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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, first post so please be gentle :eek:

I've been looking into setting up shop with tshirt printing, having worked for a company that print sublimated teamwear (football and rugbyt kits).

You'd think I have a pretty good insight into how it works, and I have spent more time trawling sites, tutorials and youtube in the last few weeks than I have doing anything else, but I just dont understand printing methods at home for a small business.

My employer either outsource a company which use a gigantic sublimation printer, where the garments are rolled through, or a plotter/cutter. They sent digital prints or multi coloured designs to a printer who returned the transfers for press application.

So the company regularly turn down work for custom small scale prints, ie stag and hen, personalised gifts etc, which is the kind of work I want to get into. I spend a lot of time with local sports teams, and a friend of mine was looking to source a printer for his work wear company.

What I'm struggling with specifically (before I spend any money of course) is the kind of printing that cam be done at home. I realise that transfers in solid shapes (ie a photo or square graphic) can be printed onto transfer paper, but what if the design had lettering on it, and was multi coloured so that a plotter was out of the question? What would you use then?

I dont know if transfers can be cut out on a plotter, or if you need to outsource like my boss does, or if transfers are available so that the only part that is transferred onto the paper is the part which has ink on it?

Can someone please help me out? I feel a little dense about it, as it seem like everyone else knows exactly what to go for... but if someone could enlighteen me on what I'm missing I'd be really grateful!
 

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I guess it depends on how big your home is to be honest.
If your going for sublimation - then you need a computer, a printer and a heat press.
If you want to do vinyl - then you need a computer, a printer possibly, and a vinyl cutter and a heat press.
If you want to do DTG as Dave says then your going to need a computer, a DTG printer, possibly a dryer and deep pockets to begin with.
If you want to do embroidery - then you'll need a computer and an embroidery machine.
You need to look at your markets and decide what equipment and then what size you need - for instance do you need a A4 sublimation printer or an A3 printer? This would then dictate the size of the heat press that you need.
Hope it helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey thanks for this... I'm looking at a laser printer and A4 prints, the confusion was, if I used a transfer that didnt have straight edges, would I need a plotter if that makes sense.

I've finally got my head round the fact I dont need to cut around lettering etc tho, except for a rough trim with a pair of scissors. :)

Many thanks for your help!!

Additionally, I'm kind of worried about the lack of knowledge with programs such as coreldraw, adobe illustrator etc. Am comfortable with tshirt factory deluxe, but wondering are the more complex softwares hard to get your head around? Been looking at courses, but unsure if they're really necessary. Does anyone live without them?
 

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Hi Kelly, this is my first post too and i must say im in a similar position to you.

I use photoshop for my designs etc and you'd be surprised how easily you will learn how to use such software, especially for simple text based designs.

The best way around them is to simple get stuck in because you are going to want to eventually. Youtube is a fantastic source of knowledge on how to use coreldraw, photoshop etc.

I am also struggling to decide what printing methods to use for my new headwear brand. My designs are full colour and i am really confused and unsure which method to use. Ive researched loads but it is confusing when there are so many methods, papers etc. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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