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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
heat press vs vinyl...help need for new business dream

hi all, I want to start in business by making logos and desings on clothes...
your forum helped me so far to figure out that the dark clothes are a concern and what i might need to start. but there is still questions i can't figure out so here am I for the very first time...

I am planning buying a vinyl printer/cutter...

for what i saw so far, i thought it might be the better but i ain't sure so I ask.
my concern are that i want the logo to stay on the shirt when washed (quality) and to be able to do black clothes

I was also planing buying a heat-press...here i wasn't sure wich to choose, a mighty press 15 x 15, a hix presto press 15 x 15 or a hix swingman 15 x 15?

I know it might be a very expensive start and i am a bit scared about that stuff, since i never did it before...does it need a special course to operate a printer cutter or is it easy to operate, is there any website where i might be able to learn how to do it?

I was pretty sure about the set-up but then i heard about floc and flex magicut transfert...i tryed to find more information about those other ways to do t-shirts but haven't found so far...was only able to read that those techniques are supposed to be the better results for dark clothes at the less expensive cost but what it is? no clue...

if there is someone who do vinyl transfert and can share experience or clue that might help me start i would be very happy. time is a concern for me here since the tourist time comming pretty fast and i want to start the faster i can, is it possible? i just hope.

thank you in advance

edit:

i got concern about what i need to start...

-trying to get my hand on a vinyl printer/cutter...
-will buy heat press...
-will need trabsfer paper...wich will i need?
-do i need special vinyl to do so? do i use white mat vinyl or transparent one (if it exist) ?
-gonna need t-shirts, shirts, lady thongs, boxers, etc...but let's start with t-shirts ( i like black) anyone got a clue about where i might found ones with good quality but not expensives? let's say standard commercial quality.
-i saw about teflon sheets and pad protector, still i ain't sure the use of them i might want help there too...
-any clue about the wax ribbons is also welcome, where i can buy cheap and wich product(are they all the same?)
-is there anything else i gonna need?
 

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Re: heat press vs vinyl...help need for new business dream

Hi Stefan,
I'll try to answer some of your questions real quick.

stefan irish said:
.......
I am planning buying a vinyl printer/cutter...
for what i saw so far, i thought it might be the better but i ain't sure so I ask.
my concern are that i want the logo to stay on the shirt when washed (quality) and to be able to do black clothes
It depends on what type of graphics you are planning on working with. A vinyl cutter is a must have for text based t-shirts or graphics with a single solid color or only a few solid colors. For t-shirts, you will not need a vinyl printer, since you can't really print onto a vinyl transfer and apply it to your shirt. There are many different colors of heat transfer vinyl to choose from, and they can be applied to any color shirt, light or dark. They hold up very well to washing and abuse.




I was also planing buying a heat-press...here i wasn't sure wich to choose, a mighty press 15 x 15, a hix presto press 15 x 15 or a hix swingman 15 x 15?

Well, you have the size right. You can go bigger, but I would not go any smaller. You don't necessarily have to have a swing type press, but they are nice I suppose. You do need more room to work with them though. I would not get the "light" versions of a press myself. The HIX HT-400D or the Stahl's Mighty Press are both very good.


I know it might be a very expensive start and i am a bit scared about that stuff, since i never did it before...does it need a special course to operate a printer cutter or is it easy to operate, is there any website where i might be able to learn how to do it?
You really only need to get a cutter. The printer/cutter combination is very expensive, and unless you are going to get into making signs instead of t-shirts the vinyl printer is not necessary. A great place to learn about using a vinyl cutter, which is also called a plotter, is at www.signs101.com . I wouldn't say you need a special course to operate a cutter, but you do need to be able to set it up and learn the software. A cutter can only cut vector graphics that are cutter ready. Text is easy enough. You can learn to work with these types of graphics.


I was pretty sure about the set-up but then i heard about floc and flex magicut transfert...i tryed to find more information about those other ways to do t-shirts but haven't found so far...was only able to read that those techniques are supposed to be the better results for dark clothes at the less expensive cost but what it is? no clue...
There are other types of heat transfer vinyl available, but the most popular is probably the ThermoFlex line by Specialty Materials. ThermoFlex can be purchased from a variety of suppliers. I haven't used the other brands or types myself yet.


-will need trabsfer paper...wich will i need?
You do not need transfer paper when working with vinyl, but you do when working with a printer to make transfers. Look into the Transjet/MagicJet papers available at TLM Supply House and a few other suppliers.


-do i need special vinyl to do so? do i use white mat vinyl or transparent one (if it exist) ?
Heat transfer vinyl is different than sign vinyl. You cannot use sign vinyl to make t-shirts. Heat transfer vinyl does come in many different colors.


-gonna need t-shirts, shirts, lady thongs, boxers, etc...but let's start with t-shirts ( i like black) anyone got a clue about where i might found ones with good quality but not expensives? let's say standard commercial quality.
Check Blank Shirts, and S&S Activewear as a start.

-i saw about teflon sheets and pad protector, still i ain't sure the use of them i might want help there too...
The Teflon pad protector goes on the bottom platen, and protects the rubber padding on the heat press from heat damage. The Teflon sheet protects your t-shirts from scorching and protects your heat transfer press from damage or stains from inks that are being transferred to a t-shirt. It can also be used to protect areas of a shirt that was already pressed when adding another transfer to it.



-any clue about the wax ribbons is also welcome, where i can buy cheap and wich product(are they all the same?)
I don't know anything about this.

-is there anything else i gonna need?
Lots of time to practice, and a whole bunch of good ideas.
Plus you will need more help from all these great people t-shirt forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
wow, impressive help

thank you very much...

greatly appreciate...

i thought this was possible to print a complete design with multi colors on vinyl...

at least that was what i thought by looking on the roland site when they explain about the color camms...

my idea of using vinyl for t-shirts was coming from there actually, cause i was planning printing on vinyl then put the entire printed design on a shirt...

and since i saw that the design (or letters) need to be reverse i was wondering if i need to use transparent vinyl...

but after what u wrote, i'm a bit confused...seems my idea won't work...

then how they do when they do a t-shirt with multi colors on it?
like a racing track shirt, you got letters, cars, logos of sponsors...all togheter...
had the feeling it was printed on a vinyl then heat pressed on the shirts...
am i wrong?

once again thank you very much for your help...
you answered many of my questions so far...
what i ask might seems dumb for the experienced users but since i'm novice...
I simply ask...and who knows...i saw many people wondering about vinyl stuff...
this might also help someone else :=)
 

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stefan irish said:
.......
i thought this was possible to print a complete design with multi colors on vinyl...

at least that was what i thought by looking on the roland site when they explain about the color camms...

my idea of using vinyl for t-shirts was coming from there actually, cause i was planning printing on vinyl then put the entire printed design on a shirt...

and since i saw that the design (or letters) need to be reverse i was wondering if i need to use transparent vinyl...

but after what u wrote, i'm a bit confused...seems my idea won't work...
You can do multiple solid colors with cut vinyl. You cut it reversed because you place it face down when you press it.

I think what you were looking at was the Roland Heatwave Sublimation system. I'm not too knowledable about that set up, but I know it costs around $14,000 for the setup. I'm also not sure if they are printing to vinyl because they mention using their HeatWave Sublimation Paper which is basically die sublimation transfer paper. They do mention a Weedable Thermal Transfer Material that can be printed on with the wax ribbons.

It's confusing to me also, but if your thinking about spending a lot of money and mostly focusing on t-shirts and other similar garments, I'd look into the DTG printers that are out there. (Direct to Garment). I see these printers becoming the norm in the future as the technology increases and the costs come down a little.

I admit that I do not know much about printed heat transfer vinyl, but I do not think it is currently the best option available.

Now printing vinyl to make signs, bill boards and vehicle wraps is another whole story.

then how they do when they do a t-shirt with multi colors on it?
like a racing track shirt, you got letters, cars, logos of sponsors...all togheter...
had the feeling it was printed on a vinyl then heat pressed on the shirts...
am i wrong?
There are many ways, including screen printing, DTG printing, plastisol transfers, and inkjet transfers. There are pros and cons of each method.

once again thank you very much for your help...
you answered many of my questions so far...
what i ask might seems dumb for the experienced users but since i'm novice...
I simply ask...and who knows...i saw many people wondering about vinyl stuff...
this might also help someone else :=)
It certainly could help others as long as the answers are correct. LOL
There are no dumb questions for a novice. If you have a question, it's always best to ask it. I still have tons of questions about all this stuff. I'm very much a novice myself still.
 

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For printing on vinyl, you can try ColorJet by Specialty Materials. You can get 10 packs in 8.5x11 or 11x17 and it also comes on larger rolls. You can use an inkjet printer to print on the vinyl and then contour cut it with your sign cutter. After that you tear away the backing and heat press it onto your tshirt (no need to reverse the image either as it goes on face up). I just tried this last week and it seems to work pretty well, although the color seemed less vibrant than on a heat transfer.

If you try it or anyone else has used this material, let me know how it works out for you.

- Doug
 

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Thank you Doug,

That's very interesting. How does it feel on the t-shirt compared to the ThermoFlex?
 

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Decal_Designs said:
Thank you Doug,

That's very interesting. How does it feel on the t-shirt compared to the ThermoFlex?
I haven't used the ThermoFlex yet (I actually just started working with vinyl and had some very specific applications). The other vinyl I am using is Deco Sparkle and compared to it, the ColorJet has a matte finish and a rougher texture whereas the Deco Sparkle has a smooth, glossy finish.

- Doug
 
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