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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of stupid questions I feel I should ask before I get comfortable and take the plunge into the world of heat transfers.

I would like to print on WHITE shirts. The PRINTS are mainly text and images in black or dark colours, up to XL size.

My "to buy" list so far is: Epson R1400 CIS, JPSS, Hotronix 16'x20'.

My 10 stupid questions are :confused::

1. The only weeding I know about involves a garden, so what is "weeding", and will I have to do it? Will I hate it as much as the garden variety? I guess it is like some kind of plasticy scum stuff that is left over from the transfer paper?

2. Is my proposed kit up to what I want to do? I dont expect to print and press more than 10 of each design, and so far I've only got about 5 designs. All very uncomplicated.

4. Are there any Australians (probably artsy Melbournites) who can help out with suppliers (I did a search and couldnt find many/any in Perth WA) or assistance generally.

5. What is the difference in feel (is 'hand' the term?) between screen printing and heat transfers? Ini both cases does the ink actually 'sink in' to the fabric ? (My searches only tell me that you have to actually feel it to know.... I guess describing a feel is a bit like a bit like dancing to architecture).

6. Do heat transfers leave a thick heavy layer? Do they crack often and how do they survive after a year or two of washing, sunlight and sitting in a wash basket?

7. Is a 16x20 heat press necessary for XL shirts? (Australian XL which is closer to American not Asian, if there's a difference) Or could I get away with 15x15'

8. Why doesnt everyone use metric?

9. Does anyone use the Epson R1400 fitted direct from CIS, if so what settings have you found to be optimal?

10. Are there any links to very basic, (to the point of patronising), videos that show slow learners like me, step-by-step how to design, print, press and care for t-shirts?

I appreciate all and any feedback. I've spent hours trawling and searching to find specific answers to about a thousand other questions I've had so far.

Many of the answers I found to the above questions were from '05 to '07 and no doubt the technology and equipment (CIS, the R1400, JPSS) has advanced(?) and perhaps made the answers or opinoins irrelevant to Q4 2010.
If not, any links to where they have been answered and are still relevant would be great.

Photos or video to explain anything would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance.

Ted :)

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52 Posts
I'll jump in and help with a few of these!

#1 Weeding - removing the unwanted material from a cut vinyl image before application. Almost exactly as much fun as the gardening type! Not something you will need to deal with until you buy a vinyl cutter/plotter.

#5 & 6 Feel of HT vs Screened image / HT Durability.

If you plan on printing your image to a HT transfer paper and then to the garment, chances are that it'll have a very soft hand (feel) - (depending on the maker of the paper, the type of ink you use, etc..), and it will tend to fade with exposure and laundering. Some HT images ( some plastisol transfers and cut vinyl or similar material) are designed to remain on the surface of the fabric, and therefore have a very plastic feel (the feel of a layer of dried paint in a bucket). Along with this heavier hand generally is a thicker ink deposit that is more fade resistant through washings, but will crack with time and use.

With screenprinting, there are lots of options of inks and techniques used - from discharge printing which removes the dye from the fabric and has no feel and water-based inks with a very soft hand, all the way to heavy plastisol prints that feel like they're 1/8" thick! (3 mm for the metric fluent)

#7 15x15 vs 16x20. A 15x15 will be fine for an XL tee, especially in your start-up situation. As your skills and abilities develop, you'll want a bigger press. Until then, make some money with the smaller, cheaper press!

#8 Metric system - we resist change, and we're stubbborn asses (at least that's what my wife says!)

That's my typing limit - I hope it's helped at least a little bit!


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211 Posts
Hi Ted

Phew, that was a lot of questions.

Yes weeding is done in the garden but also in your work area as well..... but you have probably figured that out by now.

Where are you? You mention both Perth and Melbourne. If you are in Perth there are a couple of places for vinyl : Qualsigns in Bayswater (www.qualsign.com.au) and Direct Signs in Malaga (Direct Sign Supplies source for wide format printers vinyl sign cutters,Sign Making Supplies,Tee Shirt Printers,Die Sublimation,Vinyl,Heat Press,Direct To Garment,Fucutomi,wide format color printers,laser engravers,sign making supplies and software) Qualsigns don't give prices on their site and Direct Signs don't even mention vinyl on their website but I have telephoned both companies a couple of times and they have been incredibly helpful.

A supplier for sublimation printers, heat transfer presses and vinyl cutters that I have used and found offers help above and beyond reasonable is John from Stickem Signs and he can be emailed at [email protected] I have also found his prices absolutely second to none.

The best place to find instruction on heat tranfer printing and vinyl application is you-tube.

Depending on where you are depends on the best place to actually look at samples of work to compare hand etc. John is a really helpful guy if you are in Perth so give him a try.

Why doesn't everyone use metric? Well don't get me started on that.... it drives me nuts.

Best of luck and the only stupid question is the one you are too embarrassed to ask.


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9,952 Posts
8. Why doesn't everyone use metric?

The world is not metric. Look around you. Everything has a natural measurement and trying to force everything into a 'divide by 10' box just doesn't work.

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996 Posts
Binki....The rest of the world uses metric. We Americans tried to convert back in the late 70's and it was a complete failure. We do not accept change. Just remember the rule....mm to inch divide by 25.4. Inch to mm times 25.4. :)

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3,098 Posts
8. Why doesn't everyone use metric?

The world is not metric. Look around you. Everything has a natural measurement and trying to force everything into a 'divide by 10' box just doesn't work.
How many times you grabbed a socket and it was too small and you sat there going lets see whats bigger than 5/16 and grabbed the wrong one and kept at it till your socket box was empty ? LOL
8mm too small. grab a 9. then a 10. pretty easy. LOL

I remember when they talked about the US going metric back then. I was against. I was in school and just learned my fractions. LOL.

I hated when car engines came in 2.4 litre engines instead of 302 cubic inch BIG BOSS. I imaged a engine the size of two litre coke bottles. LOL.

But they are right. As americans we refuse to change or follow.
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