Hey everyone. I'm very new to this t-shirt making/designing thing and I've searched through this section for info but I'm looking for a more direct answer.
I've got the general vibe that screen printing is better for block coloured images. Which I've become knowledgable enough to persue that method of printing. However, I have some questions about heat transfers.
I've read that heat transfering is a good way to get a photo/detailed imagery onto a t shirt. I've also read that Jetprosofstretch make great transfer paper because they stretch with the T and keep the colour.
Thats about all I know.
So, onto my questions.
Does transfer paper come in various sizes? E.g. A4 & A3. The designs I want to transfer I want to cover most of the front of my T with.
Yes. New Milford Photo carries transfer paper that comes in these two sizes. They carry a version of light and a version of dark. The light paper is not Jetprosofstretch. Other suppliers may also carry those sizes, but here is at least one lead for you.
If they do come in A3 size, is the quality etc the same as a smaller size, or, doesn't it matter what size the transfer paper is?
The size of the paper will not make a difference in the quality when it comes to one individual brand of paper. Different batches of the same paper could possibly affect the QC continuity from batch to batch, but not the size the paper is cut into.
I don't have an A3 printer, so printing A3 could be a bit of a problem for me, is there places about where I could go to get my designs printed A3 onto transfer paper?
Where are you located? Maybe there is someone on the forum located near you that would print your transfers for you.
& finally, would I be able to iron on my designs with a house iron?
Some papers work with a hand iron, others will not.
I have been told that Jetprosofstretch has recently been approved to be used with a handiron.
I do not know if New Milford's A3 and A4 papers can be hand ironed.
Hand ironing is possible if the paper is approved for it, but, like mentioned above....
Handironing is Time Consuming and Extremely Laborious. We know, we started that way. We got a press as quickly as we could. None of our shirts failed or had any issue whatsoever, but, my husband was much better at doing the transfers than I was as he has 60 pounds on me, and his arms are like 3 times the size of mine.
To give you an idea, an 8x10 image takes 3 full minutes to press, and that does not include the pre-press to remove moisture, nor does it included the re-press after stretching.
It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete one garment with a hand iron.
With our press, we pre-press for 5 seconds, press for 30, repress for 5... done. It is a glorious thing to own a press.
No more backbreaking work of applying pressure manually to the entire image, praying the edges received the proper pressure. Any corners or tips in a design will be the first area to fail, so I found us being extremely obsessed with them. The labor stress and worry just aren't worth it, nevermind the time.
There are plenty of quality presses for a few hundred dollars to be had, and that is brand new. There are plenty of used presses for sale as well. Nice size presses as well. It's worth looking for one of them instead of hand ironing.
Or, would I need to buy a press? If so what size would I need and roughly how much would it cost?
I kind of jumped ahead on that one.
The largest size press you can afford is a good rule of thumb. Alot of folks have 15x15, most want a 16x20, or upgrade to that size in time.
Buying a used brand name press will give you alot of bang for the buck, buying a brand name new will set you back a little more.
To see prices of new brand name presses like Hix, Stahls, Hotronix, just look at the site of someone whereever you are located.
There are the Ebay presses, and if you look up "cheap ebay press" you will find the thread that folks say what model does work for them. Charles also bought a Sunie press that he likes. If you search for a thread "did what I said not to" you should find Charles' thread on buying his sunie. Honestly if that is the wrong search term, than try "Charles Sunie" and those words should bring his info around for you.