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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so this has been asked 1000x already and I’ve read 100’s of threads but i need my own answer. I want to be able to make my own designs whether they are 1 color or full color. I do not want to screen print and I’ve been looking into vinyl and a cutter although i know i won’t t be able to do full color. Also I’ve been looking into printers and heat transfer paper also. I need whatever i buy to be good enough quality to sell and grow a business. Although i want to keep my initial investment to around $5,000 just in case it doesn’t work out. So i guess my questions are A. Can i keep a $5,000 budget and still get quality? And B. How is the oki c711wt will it produce good enough quality for resell? As i said i j ow this has been asked but most of not all we’re older threads and a lot could have changed in 2 years. Thank you in advance for any feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
T-shirts and hoodies. Or clothing in general. All colors of clothing. And small runs and one offs at first but hopefully i can get some decent accounts also. As I’m already networking and i know a lot of people who run businesses
 

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I am a big believer in not going out and spending a bunch of money on equipment, so spending almost 4k on a one-task printer for an unproven business does not sound like a good idea.

I would lean towards purchasing a heat press and then having your transfers made by someone else until you prove your concept and the decide if you want to invest in the printer (and if it will meet all of your needs).
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it doesn’t work out I’m on with that. I’ll just print me and my kids shirts from now on and won’t have to buy t-shirts anymore that’s all. I just know i can’t get the business of i don’t have quality and I’m willing to put the money in. If i have to go over 5k whatever i will i just don’t want to if i don’t have to. My main question is can i get quality prints on lights and darks and full color images with that printer? Basically is it worth it?
 

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Darks are where the poop hits the fan, things get expensive, results leave something to be desired, and you have to get your process/temp/pressure dialed in pretty precisely to avoid wasting transfers and garments. At present, one of the weedless laser papers is probably the best overall process and result ... but the equipment required would probably bust your budget, and the process itself seems like it can be finicky, with some people never getting it to work reliably for them (I would not attempt this without an absolutely first rate heat press; you need precise temp and pressure control, and an even temp across the surface).

Reliably good results are easier and cheaper to obtain on lights. If 100% polyester white garments are an option, then dye sublimation has much to recommend it. If you must work with cotton, then Epson pigment inkjet onto JPSS paper. A decent quality (even temperature across surface) heat press in either case.

Inkjet for dark garments would require weeding for most art, has a heavy hand compared to JPSS, and may be prone to cracking that reveals the white layer under the ink. YMMV.
 

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Anyone have any info on this method?
We have not been a fan of the laser transfers. Some samples were shown to some of our smaller clients that order small runs and they were not really happy with them. The main complaint was the feel. We didn't do any wash testing as we decided to not pursue it further. Keep in mind these clients are used to screen printed, dyesub, and heat transfer films used in the production of their apparel.
It has been some time now...so maybe they have different papers available that feel better. Hopefully someone with more experience with laser papers will offer some info.
 
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Even with the forever self weeding paper for darks?
Search for topics like "forever self weeding problem" and the like, and you will get a better sense of what issues some people have encountered. Do that for any system/material/device you are considering.

There is no unicorn product/process out there. Everything has its downsides. It's a matter of finding the problems that are the best fit for you and your ability to deal with or ignore them :eek:
 

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There is no unicorn product/process out there. Everything has its downsides. It's a matter of finding the problems that are the best fit for you and your ability to deal with or ignore them :eek:
This is very true. We'd all like to get the feel of discharge with opaque white prints on black triblend shirts, do it quickly & easily whether it's 1 shirt or 1000, without getting messy, with minimal equipment investment, and make money hand over fist while doing it. But that is a non-option.
-Sublimation yields the best hand, but it's useless on darks;
-DTG is convenient, but it still isn't awesome on darks, isn't efficient for higher volume, includes it's own set of maintenance challenges; and you'd better have a really good plan in place to recoup your investment & make a profit.
-Transfer are convenient, but they don't convey the same quality as screen printing. It works for some niches & applications, but not all.
-Screen printing is very versatile, but it's a lot more equipment, a lot messier, and not good for tiny runs.
The best approach I know of is to choose not to do everything, and tailor your business model to the strengths of the process you choose.
 

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I've been providing laser transfer prints for customers for over three years and haven't faced any quality concerns. I've provided shirts to small businesses, youth groups, churches .... and sell them via our Etsy site as well.

While I'm "strictly" part-time (actually am retired), I do as much as I want to do - out of one room in my house - with a net-net margin over the years of just under 30%.

It's all been done with an OKI 920WT that I was able to pick up used and a Knight 1620 heat press. I've done t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets. I use "almost exclusively" Forever Low Temp Laser Dark for Dark Garments and Neenah Image Clip Laser Light for lights.

I DO use TransferRip software for printing which eliminates the "plastic" feel and saves toner. It wasn't cheap to buy the software to begin with but, in my opinion, paid for itself within a couple months.

I paid $5000 for my used 920WT three years ago and could likely sell it for something in the range of $4000-$4500 if I were to market it today.

Do yourself a favor - spend the money needed to do it right the first time.
 
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