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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
First, I apologize if this is a common question. I haven't been here in a long long time.

If I use the highest quality plastisol transfer with strict adherence to pressure time, and heat WITH a good heat press, will I get a t-shirt print that is comparable to a traditional screen print in terms of quality? I have a several nice designs that people will purchase locally BUT would rather print on demand to keep cost of inventory low while offering different sizes, colors, styles.

Thank you in advance
 

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Plastisol transfers are pretty good compared to screening, though they might have a stiffer feel, but that really depends on whose transfers you're using. You can get sample transfers from most of the vendors, so you could try those out and make your own judgment.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Plastisol transfers are pretty good compared to screening, though they might have a stiffer feel, but that really depends on whose transfers you're using. You can get sample transfers from most of the vendors, so you could try those out and make your own judgment.

Steve
Thanks alot Steve. I think a little 'stiffer' will be ok. But I dont want to sell a product that will wash away, peel etc.

Are you able to recommend a vendor? I plan to use a geo knight press which seems like a solid press

Appreciate your time
 

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We use Versatranz quite a bit. There is also 613, Howards and Transfer Express. We have used all of them and they all have pluses and minuses. Get some samples from each and make a pick.
 
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... Would you say a high quality transfer applied right is as good as traditional screen on tee?
A 100% correctly done screen print can be lighter feeling and longer lasting than a 100% correct done transfer. The transfer always has a layer of adhesive that it depends upon, as opposed to ink direct on fabric.

Can a transfer be more than good enough? Absolutely. In part, it depends on ones criteria.

I don't use Plastisol transfers myself, but I own/wear many Tees that were made that way. In my experience they eventually start to crack--I'm talking years of semi-regular wear to get to that point (unless they were poor quality to start with). Whereas I have a direct printed Plastisol concert Tee from the late 1970s with a still pristine print, despite the fabric itself being a mere shadow of its former self.

YMMV! Binki mentioned the most often cited companies to sample. There is a thread with a link to a spreadsheet that is kept up to date with providers. It includes a little info about sizes and features offered. Here it is:

 

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If I use the highest quality plastisol transfer with strict adherence to pressure time, and heat WITH a good heat press, will I get a t-shirt print that is comparable to a traditional screen print in terms of quality?
Screen-printing is a diverse method, but if by "traditional" you mean plastisol, hot-split transfers come very close.
Other types of transfers are OK too, but cannot really be compared to screen-printing.
 

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Sounds good Bikini, I appreciate the recommendations. I'm in Canada as well so that may be a factor too.
versatrans will ship to canada and they produce very good transfers (prices default to $cad according to your canadian ip address)
see this thread here for a review

the fly in your ointment (regardless of who you choose as a supplier) is plastisol transfers need to be single color, or bought in quantity to make economic sense

multi-color print on demand may work if you have artwork that warrants a premium price and can absorb the transfer cost

if your designs don't have alot of negative space, forget dtf
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your thorough replies. At the end of the day, I suppose the big question is whether I can sell a heat transferred t-shirt at market price in other words at $20 - $30 USD to compete with other brand name t-shirts.

I would not want my tees to be regarded as 'cheap'

I would like 2-3 colors in some of my prints so i'll have to determine if its affordable. It seems the only thing to do now is to experiment with various applications.

Can a heat transfer application be regarded as a good quality tee?

How does DTF compared to plastisol in terms of feel, color vibrance, and durability?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
versatrans will ship to canada and they produce very good transfers (prices default to $cad according to your canadian ip address)
see this thread here for a review

the fly in your ointment (regardless of who you choose as a supplier) is plastisol transfers need to be single color, or bought in quantity to make economic sense

multi-color print on demand may work if you have artwork that warrants a premium price and can absorb the transfer cost

if your designs don't have alot of negative space, forget dtf
What is the issue with negative space? Do they charge by the square inch of ink design vs the size of the sheet? Would DTF compare to DTG?

I'd like to sell quality tees: of course if I used the goof proof transfers, I can save money by not keeping large inventory and 'press on demand.' I could then pass on the savings to customers BUT we all need to maintain a certain level of quality. I'm shocked that tee spring can sell a one off DTG tee for $10.00 and still make money.
 

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What is the issue with negative space? Do they charge by the square inch of ink design vs the size of the sheet? Would DTF compare to DTG?

I'd like to sell quality tees: of course if I used the goof proof transfers, I can save money by not keeping large inventory and 'press on demand.' I could then pass on the savings to customers BUT we all need to maintain a certain level of quality. I'm shocked that tee spring can sell a one off DTG tee for $10.00 and still make money.
dtf is thick, it feels like a raincoat if it is a full chest design with little negative space
dtg is a much nicer hand, but quality can be inconsistent from suppliers

goof proof is also thicker and will feel cheap on a tee
if you want a premium price it is better to master the thinner varieties
get some samples from various suppliers and test on new unwashed blanks

the price you can command will be determined by your customers
if it is original artwork and has appeal, then $20-$30usd may be possible (i sell mine for $25cad no problem)

i think teespring uses a bank of the kornit atlas's ($250k+ each), or maybe they switched to the vulcan's
either way, the ink cost is about $1.50/tee and the tee's are $3, so.....
 

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How does DTF compared to plastisol in terms of feel, color vibrance, and durability?
DTF is virtually the same as printable HTV. It looks the same and feels the same.
Having said that, many of the top brands (ie benetton) often use HTV on their basic t-shirts.
Works well for big brands... not so well for small ones.

I'm shocked that tee spring can sell a one off DTG tee for $10.00 and still make money.
$10 per shirt is actually expensive, but they have to compensate for low demand periods, and still make some profit.
 
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