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Ok I'm not really a newbie but I am mainly an embroiderer and owner of a shop that also does screen printing and heat transfers. I want to know what the best process is for the following scenarios. My screen printer claims that digital heat transfers only last about 5 washings but I know that is not necessarily true. For small runs 1-11 shirts-best method, paper, ink, etc,
Light 100% cotton
Dark 100% cotton
Light 100% polyester
Dark 100% polyester
Also blends?

We tried to heat press transfers on to poly aprons and they came off with 1 washing. Maybe they had some type of coating that needed to be washed off first?

We are not set up for sublimation although would consider it if not too expensive. I know we have a cutter of some type so I think vinyl is an option. We do have 2 commercial heat presses. Opinions?
 

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Honestly your most durable option would be vinyl. Something like a Premium Plus from Stahl's or Siser Easy weed are nice materials that are quite thin and easy to work with. It's what I use for quick shirt runs since I sold off my screen printing gear.
 

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I highly recommend 2 step Self weeding Imageclip Laser Light for multi color artwork. It works with pastel without polymer background. It works on 100% cotton, cotton blend and polyester. I have not tried other materials so I can't say whether it works or not.

The shirt was pressed with Imageclip Laser Light. It had been washed once in this photo. I pressed 3 shirts of the same image. All 3 had been washed 5 times with very little degradation. Click the image to view larger image.

[Media]http://www.t-shirtforums.com/attachments/78417d1395775036-heat-transfer-has-white-showing-through-when-stretched-imageclip-after-wash.jpg[/media]


For dark shirts use vinyl if the artwork is 1 or 2 spot colors if layered. Vinyl comes in Glitter which is very nice on dark shirts.





Check this out and see what others had made: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/rhinestone-decoration/t115182.html?highlight=Poor+man's+bling

Some heat transfer for dark like opaque has heavy hand. Some feels like rain coat. Cracks after few washes. Opaque requires vinyl cutter to trim and remove the excess material.

Inkjet printers clog. I had tossed 4 printers in the trash. I only use laser printer with Imageclip Laser Light.

I use vinyl for dark. Have not yet find laser transfer for dark that I would sell.
 
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