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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Nothing against Epson... but ugh :p ....

btw these are cold-peel printed on a brand new epson C88 with pigment inks.

I really hate the fact that you can see & feel the transfer paper outside of the design. But you can cut it down to make it look nicer I guess. This is what I did on the last couple shirts I printed, and it looks ok, but you can still see that border fairly well.


Are ALL inkjet transfers going to be like this?

Is this obious printed-on-an-inkjet film stuff lessened a little by using "professional" transfer paper that isn't available in the stores (ie TransJet II or whatever your favorite is)


With custom plastisol transfers.... the film isn't even there right?

It's just the ink?



Aside from my poor review... I made a couple shirts for my daughter & one for a niece and they are totally happy with them. :)

I'm just picky because I'm looking at using transfers for a run of about 1000-2000 (identical design) t-shirts over a period of a couple months.

The inkjets aren't that bad really.

I can't wait to see how the custom plastisol xfers look :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Another thing...

this new & improved epson paper says to choose a print setting of "360 dpi ink jet paper" for the media type.... but the printer doesn't offer this option.

It offers:

Plain Paper / Bright White Paper
Matte Heavyweight Paper
Ultra Premium Glossy Photo Paper
Premium Glossy Photo Paper
Premium Semigloss Photo Paper
Glosssy Photo Paper
Envelope

With "Quality Options" of:

Draft
text
text & image
photo
best photo


I'm not sure what combination equals "360 DPI inkjet paper", but I was using premium glossy with the "photo" setting for quality.
 

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Atari said:
Is this obious printed-on-an-inkjet film stuff lessened a little by using "professional" transfer paper that isn't available in the stores (ie TransJet II or whatever your favorite is)
I haven't heard other reviews on the Epson paper; I imagine you'd get better results from TJII etc., but you will always have some of the problems you describe when using transfers.

Atari said:
With custom plastisol transfers.... the film isn't even there right? It's just the ink?
That's correct.

Atari said:
I'm just picky because I'm looking at using transfers for a run of about 1000-2000 (identical design) t-shirts over a period of a couple months.
With 1000-2000 of an identical design in that space of time, you have a lot of options. The obvious thing for me to suggest is screenprinting. With that kind of quantity, even if it's a full colour photo you can afford process printing.

If that's out for one reason or another, there's also dye sublimation and DTG. These processes all have their drawbacks, but those drawbacks are generally quite different depending on the method.

If I was printing 1000-2000 of one design in 2-3 months the first question I'd ask myself is "Why am I not using screenprinting?". That question may have a good answer, but it is at least initially the obvious choice.

Quantity opens doors though.
 

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OK, first, you learned your lesson. And this from a former Epson rep, me. If your going to do this business then you DO NOT BUT PAPERS FROM THE LOCAL OFFICE SUPPLY STORE. END OF STORY. None of us in this business buy that stuff. We us different companies. I use Iron All for lights and Jet Dark for darks. If your going to do 1000 shirts with same design then you should look into Plastisol screened transfers. From First Edition 1000 12 x 12 transfers will cost you for one color 33 cents to 7 color for 1.98. Gee I hope you not buying your shirts from Wal mart also.. You need professional guidance Atari, and I for one will gladly help you. How you could go out and think about getting an order for 1000 shirts and not even try the transfer we(professionals) use is beyond me. You are OK with the Epson printer. But please do your self a favor and get the right transfers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Solmu said:
If I was printing 1000-2000 of one design in 2-3 months the first question I'd ask myself is "Why am I not using screenprinting?". That question may have a good answer, but it is at least initially the obvious choice.
Here is some of my reasoning....


We plan to print this logo on regular mens t-shirts, a couple different types of girlie shirts, panties, sweaters, hoodies, etc.

In order for us to get a great price on traditional silkscreening you have to order a lot all at once... of each item. I could have 1000 (dark) shirts screenprinted all at once, and the total to the door cost would be say $3.75 or $4.50 each ($3750 - $4500), but then if I say I want a couple dozen girlie shirts, panties too, then they will charge very high prices for the low volume on those - ESPECIALLY if it is a follow-up order.

With professional silkscreening, you'll only get a discount when you are placing the large order all at once.

If you follow up with an order for 12 hoodies a week later, expect to pay throught the nose -- if they'll even DO a dozen hoodies (they might require 2 or 3 dozen minimum). It's not their fault though... there are setup costs involved .


However, with plastisol transfers, we can buy a ton of them to start & get a fantastic rate (look at the QTY 3000 prices on the matrix at first-edition.com). We can then buy garment stock as we need it.

When want to print on hoodies, or something other than t-shirts no problem.

We already have the biggest discount built in from when we bought all of our custom transfers.



The bulk discounts come much quicker from the garment suppliers than they do from the screenprinters.


Besides, I could buy 2000 shirts at once for a bigger discount, and if it turned out I didn't want to print our logo on more than 200 of them... then I could print something else on those shirts, or turn around and sell them to YOU. But I'm pretty sure you're not going to want to buy my 1800 left over t-shirts if they're already silkscreened ;)


DTG printing or DyeSub would also allow you to have unprinted stock on hand and buy stock as you need it.... but a DTG machine will cost about $12,000....(without white?) if you didn't OWN the machine, then you would run into the same pricing problems stated above with screen printing.

I don't know enough about dyesub to comment on it.

But from what I understand in reading this forum, other than silkscreening.... custom plastisol heat transfers is the way to go.



I really like the freedom of being able to print 100 shirts when we need them as we need them, for a good price. You can get 100 dark T's for like $2 or even less. The transfers in the quantity we'll buy will wind up costing us probably about .10 to .20 each after being cut....

So we're talking about being able to print a multicolor design on a dark/black shirt for under $2.25 in QTY 100 at a time.

Good luck getting a screen printer to do that.

Good luck getting them to give you that price on 2000 at once for that matter ;)
 

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All you need to do is have as many screen printed transfer made and in the different sizes you may use and get them done all at one time. lets say your using two colors in your design. First Edition would charge you about .66 cents a shirt. remember screen printed transfers come out looking like screen printed shirts. When you get an order or say you have 100 shirts or 24 shirt you already have your transfer done just place on garment and press. There is no cutting as the transfer is the only thing that gets put on the garment. if you go to my web (below) and follow the links you will see my screen printed test that I placed there on Monday. Think of it a tee shirt that cost less than $2.00 screen printed. I think this will solve your problem about screen printing. need more info.. Here to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
badalou said:
All you need to do is have as many screen printed transfer made and in the different sizes you may use and get them done all at one time. lets say your using two colors in your design. First Edition would charge you about .66 cents a shirt. remember screen printed transfers come out looking like screen printed shirts. When you get an order or say you have 100 shirts or 24 shirt you already have your transfer done just place on garment and press. There is no cutting as the transfer is the only thing that gets put on the garment. if you go to my web (below) and follow the links you will see my screen printed test that I placed there on Monday. Think of it a tee shirt that cost less than $2.00 screen printed. I think this will solve your problem about screen printing. need more info.. Here to help.
Yeah... that's exactly what I'm saying above.

It's a no-brainer to me to use plastisol transfers over screenprinting :)
 

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and that is how I am going to do it myself. I think this really offers a lot of us heat transfer people the opportunity to compete in the screen print market. I got some great samples in a binder filled with info and they even sent me t-shirt.. only it was not my size. But it really shows what you can do. let me know how your doing. Lou
 

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Although the difficulties with screenprinted transfers vs. screenprinting is that solid blocks of colour notoriously come out badly, as do lines under a couple of millimeters.
 

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No screenprinter in their right mind is going to charge a volume customer (i.e. someone who orders a thousand tees) a high per piece price on a small followup order (i.e. a dozen hoodies two weeks later) of the same design. A good printer will keep the screen on hand for you so you don't pay setup charges on subsequent orders, and give you a good price because they want you to come back and order another thousand of something.

Atari said:
you have to order a lot all at once... of each item
Not unless your printer is trying to put in add-on charges wherever they can. If it's the same design (i.e. same screen), same ink, just a different t-shirt (e.g. AA guy's vs. Bella girl's), then all of the shirts contribute to your volume. i.e. 1000 AA guys + 24 Bella = an order of 1024 shirts (mmm, 1kb).

Atari said:
If you follow up with an order for 12 hoodies a week later, expect to pay throught the nose
Personally if I followed up with an order for twelve hoodies a week after ordering a thousand tees I'd expect the printer to take the order with a smile on their face and give me a good price. Sure they'd have other customers doing that volume and larger, but they're still going to want to keep you around. It's not a big deal to print off a dozen hoodies for a valued customer when you already have the screens burned.

Granted you won't be able to stagger out another twelve to thirty-six pieces every week or two, but you should be able to do some followups.

Atari said:
When want to print on hoodies, or something other than t-shirts no problem.
That's fair enough if you anticipate doing a lot of one offs (e.g. two long sleeved tees, three hoodies, one on the back of the shirt, etc.).

Atari said:
The bulk discounts come much quicker from the garment suppliers than they do from the screenprinters.
No reason you can't have both. There are also other perks beside price to having a local supplier who likes dealing with you.

Atari said:
Besides, I could buy 2000 shirts at once for a bigger discount, and if it turned out I didn't want to print our logo on more than 200 of them... then I could print something else on those shirts, or turn around and sell them to YOU.
That is certainly the big one, and a very good reason to do it this way.

Basically if you do end up doing the volume you think you will, screenprinting is the best decision you could have made, and if you don't end up doing the volume you think you will, screenprinting is the worst decision you could have made.

It depends on why that number is there (wishful thinking or researched sales projections).

I completely understand that screenprinting that much stock is potentially the worst thing you could do in this situation. But if I was in your situation I'd want to be sure I'd fully researched it/thought it through, since it is the choice of volume manufacturers.

Atari said:
But from what I understand in reading this forum, other than silkscreening.... custom plastisol heat transfers is the way to go.
Pretty much. I mentioned DTG and dye sub because I'd do either of those before I'd use digital transfer. But if plastisol transfer was an option in that mix then it's no contest.

Atari said:
So we're talking about being able to print a multicolor design on a dark/black shirt for under $2.25 in QTY 100 at a time.

Good luck getting a screen printer to do that.
Don't forget you're not comparing like to like (i.e. finished cost to finished cost). That's $2.25 + labour costs, which isn't free, even if you're doing it yourself. I wouldn't be surprised if it still works out cheaper with the transfers, but if you don't already own a heat press there's also that cost to re-coup.

(and if you do already own a heat press, that might be another tick in the "Why I'm not getting them screenprinted" column :) - "Why not screenprinting?" isn't a rhetorical question, I just think it's a question worth asking before every t-shirt print job... sometimes it can just be answered extremely quickly)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Solmu said:
No screenprinter in their right mind is going to charge a volume customer (i.e. someone who orders a thousand tees) a high per piece price on a small followup order (i.e. a dozen hoodies two weeks later) of the same design. A good printer will keep the screen on hand for you so you don't pay setup charges on subsequent orders, and give you a good price because they want you to come back and order another thousand of something.
I think the problem is while they wouldn't charge you for a screen again, they do have to factor in the labor costs of setting up the screens on the printer, breaking out your ink colors & getting ready in that way.


Solmu said:
Basically if you do end up doing the volume you think you will, screenprinting is the best decision you could have made, and if you don't end up doing the volume you think you will, screenprinting is the worst decision you could have made.
Yeah that's definitely true. Depending on how many we do at a time and a bunch of other factors, but yeah ;)

Solmu said:
It depends on why that number is there (wishful thinking or researched sales projections).
They're promotional freebies. It could be a lot more than we're projecting... but doubt it will be any less. The big thing is it's not going to be all at once for one event. They'll be handed out over time.... say 5000 over a couple years. I don't want to spend all that money up front to get a good price on silkscreening if I can get a compareable product doing small batches of 100-300 at a time when we need them.

If the plastisol transfers look good with our design, then I think it's going to work perfectly for our needs.
 
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