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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I started a embroidery monogramming business and am looking to expand to t-shirt sublimation(screen-printing). For now, we do infant and childrens clothes.

I would like to know if anyone can advise as to what equipment I will need. From my research, it looks like a printer and heat press and design software. Can anyone recommend which equipment would be economical and good to start with?

I've attached some px of what I want to do on the shirts and was wondering what software program would be good to start with?

Thanks,
Deb:)
 

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Re: Getting started with t-shirt sublimation

Deb,

If you want to do sublimation, you will need a printer and a heat press. You should be aware that sublimation ink is only available for certain brands of printers, either Epson or Ricoh models. The type of printer you want really depends on the amount of work you think you'll do, the money you have to spend and the size of the transfers you want to print.

You will also need sublimation paper. The paper is available in different sizes and different brands. Most places will send you a sample of their paper to try if you request one.

When you purchase a heat press, keep in mind the largest transfer you might ever want to do and purchase your press accordingly. Also, make sure you get the best quality press that you can afford. It is often tempting to buy a cheap press, but there are pitfalls to doing that.

As for software, there are sublimation specific software programs out there that come preloaded with templates for the most popular sublimation blanks. You can also use Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. The manufacturers of the sublimation blanks often offer templates that can be downloaded from their websites and used with Corel or Adobe.
 

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Re: Getting started with t-shirt sublimation

:) Thanks Kristine for your help. Since I taught myself the embroidery machine, I think I will order one of the tutorial videos on this site to get a better idea of how it's done.

As far as the software, I was thinking of using the Hanes Sublimation Maker. Did you look at the photos I uploaded? I was wondering if the Hanes software will allow me to do those graphics. The reason I was thinking of using the Hanes software is because it's suppose to be alot easier than the Corel or Adobe.

Thanks,
Deb
 

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Hi Debbie,

Just to add to what Kristine posted.

If you will decide to go with dye-sublimation as opposed to screen printing - bare in mind you will not be able to print your designs on cotton or on dark coloured t-shirts. Sublimation only works on synthetic and polymer coated substrates.
The bonus of having a dye-sublimation set up is that you will be able to do a lot of other customised gift products if you want to.

Along with all the essential dye-sublimation equipment you may want to consider purchasing a few very helpful accessories that will make your life easier when you start making t-shirts: a Teflon sheet, some Vapor foam inserts or a Teflon pillow, lint roller and adhesive spray or tape.

Good luck!
 
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