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I'm pretty sure I've seen heat pressed shirts with light color inks on them.

The heat press doesn't print any inks. The ink comes from the printer, which prints the design onto transfer paper and the transfer is pressed onto the t-shirt.

So the only color limitations would come from what the actual printer can print (I don't think the printers can print white ink, but light colors are possible).
 

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Rodney is correct. You can print anything you want to onto a heat transfer paper, and you can press it with the heat press. The white can be the white of the shirt if you are using white shirts.
Working with dark colored shirts is a little trickier.
 

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I've been using vanilla colored vinyl on dark shirts. For text and cad-cut designs. I'm using thermoflex plus and it works well. It cuts nice and it's easy to weed out the unwanted vinyl.
I've tried it on both 50/50 shirts and 100% cotton. It works well on both, but it feels better on cotton.
 
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