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Hello all,
Just though I would drop in to say that it is really great to have a board like this.

I used to own a silkscreen shop about 16 years ago before an accident forced me to close. I did mostly custom orders for hotels and businesses along with aluminum signs.

With all this new technology and fulfillment companies (Cafepress, etc.), I have been toying with the idea of getting back into it. It great to have a place to ask questions. When I started...very little info was availiable...the main source was "How to Print T-shirts for Fun and Profit" by Scot Fresner, which I believe is still in print.

In any case, though I have not yet opened up a shop, I have started a blog to showcase new designs. It's called 100pct-cotton.com.

Send me a link to the t-shirt design...(no attachments) and a short description of the design.

Thanks
Cotton
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay Twinge, will look forward to your seeing your design. Yes, I know they are a few t-shirt review blogs out there...so am thinking about ways to make mine different. Time will tell where it is heading.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rodney,
I guess we all started for different reasons....I found Preshrunk, Cool Hunting..and then your site in that order.....

Still trying to figure out where I will take my site. One of my main reasons for starting 100%-Cotton was because I was thinking of getting back into screen printing...still undecided and not sure how I will do it.....For now I thought I would give some of the smaller printers a showcase for their work.....I like shirts that are unique...100% cotton....but I guess it's an individuals choice.

I find this board very informative and it's something that serves the t shirt designer community...I've not kept up with how the industry has changed over the years (still lurking and learning)....but I think I can still burn a very tight screen...print a t-shirt with a very soft hand and great colors. Although I think now with all the new fullfillment options...all I might need ...is just the design to setup a cyber shop!

Kudos to you for making this site happen.
cotton
 

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Hey cotton, with all the easy ways to get a shirt out there, you should definitely jump back in if you have designs a-brewin :)

Nice to have another screen printing expert on the forums (I'm not one :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rodney..

I'll probably at some point get back into it, but at present, I am still looking into what market and what type of fullfilment option I will use.

I'll have to order a few shirts from the various vendors and see how they look. I am not much for transfers...but I bet they have come a long way.

I have been looking into Direct to Garment printing, which if I can justify the cost would be a great way to produce orders...both for web sales and locally.

They have not perfected printing on darks yet...and that machine would probably be too costly....but I could live with printing on whites and pastels....Prints using cmyk-- colors on lites look great.

It is just amazing... using inkjet print technology.

ttyl
cotton
 

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The direct-to-garment printed products that I've seen so far have easily surpassed heat pressed products (just because there are no outlines around the design or transfer residue).
 

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So no real difference on white, but it can probably hit some of those pastels better which would be a bonus for some markets. I still don't think they are nearly cheap enough to be worth it though, unless you are really doing TONS of business already.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Twinge,

For me, as I look to getting back into doing t-shirts, Direct to Garment offers time savings along with cash savings. The idea of going from the drawing program direct to the garment in a few minutes is enticing.

From what I have seen in some videos...the colors are vibrant, even after washing...soft hand, similar to what you might get with water based inks, although it needs to be heat set with either a press or conveyor dryer.

The idea of not having to make color seps and coating and burning screens is appealing. The estimates I found are from $0.15 to $0.40 per print, though I have heard that some designs require 2 passes.

I have requested a sample of the shirts, but really would like to see the printer in action. One shop has 2 machines in another island where I live...so I may go over to take a look.

I doubt that it will ever replace screen printing, but it seems to be ideal for small runs...a niche that screen printers can't compete in.

Though it is not cheap....the smallest machine rated by them to do 40-120 shirts per hour, costs about $11,000....not that cheap, but less than what I spent on equipment when I started. Still something not to rush into.

cotton
 
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