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Hi there,
So I am hoping to get some advice, advice that works because currently I think we have been given a bit of a bum steer.

So we decided to start doing our own event t shirt printing
as well as mugs, badges, patches and other small promotional stuff, that we have in the past sent away to get done for our events.

We have the heat press machine
new printer
sublimation paper

here is our issue - ink

We were told that we had to get sublimation ink.
So we spent a fair amount of $$ on ink

Now I read here that sublimation ink does not work on black shirts

Well our shirts are all black and or red/green/pink/blue

We do not do white shirts for our events ever.


We have a new epson xp960 printer and a new heat press machine

we are a bit too in the hole financially now to go fk it lets keep sending it out.


my questions are
What is the best ink to purchase to get a good bright finish on our shirts

or / should we invest more $$ in a vinyl cutter and vinyl press.

I will add we still would prefer to heat transfer

also we want to do sublimation on mugs and badges / key rings / stubby coolers. these are the things we use the most and give away at our events.

We also have been offered a couple of small contracts with some other groups in our area so we want to get their shirts right for them as well.

I thank you all in advance for your help.
 

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Yeah, sublimation is intended for white polyester.

For printing on darks, one would use pigment inks and a transfer paper made for dark garments. I don't remember the name of the one that people seem to like best for this ... I'm sure someone will chime in with it. I believe most people have a cutter, too, to trim the excess paper from around the design, else you get the "Box" on the shirt.
 

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there is (as of now) no great solution for pigment dark papers
they are all heavy-hand (like an extra raincoat on top of the shirt),
it does not embed the ink into the fibers (like jpss for lights)

you are far better off with a decent vinyl (joto, themoflex, sef) if your designs are conducive to that
there are many options for color/pattern/metals/glow-in-the-dark/etc.
effective designs will understand the process/product to optimize time/effort spent weeding
with the right vinyl and sop you will be very pleased with the hand and longevity (bonus selling point is okeo-tex & cpsia certified)
 

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You will not need to buy another heat press for vinyl if you already have a press. And more along the lines of terminology: Vinyl is sometimes referred to as HTV--heat transfer vinyl. So you are still doing heat transfer, just using a different medium.
 

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White vinyl might bleed on dark 100% polyester. Chemica makes a low bleed vinyl but I don't like it; it's too thick. I'm hoping they'll come up with a way to treat the vinyl to block dye migration rather than making it thicker by adding a blocking layer.
 

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i trialed thermoflex/joto's new turbo white on black and bright orange with no issues
and the hand was very nice

joto did recommend going with their dye-block line just in case,
but for now i will stick with the one-4-all
 
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