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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to screen printing and want to start screen printing QR codes and custom designs on Tshirts so I was wondering if it was cheaper to buy a starter package from the silkscreenstore or buy the individual pieces myself?

I was also thinking going water based rather than platisol, do you think that's the best route for me?
 

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I am an aspiring apparel designer and was about to buy all the tools and supplies in larger volume for a small operation because I thought I would save money that way. Approximately $1600. But then after coming to the site, reading questions, looking at tutorials and re-evaluating my needs I saw that a kit is perfect for me. I ordered the Hobby Kit for $225 at silkscreeningsupplies.com (waiting for it to come). It's on sale right now. If for some reason I can not do it, I only spent a small amount of money to start and it's easier to sell to someone else.

The kit is worth it at the $225 price because your saving money on the supplies:
1. that shirt press costs $150 by itself
2. That overhead light and stand is $30
3. the screen is $20
4. the 2 inks are about $13
5. Emulsion roughly $20
That's ALREADY $233 and you still have more supplies in the kit. Also the shelf life of many items are 1 year or less. Imagine buying all of that in bulk (32 oz/1 gallon, etc) and not getting around to using it all. Money wasted. Also i mentioned $225 b/c that's the total cost of the kit.

Consider this:
1. business (long-term) or hobby (short-term with option to sell your tools later)
2. how much time do you have to dedicate to learning?
3. do you have proper work space to do this?
4. how much money are you able to spend on necessary supplies?
5. what is the true number of shirts/designs you will really make/sale in 1 year?

I didn't have great answers for any of those questions b/c my goal is cut & sewn, not screen printing. I'm sure it'd still be cheaper to make them myself, but I'm still learning to sew and t-shirts are not the focus of my company. If i can go to a screen printer and still charge $20-30 for my tops, then great!

Also, look into print-on-demand online sites like cafepress.com. Pre-warning, i've read the shirts from some companies start to crack early on after a few washes so do thorough research.

In terms of the ink question. I am still debating that myself. Water-based is better for beginners b/c it's easier to clean and environmental friendly. Platisol's is harder to clean but gives better prints (specially on dark clothing). You can switch to platisols when you feel like it with the kits. This is from what I read and not personal experience.

Hope that helps!
 

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cool. Please update on what other supplies you needed after the kit. i've been modifying my budget A LOT and need a definite number for spending. I have not received my kit yet. No tracking number has been emailed either. :/
 

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I bought a "started kit" but the 4 color. The two things I wished had upgraded ...


The screens to 20x24 and the exposure unit to support that.

Not sure I was smart enough to know that curing a shirt with a heat gun is a pain and time consuming, but good enough to get your feet wet ... having to buy a dryer now.

Other than the kit was a good deal, and i have learned a ton. The videos that come the unit helped me a lot as well.
 
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