution where we can be more flexible with our inventory.
 
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Old December 19th, 2016 Dec 19, 2016 5:51:06 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

If you are hesitant about investing the money for DTG without a clear picture of the viability of the move, outsourcing is a possibility. Your designs are simple enough and if you have good files, a DTG business could produce on demand without you developing an inventory while you test the market.
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Old December 19th, 2016 Dec 19, 2016 7:11:43 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Honestly, your designs seem very well suited to screen printing. However, if you have been holding back on design elements and would like to dive into more colorful photographic-like art, then that would be a reason to consider DTG on its own merits.

An F2000 is NOT cheap, and DTGs in general can be finicky if not kept in daily use, leading to lots of wasted ink in cleaning/purging cycles and the dreaded head plug. Sitting on screen-printed inventory may look inexpensive by comparison ... depending on your specific scenario.

You can add some flexibility to your inventory by going to Plastisol transfers. You would still want to order the transfers themselves in quantity, but you would then have complete flexibility as to what size/color/brand/gender/style garment you pressed them onto ... which you would do as needed for orders and events. If your shirts are currently printed with Plastisol, then the quality would remain equivalent. If they are printed with waterbased, then the Plastisol would add more hand feel and weight.
You would need a heat press and the time and energy to press the transfers on the garments.

All that said, have a copy of a couple of your designs DTG printed somewhere and see what you think of the print as compared to your current shirts. If you get serious about the Epson, get them printed at a place that has one.

As suggested above, you could go POD and have someone else DTG print and even fulfill your orders as they come in. You get much less of the sales price as you do less work.

It all costs time or money, no way around it.
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Old December 19th, 2016 Dec 19, 2016 8:30:35 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Thanks for the advice. You may be right about the shirt brand.

We also print signs and stickers for companies all around the country, and we thought that the Epson might be a good fit there. Probably 90% of the small companies we make stickers for would want shirts also. And DTG printing would have the advantage of printing really nice full color gradients.

In any case... you may be right about our shirt brand, which makes me want to stop and think a little more first. Would be a bummer to get the printer and not be able to start printing our shirts that are already selling.
 
Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 5:44:06 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdaidaho
In any case... you may be right about our shirt brand, which makes me want to stop and think a little more first. Would be a bummer to get the printer and not be able to start printing our shirts that are already selling.


Not sure what you mean about not being able to start printing your shirts that are already selling. All the designs I saw on your site would print easily on the F2000 printer. You do have many one or 2 color prints on your site so the F2000 could also give you the advantage of being able to add multi-color prints without any additional labor or cost.

The advantage of direct to garment printing is the ability to print on demand, eliminating having to keep a large inventory of preprints and the expense associated with that.
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Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 6:02:27 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Not that you asked about your site, but, you may want to add to your "about" or FAQ page what the acronyms CDA and PNW are. I do like your site.
 
Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 6:05:51 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdaidaho
Thanks for the advice. You may be right about the shirt brand.

We also print signs and stickers for companies all around the country, and we thought that the Epson might be a good fit there. Probably 90% of the small companies we make stickers for would want shirts also. And DTG printing would have the advantage of printing really nice full color gradients.

In any case... you may be right about our shirt brand, which makes me want to stop and think a little more first. Would be a bummer to get the printer and not be able to start printing our shirts that are already selling.
With also printing signs and stickers have you researched print and cut vinyl?
 
Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 7:19:26 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by equipmentzone
Not sure what you mean about not being able to start printing your shirts that are already selling. All the designs I saw on your site would print easily on the F2000 printer.
_
Thank you. I think what I meant was, after you pre-treat, heat press, print, and then heat press again, is the shirt ready to wear? Or will it look like there's a big square on the front of the shirt (from the heat press), before it gets washed?


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxcat
MaxCat - With also printing signs and stickers have you researched print and cut vinyl?
We currently do some shirt and hat decorating with solid color shirt vinyls and strip flock. We have a hat press and a very large geo-knight heat press.

I've looked into the print/cut stuff, and I'm concerned the quality wouldn't be what we would want to offer for our brand or to our clients for now.

Thank you for brainstorming with me guys!
 
Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 7:20:35 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxcat
Not that you asked about your site, but, you may want to add to your "about" or FAQ page what the acronyms CDA and PNW are. I do like your site.
That's a good point! Haha...we just always assume that our visitors know this. CDA = Coeur d'Alene. PNW = Pacific North West.
 
Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 9:35:50 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Your question about press, print, press and leaving a square. If there is a square from the pre-treat or pressing, it releases with a hand steamer. If it is not releasing the pre-treat has been over heated. The only reason you would have a permanent square from printing would be the way your files are constructed. A decent DTG business can handle all the problems. So can you after practice, trial and error.
If the process is handled correctly the shirt will be wearable upon cooling. Ther will be some initial stiffness because of the pre-treat, but it will wash out and the shirt will have a soft hand feel.
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Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 4:55:34 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Ok thanks! You all have been so helpful.

I do so so wish I could confidently print on a tri-blend though. Our customers do like our tri-blends. Maybe we would start a line of designs just for ringspun.
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Old December 20th, 2016 Dec 20, 2016 6:16:45 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Ra lot softer than combed cotton. Don't believe it is as soft as tri-blend and it doesn't breathe as well. Unless you have customers with specific tastes ring spun would be a step up from combed cotton. The addition al expense fro ring spun is only a small jump above combed cotton costs. Check suppliers because the price really varies by brand and country of origin.
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Old December 21st, 2016 Dec 21, 2016 11:38:42 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

So with the Epson DTG, there's the version with white and the version with just CMYK.

I imagine the version with just CMYK can print high quality prints faster? (as long as it's a light colored shirt) Other than that, is anything else lost by going CMYK+W?

I imagine 90% of our customers would want a black shirt so getting away from CMYK+W isn't really an option.
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Old December 21st, 2016 Dec 21, 2016 11:45:21 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdaidaho
So with the Epson DTG, there's the version with white and the version with just CMYK.

I imagine the version with just CMYK can print high quality prints faster? (as long as it's a light colored shirt) Other than that, is anything else lost by going CMYK+W?

I imagine 90% of our customers would want a black shirt so getting away from CMYK+W isn't really an option.


Both Epson F2000 versions are the same machine. The CMYK version will come with one yellow, one black, 2 cyan, and 2 magenta ink cartridges for the 6 ink slots in the F2000. The white version will come with one each of the color cartridges and 2 white ink cartridges. Please note that when the printer is set up as a CMYK machine you cannot convert it later to a white version. The firmware will not convert over. We have sold a handful of the CMYK versions. The overwhelming majority of our customers buy the white version.

_
 
Old December 21st, 2016 Dec 21, 2016 11:47:35 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson for a shirt brand?

Also, did I read somewhere that the Epson F2000 CMYK actually prints pretty well to synthetics and that it's the white that has trouble?

Does that mean that I could potentially print to light colored tri-blended shirts without issue? And if so, would I still need pre-treatment?

Also, did I read that on light colored shirts, pre-treatment is often not necessary?

Sorry for all the questions.
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