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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

I have been making shirts for a while and I am very into my own way of doing these. I am SOO sick of the weeding for black/colored shirts whether its vinyl OR Jet Opaque weeding.

I recently just got a client who wanted a large order and I ordered my transfers for the first time. I ordered ULTRA COLOR SOFT transfers from Transfer Express.

Does anyone know how these are made?
What is the process called? (I doubt its plastisol)
Do I need a special printer?

I REALLY want to be able to make these transfers myself from home.

Thanks in advance to all!
 

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Best guess is an HTV. You can find out if you can peel it off the carrier.
 

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Their site says it is digitally printed and has a thin transparent outline/border ... that last bit makes me wonder. Are they somehow cutting and weeding this stuff? That seems unlikely, but why else would there be a transparent border around everything? You can see the border in the photo in the upper left of their page.

There was that self-weeding inkjet-based system a few years back that didn't quite seem to get off the ground. It had a "clear" ink that determined which parts of the paper would transfer to the garment. Maybe something along those lines again? The stuff I'm talking about was from from Vivid Chemical and Conde.

 

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Does anyone know how these are made?
What is the process called? (I doubt its plastisol)
Do I need a special printer?
Transfer Express do specify what these transfers are (screen + digital), and it is obvious by the pricing as well.

Their name for Direct To Film (DTF)?
Nah... Nobody is selling 11x18 DTF printed transfers for $2.63. It's just uneconomical to do so.
Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Screenshot
The stretch versions could be DTF, but I doubt it. Screen-printed transfers are much more profitable.

WTF is up with that transparent border around everything?
Looks intentional to me, and the other examples don't have it.
It's a technique often used with plotter cut vinyl for creating an outline matching the color of the fabric.
Not the best idea for this type of transfer obviously...
 

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These are in direct competition to Supacolor. Essentially these are made with very expensive equipment such as an HP indigo or a Ricoh. Im sure you can use Oki printer too. Unless you are ready to drop a lot of money, creating these at home is not feasible. You can try to replicate the process with Direct to film and achieve similar results but not exact. The process itself requires heat transfer film and not paper and its run through the printer with everything except white. Then, a white waterbased ink is screen printed on the back. The border around everything is solving a problem with these transfers where the edges tend not to stick and peel. Thus adding a clear or slightly darker outline allows the adhesive to go further past the design. Check out this video.
 

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These are in direct competition to Supacolor.
Toner based transfers existed for nearly 2 decades before Supacolor started doing it.

Essentially these are made with very expensive equipment such as an HP indigo or a Ricoh.
Not true! Any toner printer will do, and the HP indigo is essentially a toner printer.
The difference is that home/office toner printers are limited to 30cm print width at best, and have very poor paper registration.
The HP indigo can print 50cm wide sheets and has print press grippers for accurate registration. It is basically a printing press with a toner printer in the middle.

You can try to replicate the process with Direct to film and achieve similar results but not exact.
DTF is actually better but much slower and much more expensive.

The process itself requires heat transfer film and not paper
It depends on your definition of "paper". Transfer papers are not just paper... the coating is what makes the difference.

The border around everything is solving a problem with these transfers where the edges tend not to stick and peel. Thus adding a clear or slightly darker outline allows the adhesive to go further past the design.
The sticking issue is somewhat true, depending on the film or paper used.
The border is more about blending the design to the fabric by softening sharp edges, adding strength to thin lines, and hide the glue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Their name for Direct To Film (DTF)? I think Howards and maybe Versantraz also has their own version.
Yeah alot of companies have their "full color" version. Seems to be the exact same process, But some are better than others of course
 

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Yeah alot of companies have their "full color" version. Seems to be the exact same process, But some are better than others of course
Similar... but not the same.
Pretty much any printing method can be combined with screen-printing to produce transfers.
 
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