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The one thing I could never keep up with is the fact that CafePress could print just one shirt right when it was ordered. I know they are using heat transfers, so I tried to get into that line of business. With the amount of work it takes to cut away the excess transfer, I found it way too hard to keep doing this. Things like letters where all not connected, the images people uploaded could be anything, and even getting a plotter with an optical eye didn't seem like it would help that much. Now, I have never actually seen a shirt printed from CafePress that has major gaps, text, or images that are seperate from each other. Do they remove all of the transfer that isn't used, or do they go ahead and leave it?
 

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CafePress now use direct printing machines from Kornit. They still print with heat transfers and cut around the excess transfer. It is tedious but you've got to put in the effort.
 

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CP, from what I understand also use both direct to garment print, plus heat transfers.

Heat transfers, using a pigmented ink and an inkjet or other printer, are very simple to do.

1. Create your artwork
2. Print it in reverse on your printer, using heat transfer paper
3. Cut off the excess, unprinted transfer (usually about 1/8" from the extreme edge.
4. Pre-heat the garment for 5 seconds - to remove any excess moisture
5. Heat press -NOT IRON- your transfer for about 20 secnds

Done.

I use the above method and there is no trimming, cutting away involved. After the 1st wash, the 'hand' or feel of the transfer is just about gone and is as soft as the shirt itself. The process is very straight forward.

Hope this helps.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Without trimming, though, doesn't it make the shirt a bit shiney or yellowed where the excess transfer is?
 

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Without trimming, though, doesn't it make the shirt a bit shiney or yellowed where the excess transfer is?
Yes, I've found that shirts that aren't trimmed do have some sort of "residue" left over even after they are washed. Probably not a lot, but enough to be noticeable.

From what I've read, most people trim their transfers
 

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I'm curious about CafePress' printing as well but have a few questions.

1. All the images a product of iron-on and if so is the transfer a true (or professional) iron-on or is it a transfer that's usually bought at hobby/arts & craft stores.

2. Recently saw on their site that they are able to print to black fabric now; and if indeed that transfers is all CafePress uses how is it effected since (naturally) printers cannot print the color white.
 

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1. All the images a product of iron-on and if so is the transfer a true (or professional) iron-on or is it a transfer that's usually bought at hobby/arts & craft stores.
Cafepres does use heat transfers to print some of their t-shirts. Some shirts are printed direct to garment.

They've been in business for about 7 years, you can bet they are using professional quality heat transfers and transfer printing equiptment :) Or else they'd be getting a lot more returns and would have been out of business pretty quickly.

Recently saw on their site that they are able to print to black fabric now; and if indeed that transfers is all CafePress uses how is it effected since (naturally) printers cannot print the color white.
As mentioned above, the black t-shirts are printed with a Kornit brand direct to garment printer that has the capability of printing white ink.

You can read more about their printing processes here:
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/help_printingprocess.aspx
 

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I'm not sure how they are now, but I made a shirt and purchased it off of their site and the colors were off. It was a basic red and black design, but the red was orangish/pink. It was definately a heat transfer though and they did trim the edges which was pretty nice.
 

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Sometimes the colors can be off if they are out of the CMYK gamut (or it can just be a bad print that needs to be returned).

They use both heat press and direct to garment printing now (the shopkeeper gets to choose which printing method they want to use on most items).
 

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identityburn said:
I'm not sure how they are now, but I made a shirt and purchased it off of their site and the colors were off. It was a basic red and black design, but the red was orangish/pink. It was definately a heat transfer though and they did trim the edges which was pretty nice.
it's a good idea to let the transfer maker know the color codes (pantones etc..) of your design to reduce the error factor.

with digital transfers colors changes etc... when the equipment enviroment changes or the equipment needs to be callibrated.

What happened at Cafe Press does happen to all transfer makers once in a blue moon... of couse some transfer makers may have better quality testing, or may spend more time and effort checking for defects before they ship out the goods... but this varys from transfer maker to transfer maker.

Im sure if You cantact Cafe Press they may make your shirt again .... i would think.:D
 

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Can anyone post a picture of a shirt that was purchased thru cafepress using their direct to garment process. I have been very curious how the shirts would look when someone purchases one of my designs.
Im gonna go ahead and order one for my self, but would rather see an image first.
 
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