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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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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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