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Basically I just launched my own clothing line using a heatpress and then I realized most clothing lines use screen-printing. I guess what I'm wondering is, should I sell the heatpress and try to get a screen press? The nice thing about heatpresses is that I can custom make shirts in different colors one by one instead of having to print many with a screenprint. If I send the customer a heatpressed shirt with that thick coating on it will the customer know or think its a poor quality shirt or can I get away with it? Do others use heatpresses, are they acceptable or is it known as like the make a quick buck tool? anything at all that you guys could relay would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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There are some quality heat press plastisol transfers out there. They've come a long way in the last several years.

Eventually you may want to get into screen printing, but even if you do, DO NOT GET RID OF YOUR HEAT PRESS!!!! Sorry for the all caps, but it is valuable tool that I imagine every screen printer that does a decent amount of business has.

Good luck!
Nick
 

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If I send the customer a heatpressed shirt with that thick coating on it will the customer know or think its a poor quality shirt or can I get away with it?
It really depends on the nature of your brand, your target consumer and your retail price point.

If you are trying to compete with popular trendy retail brands, then yes, it will be poor quality and your brand may suffer as a result.

But if you are making random funny t-shirts, then it may not be that big of a deal.
 

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so the heatpress with the transfer paper feel is acceptable? what about sending samples to bloggers/magazines would they see the shirt as trashy/low quality if it has that heavy transfer paper feel to it? thanks
It sounds like you keep on doubting the quality of your work. If you are questioning whether others will percieve it a low quality, you are probably not quite happy with the results you are getting?

You can order plastisol transfers with your designs and press them as required - if done properly, it will look like screen printed shirt.

With heat press you can also do rhinestone transfers, vinyl, flock, foil, etc.
 

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Plastisol transfers are much better quality than the transfer paper you speak of, 90% of the transfer paper has a horrible feel to it and will be put off as poor quality no matter how good your designs are.
Get as many samples of the papers you can and experiment with it to determine which one works best for you. They have greatly improved over the years but will never be the same as a screen print
 

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Some good advice but a few too many "definitives".

There are clothing lines that don't use screen printing. Transfers across the board don't equate to poor quality or the perception of such. Just like screen printing doesn't mean "high quality". There are tons of contributing factors. There's growing trend towards "soft hand/waterbase" feel. But I see many vinyl type applied images that are wildly popular and fashion-priced. Special effect printing using gels, HD, suedes, glitters/shimmers, rhinestones, foils, discharge and various combinations. And custom photo transfers using dark paper on both light and dark fabrics because some folk like the heavier shinier finish and at $30-$40. As far as production capabilities, it too depends on where you are as far as quantities needed, pricing, market, exclusivity etc.
As far as samples, bloggers/magazines will perceive whatever quality you present. Not just the garment but you, your business/logo/promotional imaging etc.
And screen printing isn't across the board "hard". It can be messy but doesn't have to be. And a "lot of space" is relative. There are "spare room" setups that make money and a lot of quality product.
There are TONS of different transfer types, decorating/embellishment processes out there that appeal to myriad clientele and they all have the potential to be "poor quality". Do some serious woodsheddin' and research the gamut and decide which one(s) you have an affinity for, find or create a market, work out the details of pricing, production, sales, image etc and of course think big!
 

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I bought a Ryonet Silver and all the associated gear last year, and then got myself a heat press and vinyl cutter a few months later. I really wish I'd done the exact opposite - I love having the ability to screen print, but for my small business, the heat press and cutter is about 80% of what I do, and is very profitable.

Definitely keep your heat press, and consider investing in an entry level cutter like the Vinyl Express R-31 to expand your offerings. Shirt vinyl has a great hand and a really cool look. Once I show it to my customers, a lot of them prefer it over screen printing and are willing to pay a premium price, especially for fashion finishes and the like. I do some digital transfers too, but only when the customer requires full color images, and 95% of them don't.
 

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thanks plastisol sounds like a good alternative, however I was looking and it seems like most print shops that offer plastisol only offer up to around 15"x15" what if I require larger than that do I just have the design ordered on two different plastisol transfers? thanks!
Dowling Graphics does a large sheet with an 23.5" x 36" image area......
 
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