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I wanted to give a quick hello to the group! I’m Brett and looking for the best indoor hobby (living in Michigan this time of year is literally the pitta) I can find and between my love for design and my love for t-shirts, this is a no brainer! I am not looking to start a storefront or be a conglomerate, I am looking to print some fun shirts and accessories for my wife and I and our families. With that being said, I do want it to be quality. As a beginner, I see there are WAY MORE ways to print shirts thank I thought… I would love recommendations for best quality method of printing and good basic equipment for a hobbyist!
Chat soon all,
Chow!
 

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Thanks for the response John! I have seen things that suggest you could do sublimation on cotton, not sure if I 100% trust that. Thoughts?
you can add a substrate onto cotton, and then sublimate the substrate
this will present many issues that you accept, and hope your customers do as well

depending on the number of colors in your design you can begin cheaply:
- for 1-3 colors buy a cheap vinyl cutter (like a cameo or cricut) and a heatpress, then use htv (heat transfer vinyl)
there are many different options for htv, not just regular colors, that can add oomph/funkiness to your designs

- for full color on cotton, the best option is jpss (jetpro sofstretch), a desktop epson and a heatpress
this limits you to light color garments (or darker garments with darker ink designs), similar to sublimation in this respect

- for full color on polyester there is sublimation, again you will need a desktop epson printer, and a heatpress
it works best on white like the jpss, but you can get away with other colors
if you understand there will be color shifts and any color in the design cannot be lighter than the garment color

recognize that if it was as easy as plunking down $500, pressing a few buttons, and voila you are now printing commercial-quality 100% cotton with full-color designs, there would not be t-shirt shops that have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on equipment and hundreds of man-hours learning

that is not to say you cannot create good quality designs on tee's, but you will have different parameters to work within than the t-shirt shop in your town
 

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A lot of folks around me started at home with a Cricut, small heat press and some vinyl. Cheap way to to do simple at home designs and to see if you enjoy doing it. As someone else mentioned stahls is a cornucopia of information these days on Facebook and their own site. Videos and webinars galore especially for the vinyl market.
 
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