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To be able to print your own transfers and then heat press them on yourself seems too good/easy/cheap to be true...can inkjet transfers be professional quality? Or do you have to go with plastisol for professional quality?
 

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If I can't turn out professional quality tees using transfers I would not be in this business. If you have the right equipment and the highest quality transfer paper.. and above all. the highest quality in standards. Now it also depends on what the job is. I am now using both plastisol and transfers.
 

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it depends on what your definition of professional quality is.

example:
made 600 photo t-shirts using CLC transfers overnight rush for a huge brand.

it was the only way to get the job done and the customer new what they were getting. They were used for a tv commercial.

I would say that it was a professional Job.

But i thing screen printing and plastisol is still by far the choice of most pros in the biz when pumping out volume.

with mouse pads, mugs and stuff like that digital transfers are used a lot. So they are professional i would think.
 

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Maybe it's me, but I tried several times using inkjet transfer and it didn't turn out quite well. My problem is the peeling after so many washes. That is something that I'm not familiar with since I do mostly screen print and vinyl press.
 

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Vtec44 said:
Maybe it's me, but I tried several times using inkjet transfer and it didn't turn out quite well. My problem is the peeling after so many washes.
no, its not just you james.

adding an opaque backing material to the digital ( meaning jet, CLC etc. ) makes them a LOT more durable. But its a lot of work to make 1 shirt, ideal for small photo type runs etc.

Yes you are right, a jet transfer alone printed on a white shirt does have a short life span. This is why even at Wal-mark you will not see any jet-tansfer t-shirts in their lowest price is the law t-shirt section. ------ That should tell you something.

But then again, you can used them on other items that dont involve washing. It is also a good start up set up that you will keep as you grow. Cause you never know when a rush photo transfer shirt order will walk in the door. $$$$
 

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LucyRoberts said:
no, its not just you james.
Well I don't know about the rest of you on this board, but the very first shirt I made over a year ago still looks great! It was a transfer prined on my inkjet and pressed with a hand iron. I have since gone to a 15x15 Stahls press and I have to say"My shirts look and wear great. I've had no complaints with quality or durability!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LucyRoberts said:
it depends on what your definition of professional quality is.
Let's say you wanted to open up a store that was going to compete with the big stores like Bustedtees, or Tshirthell... Would doing inkjet transfers with a heat press even come near their level of quality and durability? (As far as I know, some of those large stores do 100% screen printing) Or would it become quite obvious after a while that your shirts may have nice, unqiue designs, but your quality falls far behind theirs?

I'd like to open up a store with a very, very large selection of tees. However, the result of having a large number of designs is that you cannot have a huge inventory, so I was hoping I could just do inkjet transers if I only get one or two orders of a given design. But if the easy solution to low run orders is simply doing an inkjet transfer, then why do some of those big shops do 100% screen printing? I'm guessing the quality of inkjet transfers is just below the quality a serious store expects to sell...because if you're just looking at profits, it seems inkjet transfers are the most profitable solution to low run orders, no?
 

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Fat Tire said:
can inkjet transfers be professional quality?
It definitely depends how you define the term: the proliferation of businesses using them proves that some people define them as professional.

Others disagree.
 

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Fat Tire said:
Let's say you wanted to open up a store that was going to compete with the big stores like Bustedtees, or Tshirthell... Would doing inkjet transfers with a heat press even come near their level of quality and durability?
In my opinion: no.
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and printing buisness, but when I was in Las Vegas there were t shirt stands and they were makinf t shirts with a heat press machine and some kind of paper with them image already on the paper and they would press it and peel the paper of and there was the image on the t shirt, I was so amazed, my question is what kind of paper and ink are the using. Thanks
 

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I wear a shirt that has my business name on it and phone number. I made it with a transfer. When I get customers that ask about what the look of the tee will be after it is washed because I use transfers I just point to my shirt and tell them how many times it had been washed. It looks the same as it did the day I washed it the first time. But then I use pigment ink and Iron all transfers or miracool. However for any new orders over 25 shirts and not pictures I will be doing plastisol.
 

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badalou said:
But then I use pigment ink and Iron all transfers or miracool. However for any new orders over 25 shirts and not pictures I will be doing plastisol.
Hi Lou,

Is the Pigment Ink method just the same as the inkjet method?
printer + transferpaper + press + T_shirt ?

So pigment ink is a better finish than inkjet ?
What are the benefits to using pigment ink?

Thanks!!
 

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rookie905 said:
Is the Pigment Ink method just the same as the inkjet method?
printer + transferpaper + press + T_shirt ?
Yes - it is the inkjet method.

rookie905 said:
So pigment ink is a better finish than inkjet ?
Pigment ink still comes from an inkjet; there is dye ink and pigment ink, which is the distinction being made.

rookie905 said:
What are the benefits to using pigment ink?
It doesn't run in the first wash and shouldn't fade as much. A search for "pigment" in the forum search should yield more information.
 

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I have heard that pigment ink has a hard feel to it and sooner or later washing and in hot dryers the ink will crack. Anyone else heard this ? And, how is pigment ink for flesh tones and long time durability ?
 

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I'm going to put my two cents in concerning the wearability of ink jet transfers verses the screenprint or plastisol. I got several premade designs with my t-shirt startup purchase which were made by Airwaves, Dowling and Global and I had a terrible time heat pressing them and ruined several shirts due to one thing or another. The ones that did press sucessfully have since faded and cracked with less than 10 washings so that's my experience with screenprint and plastisol designs. I also got transfer papers with the package and got a good inkjet printer and have been doing my own designs with either JetwearII or Jetwear Dark and have not had cracking or fading after several washing and the whites even have been bleached with no fading. It is more expensive to use transfers with inkjet due to the ink usage but you can do full color designs for small runs and give the customer what they want without large setup fees. Each method has it's pros and cons and when doing a startup you have to decide if doing small runs of several designs will be profitable or whether you want to do one design and carry large inventory as it's hard to find screenprinters who do small runs. My store is located in a small rural area and I get more small orders than large so this method is better for me.
 

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I got several premade designs with my t-shirt startup purchase which were made by Airwaves, Dowling and Global and I had a terrible time heat pressing them and ruined several shirts due to one thing or another. The ones that did press sucessfully have since faded and cracked with less than 10 washings so that's my experience with screenprint and plastisol designs
Interesting. So you're saying that the plastisol transfers that you had made faded and cracked?

I wonder if this is related to what Lucy was saying in another thread about those type transfers needing a "glue" to be more durable:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showpost.php?p=31964&postcount=152
 

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There are specific inks that are good, better, best for transfers and that also goes for paper.

I'm talking specifically about transfers on light colored garments, but IF you do your research - find the best inks and the best paper. YES, you can put out a very professional product. Will it last as long as a screened shirt or screened transfer? YES. Will it fade? NO. Will it crack? NO.

Now if you buy over the counter paper, just any OEM ink and apply with an iron? No, it's probably not going to be a professional job.
 

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[QUOTEInteresting. So you're saying that the plastisol transfers that you had made faded and cracked?
][/quote]

They sure did but these were the stock transfers they provided to practice with on the t-shirts included in the package. I sure was'nt impressed with the quality and would'nt use them for custom orders. I ordered the business kit from Transfer Express and got a lot of samples of their work and plan on pressing and testing their transfers and if all goes well, I will use them for custom orders on large orders. Price is too high for small runs but they do have neat designs. I also have learned a lot from browsing this forum and want to thank all the members for questions and answers. Great site!
 
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