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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Heat Press and Heat Transfers > T-Shirt Crossover - diary of a heat press newbie
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 :)



[PREFACE] - So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

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Old June 21st, 2009 Jun 21, 2009 1:10:46 PM -   #61 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Rodney,
Like you earlier I've been only involved with screen printing. I've been slowly building a the business this past year with a home based business with the hopes of making it bigger. Having used past contacts with sports teams, I've been able to grow at a pace that has been perfect with my time constraints. This forum has been great with tons of useful info and a group of posters that have been thoughtful and always professional.
I'm interested in purchasing a heat press and have learned a great deal from the info on the site. I've got a potential job to print a two-sided white shirt with an 8X11 photo on the back and a one color screen print on the back.
I use an epson 1400 for my film and from my research here this should be a good combo with the jetpro transfer paper with the ink that comes with the printer. I've searched the site and have not been able to get a sense of how much ink I'll go thru for about 100 8 x 11 photos and like you were am a little nervous about the learning curve with transfers. Screen printing is still a work in process and am amazed still with how much better I get with each job. If you have any additional tips or thoughts on your transfer experience and difficulties, it would be great appreciated.
Joe
 
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Old June 21st, 2009 Jun 21, 2009 6:13:33 PM -   #62 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

There are also available teflon sheets for this purpose. The sheet keeps the transfer paper from sticking to the heat platen and pulling a corner up to soon.
 
Old June 24th, 2009 Jun 24, 2009 9:29:17 AM -   #63 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

There are a number of quality heat presses I'd add Hix to those already mentioned. Read up on all of them,there's different sizes,styles(clam shell,swing away,shuttle etc).Some have read outs,gauges,automatic releases and compressor-driven hydraulics.
Know your options first then decide.
 
 
Old September 28th, 2009 Sep 28, 2009 4:25:25 PM -   #64 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Hi All,

I have used the ImageClip with some great results using HP Color Laser CP1215.

It seems when I make large prints (some small) I get left over film on top of the shirt print that I can pick off.

1. Am I pressing too long/short hot/cold or is this common?

2.Is there an easier way to get it off besides picking?

Thanks!!!
Great forum! Extremely informative.
 
Old August 27th, 2011 Aug 27, 2011 9:02:05 PM -   #65 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-BOT
...funny. Believe me, you are far from ignorance. You are just asking questions, that's all.

No, I don't use digital transfers much (computer/ink jet etc.). Also, Im not a designer.

Around here, we make the transfers with screen printing equipment. The artwork is provided by the customer, we make the films/screens and screen print the designs on transfer release paper.

These types of transfers usually designers/brands don't make them themselfs, they contract out the making of the transfers to transfer makers.

But, if you are starting out, I think you can get a bubble jet printer for $ 50 or something, it does have it's benefits like it will enable you to make full color transfers at a very low cost, one off's. But the quality is not the best to enter the Branding Market nor to be sold at commercial level.

It really depends on your budget and your goal.
Newbie here, quick question- what is the benefit of screen printing onto a transfer? Why not just screen print to the shirt?
 
Old August 27th, 2011 Aug 27, 2011 10:31:03 PM -   #66 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

One of the benefits is that the person that uses the heat transfer doesn't have to create film positives... burn a screen and then screen print the design onto a shirt. Also you can buy 50 or so transfers and use them as needed... It only takes 10 seconds to heat press a transfer when needed. That being said, screenprinting is the cheaper way to go if you are printing a large amount of shirts. I recently got a heat press and the plastisol transfers are amazing.. Hard to tell the difference between heat transfer and something screenprinted imo.
 
Old March 16th, 2012 Mar 16, 2012 6:33:52 AM -   #67 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Thanks Rodney.

I've been wading through the huge volume of posts on Heat Transfer and have yet to find a consensus on the BEST method.....Laser vs. InkJet. (If there even is one)

Could you or others offer a current opinion on the best choice. Assuming the best of printers and the best of transfer papers?

Loved reading about and watching the video of the VersaStudio, but @ $8000, it's out of my reach. I had no idea ink could be applied to the vinyl in that manner.
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Old March 26th, 2012 Mar 26, 2012 6:08:08 AM -   #68 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

These to my understanding is so that if you have ink bleed then it will protect your press and keep you from transfering the ink to everthing else you are working on .If i am wrong or anyone else nows another reason please reply.
 
Old September 20th, 2016 Sep 20, 2016 8:18:08 PM -   #69 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbymurphy
Thanks Rodney.

I've been wading through the huge volume of posts on Heat Transfer and have yet to find a consensus on the BEST method.....Laser vs. InkJet. (If there even is one)

Could you or others offer a current opinion on the best choice. Assuming the best of printers and the best of transfer papers?

I'm very new myself so please double check all this, but from all my research i have summarized the following for producing in-house heat transfers:

- Epson inkjets are used with various commercial grade heat transfer sheets (JetPro SS, Paropy/Joto). Some paper for printing on light garments is self-weeding (ideal), but i see no self-weeding paper for inkjet printing onto dark garments. Re: Pigment ink is preferred over dye for durability, which Epson supports. Many people are using a 3rd party CIS - Continuous Ink Supply - system which helps reduce ink costs. The key heat pressing technique i see mentioned is after pressing, gently hand stretch the shirt and do 2nd pressing on the shirt with a silicone sheet for a few seconds to help durability. To be clear, inkjets work on both light and dark shirts, but there is no self-weeding paper for the dark. Printing on dark requires you to cut out the design by hand or using a cutter/plotter. Also printing for dark shirts seem to require 2-3 steps.

- Laser printers seem to offer the benefit of self-weeding on light and dark. The go to laser printer seems to be Okidata with the white ink option. The key heat pressing technique for laser prints is very heavy pressure.

Best Option: outsourcing your designs to a larger shop that can produce Plastisol heat transfer sheets will produce the best results using a heat press. After a lot of research, I narrowed down my list to F&M and Versatrans and have currently several orders in with F&M. Next step for me is to buy an inkjet/laser printer (or both) for producing small runs in-house. The challenge is, dark shirts and self-weeding. I have settled on the fact that i will need 1 or 2 printers:
inkjet for whites self-weeding, darks manual weeding, inexpensive
laser for light and dark self-weeding both, expensive

As for printer brands, here are the ones that keep popping up in this forum. Pricing is between $100 to 3,000. Remember, inkjet pigment ink is preferred by veterans on this forum.

Inkjet Printers
Epson Sure Color P800, P600 (not the P400) newer, wide format inkjet
Epson Stylus Pro 2800/2880, 3800/3880, 4800/4880 seem older but good
Epson 1500W ?
Epson WF 1100 ?
Epson Artison 1430 ?
Epson C80/C88/C88+ (cheap with great reviews, many use this) 8.5x11 borderless printing

Laser Printers
OKI C711, c831, pro920

That's after 3 weeks of reading lots of posts on this forum.

Hope that helps.
Anthony
 
Old September 22nd, 2016 Sep 22, 2016 6:34:13 PM -   #70 (permalink)
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Default Re: So I decided to give this heat press thing a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrabino
I'm very new myself so please double check all this, but from all my research i have summarized the following for producing in-house heat transfers:

- Epson inkjets are used with various commercial grade heat transfer sheets (JetPro SS, Paropy/Joto). Some paper for printing on light garments is self-weeding (ideal), but i see no self-weeding paper for inkjet printing onto dark garments.

While there may be a few brands of weedfree for light on the market outside the US there really are not any self weeding papers for regular inkjet, light or dark found here in US. Those I have tested from outside the US I didn't find viable.

There was a good paper made by Neenah that was weed-free it was called Image Clip Light for Inkjet. It is no longer made.

A new weed-free inkjet paper of sublimation is on the market that will act as a sublimation prep onto a 100% cotton T-shirt. It is weed-free.

https://www.t-shirtforums.com/dye-sub...ml#post3535042



Re: Pigment ink is preferred over dye for durability, which Epson supports. Many people are using a 3rd party CIS - Continuous Ink Supply - system which helps reduce ink costs.

Buying ink in bulk is what reduces the ink costs. At that point you can use either CIS or refillable carts. CIS has an additional advantage in that you can print longer uninterrupted before you are out of ink.

The key heat pressing technique i see mentioned is after pressing, gently hand stretch the shirt and do 2nd pressing on the shirt with a silicone sheet for a few seconds to help durability. To be clear, inkjets work on both light and dark shirts, but there is no self-weeding paper for the dark.

The other reason for a 2nd pressing with silicone sheet (I use parchment paper) is that the transfer finish might be a bit rough after the initial peel, repressing really smooths that out. In addition if your transfer shape after the initial press resulted in a skewed shape you get another chance to straighten it out by reshaping it back in the normal shape.


No light or dark weedfree on inkjet for pigment inks as I point out above.

Printing on dark requires you to cut out the design by hand or using a cutter/plotter. Also printing for dark shirts seem to require 2-3 steps.

If the shape is a simple rectangle or square, a simple paper cutter is all that is needed.

Light color transfers may require this as well. Unless you are doing white t-shirts and using good paper like JPSS then the background will still show if you don't trim.

There are different types of papers for regular inkjet Opaque transfers. Some are considered 1 step, other are 2 step. I would argue that "1 step" opaque inkjet papers are easier to apply then light inkjet papers like JPSS.

1 step paper ...

3G Jet Opaque Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper

2 step paper ...

2-Step Opaque Material 11" x 17" (50 sheets)

But the usage of the term "steps" in this context is the number of papers required. There are more than 1 "step" to apply technically



- Laser printers seem to offer the benefit of self-weeding on light and dark.

As I mentioned before "weed-free" inkjet sublimation paper now exists for 100% cotton t-shirts. I'm haven't tried it yet. It is new. Sublimation on 100% poly is not need to be weeded. It inherently is weed free.


The go to laser printer seems to be Okidata with the white ink option. The key heat pressing technique for laser prints is very heavy pressure.

I disagree I have 2 OKIs. If you mean "go to" as being what is normally used by people making transfers it would be a regular CMYK laser printer, typically an OKI. This is simply based on the cost of white toner printers (even 3rd party solutions). But you will see a lot of discussion here for white toner, because more support and hence the added chatter for this.

Laser prints are not monolithic, many transfer paper have different pressing instructions.


Best Option: outsourcing your designs to a larger shop that can produce Plastisol heat transfer sheets will produce the best results using a heat press.

Not necessarily, sublimation is a hands down the best imprinting on a t-shirt. It has limitations but where it can be used the results can be breathtaking. Inkjet pigment type transfer and sublimation transfers can print 16.7 Million colors and at a much higher photo quality resolution than screen printing. And for small volume orders screen printing in many cases is not economically viable.

I think like many starting out you see all these different methods as competing, while there can be some overlap, best option is to have many tools in your toolbox and use the one that makes the most sense for your customers order.


After a lot of research, I narrowed down my list to F&M and Versatrans and have currently several orders in with F&M. Next step for me is to buy an inkjet/laser printer (or both) for producing small runs in-house. The challenge is, dark shirts and self-weeding. I have settled on the fact that i will need 1 or 2 printers:
inkjet for whites self-weeding, darks manual weeding, inexpensive
laser for light and dark self-weeding both, expensive

As for printer brands, here are the ones that keep popping up in this forum. Pricing is between $100 to 3,000. Remember, inkjet pigment ink is preferred by veterans on this forum.

Inkjet Printers
Epson Sure Color P800, P600 (not the P400) newer, wide format inkjet
Epson Stylus Pro 2800/2880, 3800/3880, 4800/4880 seem older but good.


I have a 4880. It is out of production. Look for newer in production models if you want to go this big. Unless you are sublimating or have other uses for such a large printer a tabloid size inkjet is all you need for regular inkjet transfers.

I would not suggest buying any printer that is out of production, especially a larger format one!!!!

Epson 1500W ?
Foreign version of 1430
Epson WF 1100 ?
Out of production

Epson Artison 1430 ?
In production

Epson C80/C88/C88+ (cheap with great reviews, many use this) 8.5x11 borderless printing
C88+ is the only one still in production
But this size is too small for the larger size tshirts.


Laser Printers
OKI C711, c831, pro920

That's after 3 weeks of reading lots of posts on this forum.

Hope that helps.
Anthony
I made some markups in your text above.
 






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