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This section of the forum is where Rodney, a die hard screen printing fan, journeys into the world of heat press and heat transfers. Coming from the perspective of a complete heat press newbie making t-shirts for the first time. Jump right in :)



[PLASTISOL TRANSFERS] - a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 1:59:01 PM -   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
...as you know I've been preaching this on the board for 6 months.
Yes, I have to agree that for me, hot peel transfers are much easier than the rest.

I think other people with more experience do just fine with cold peels and hot splits though...so it's not necessarily a "fact" that hot peel is better for everyone.

Quote:
Q: Did any of the transfers you tried work as a Hot or Cold peel ? (both ways)
I didn't get into any fancy stuff like trying to hot peel a cold peel transfer or cold peeling a hot peel transfer
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 2:24:47 PM -   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

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Originally Posted by Rodney
I think other people with more experience do just fine with cold peels and hot splits though...so it's not necessarily a "fact" that hot peel is better for everyone.
I agree, it's not a matter of being better. But why use Cold Peels ? ...when the end result is basically the same and is applied a lot quicker with Hot Peels.


Quote:
I didn't get into any fancy stuff like trying to hot peel a cold peel transfer or cold peeling a hot peel transfer
sorry, let me clarify that.

Using the same transfers as a Hot or Cold peel ? ....to see what happens.

With some of these Dual-Peel-Option transfers, it's just to achieve a different finsh result OR, Also, as you mentioned above, for people who prefer to do Cold Peel and Not Hot peel, they can do it with this same type of transfer.
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 2:35:55 PM -   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

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I agree, it's not a matter of being better. But why use Cold Peels ? ...when the end result is basically the same and is applied a lot quicker with Hot Peels.
I have to say, now that I've actually pressed cold peels and hot peels, I'm not really sure why there would be cold peels.

That's not saying much though, since I don't formulate the inks or print the transfers myself

But as an end user, hot peels seem fine...unless you want the glossy look of cold peels?
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 2:40:23 PM -   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
But as an end user, hot peels seem fine...unless you want the glossy look of cold peels?
good point, the finish result.

To get a super Gloss finish when the actual transfer is not glossy, the good old teflon re-press for a few seconds and removed cold will do it.
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 3:06:13 PM -   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
To get a super Gloss finish when the actual transfer is not glossy, the good old teflon re-press for a few seconds and removed cold will do it.
I was wondering about that. When I put the teflon sheet over a plastisol transfer I was "re-heating", the ink got all melted again. Some of the ink is still on my teflon sheet. I guess I should have let the telfon sheet cool as it was still on the shirt and then peeled it?
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 3:21:53 PM -   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
I was wondering about that. When I put the teflon sheet over a plastisol transfer I was "re-heating", the ink got all melted again. Some of the ink is still on my teflon sheet. I guess I should have let the telfon sheet cool as it was still on the shirt and then peeled it?
yes, always remove it cold, from bottom left to top right, all in one smooth peel off motion.

cleaning ink off of the teflon is easy, just rub it off with a cloth, it flakes off.

I like the thicker teflon sheets. ...not the real thin paper like ones.

Actually, if want to get fancy (I know you're not a glitter man), you can sprinkle glitter on the transfers, then re-heat with teflon (remove it cold)...for that fancy sparkle glitter look.
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 9:56:40 PM -   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Superb write up.....I hadn't even thought about the benefits for over-the-seam prints.

Given this is in effect a mini-advertisement (as are all product-by-products reviews), do you think any of the companies would mind you posting price lists with their entries? It's not the same as blank wholesalers (which I agree discouraging, for all the obvious commercial reasons) given there's no non-manufacter end buyer for sole transfers (and most of the companies have their own lists on site, without requiring registration anyway).
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Old February 28th, 2007 Feb 28, 2007 10:50:32 PM -   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Great Review Rodney! I would like to see more reviews from you in the future, and maybe downloadable .pdf reviews also. Thanks much, from a 3day old transfer company startup. I'm reeeeeally green, lol.

Kind Regards,
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Old March 1st, 2007 Mar 1, 2007 8:53:50 AM -   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
Given this is in effect a mini-advertisement (as are all product-by-products reviews), do you think any of the companies would mind you posting price lists with their entries?
I think since it's so easy to get the pricing by either clicking on the link to their site or sending them a quick email, I would feel better leaving it off.

Since pricing can change at any time, it would mean that in order for it to be accurate, I'd have to keep updating the post with the latest information.

I think the review might help to narrow down the choices for some people, but a little legwork will still be involved to get the latest information from the companies

Quote:
Superb write up.....I hadn't even thought about the benefits for over-the-seam prints.
I didn't either, I was surprised how well it worked. Also the wrap around prints around the side of the garment were pretty easy. I plan to mess around a bit more with different pressing locations and garment types to see how it works.
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 11:44:40 AM -   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

A quick update:

I got a UPS next day air package from Mark at Versatranz with a letter explaining the delay with the samples package. He sent out the samples right away, but they got sent back by the post office as undeliverable (he said they are having problems with their local post office). He resent them via UPS and followed it up with a phone call to apologize for the delay.

Similar to what was discussed in the email/phone thread, it goes to show that even when a company seems to be "unresponsive", it's not always the case that they are giving poor service. Sometimes there can be a legitimate problem with communication.

Once I get a chance to press the sample transfers they sent, I'll update the review next week
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 3:30:38 PM -   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
Howard Sportswear Graphics Express, Inc

I initially emailed Howard Sportswear and got an email back from them a few days later asking me to call them for more info. I'm normally an email kinda guy, but I had heard good things about their company from posts here in the forums, so I gave them a call.

That's unfortunate, I've actually had the best results with them so far =) I emailed them and they asked for my info to send out a nice sample pack pretty quickly.

I haven't tried many plastisol vendors yet, but I can add my 3 to the list, copying Rodney's format:


Silver Mountain Graphics
Website: http://www.silvermountaingraphics.co...Transfers.html

Presentation of Sample Package - N/A
Customer Service -
Transfer Ease of Use For This Newbie -
Likelihood I'd Use Them on Future Orders -
Quality -
Price -

This was the first company we worked with, about a year ago. They came pretty highly recommended on the HTFDP board, so we gave them a try. We never asked for a sample pack - just sent off our own designs to go ahead and have them made up. These were extremely hard to transfer correctly, taking several tries to get it right.

We just kind of figured that was simply 'how it was'. Our next order wasn't so bad - we think they improved their formula between those two orders. We still ocassionlay had problems - and we did need to use a rolling pin to get the transfer to adhere properly - but they were pretty good.

Since then we have had some problems getting any response from them. We had some transfers that rubbed off a bit in shipping so we emailed them asking for replacements. We never heard back from them on this issue -- but they DID send us new transfers, without saying anything. Pretty mixed customer service there =)

First Edition
Website: Custom Transfers - First Edition

Presentation of Sample Package - N/A
Customer Service -
Transfer Ease of Use For This Newbie - Unknown
Likelihood I'd Use Them on Future Orders -
Quality - Unknown
Price -

Next most recommended company, both here and the HTFDP board, and the 2nd one we tried. After the mediocre customer service from Silver Mountain, I sent off an email to First Edition to try and work with them. I sent over a 300dpi raster image (as I had been using with Silver Mountain) - again, skipping asking for any samples because of their good reputation.

They told me they needed it in vector instead, so I worked on getting it made into vector in a way they could use. I was trying to order them before Thanksgiving for a show we were doing (I know, it was foolish to switch companies at this point, but...), and they said they could have them done in time if I got a vector version made up.

Anyway, I finished my vector version the Thursday before Thanksgiving, asking them to make sure it was fine and what method of payment they wanted. I didn't hear back from them at all on Friday. On Monday morning I sent off another email asking if they'd be able to ship it that day so that we might still be able to get it in time. I never heard back from them since :/

I left a '2' on use them again just because other people have had good results, and I may try them again, but we'll see.

Howard Sportswear
Website: Howard Sportswear Graphics

Presentation of Sample Package -
Customer Service -
Transfer Ease of Use For This Newbie -
Likelihood I'd Use Them on Future Orders -
Quality -
Price -

And next on the list to try was Howard Sportswear. Again I emailed aiming for an order instead of asking for a sample package - probably not the wisest method, and I'll probably ask for samples in the future. They wanted to send us a catalog and samples first, which they did.

The sample pack was impressive. They had several different types of transfers to try, a catalog with their products, etc. I haven't really had any other sample packs to compare against, but it was nice based on my expectations =)

Samples worked well. Our press is a bit on the fritz and isn't quite pressing evenly, and considering that they transfered very well with the included time/temps. Very small dots on the 'Regular Hot Peel' didn't transfer 100%, but everything else did. Even the smallest detail transfered fine on their 'Super Hold' variety, though the hand on the Super Hold was a little bit stiffer.

We went ahead and did an order of their 'Super Hold' with them. We went with this instead of the Hot Peel since we had some small detail and the hand wasn't that important. Their prices are higher than most companies, and that's really the only thing I can fault them on. They still aren't unreasonable, though.

A few days after we got our order and pressed some shirts, they gave us a follow up call to make sure we got the transfers and they worked fine, etc. Quite professional.

On our ganged sheet, we included a few sample patches for testing in the whitespace on the sheet. This included very fine lines and a gradient effect. We were very impressed with the results - even the tiny 1 pixel lines and tiny dots in the gradient all transfered perfectly, without any extra hassle or tweaking. 'Super Hold' indeed!

If I remember, I might get some pictures of the samples up here, to show the fine detail. We'd been looking for a way to do some gradients with one-color designs and this will work well.

The only other 'odd' thing about Howard is that they are definitely geared towards athletic transfers. This made their pricing lists and such feel a bit weird to us, but it worked out well enough once we figured out the type of transfers to order.
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 3:46:13 PM -   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

wow Twinge, you really did a good job with that post.

I'm glad you're moving towards plastisol more and more....good for you.
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 4:29:55 PM -   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
The only other 'odd' thing about Howard is that they are definitely geared towards athletic transfers. This made their pricing lists and such feel a bit weird to us, but it worked out well enough once we figured out the type of transfers to order.
I've noticed that with several of the transfer makers. They have a lot of info for sports/numbering/lettering/logos/mascots. I guess that must be a bigger market for them than people wanting custom designs.
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 6:19:57 PM -   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
I've noticed that with several of the transfer makers. They have a lot of info for sports/numbering/lettering/logos/mascots. I guess that must be a bigger market for them than people wanting custom designs.
I'm glad you are using the term "Transfer Makers". ...and not some high profile type thing. I've been using it for years....mind you that when talking to a Corporate fashion house executive I need to switch it to "Graphic Heat Transfers Manufacturer". ...transfer maker there does not cut it but to us real people..I like it.

But, yes. Not all Transfer Makers (here we go again with the transfer maker thingee) are dedicated to supply the fashion industry and the branding markets. There is a Whole other side to the industry here, fashion/branding sector. It is a lot different than dealing with soccer leagues etc.....another language you might say.

The ones that are dedicated towards the Fashion/Brands type market are harder to come by, because they work closely with brand designers etc. and are more involved with the entire process and the Brands success. So a closer relashionship between the transfer maker and the brand exists in order to work on building the brand........Nothing like a team logo job.

There is nothing wrong with Athletic type jobs or the money in it either....but it's a different sector than Fashion/Brands.
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Old March 2nd, 2007 Mar 2, 2007 9:28:59 PM -   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: a review of 8 different custom plastisol transfer screen printers - samples followup

Rodney,
Excellent and thorough report! Thank you, again!

I emailed First Edition and Dowling today... First Edition's response was within 5 minutes. I had the tracking number for a sample package being shipped to me before close of business.

Dowling hasn't responded, but it was the afternoon and Friday. I don't know if I would have responded until Monday. One of the advantages to Dowling is that they are less than 10 miles from me... (hmmmm... I didn't know that until I visited their web site)
 






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