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What all does it take to start doing heat press shirts "professionally"?

I'm not talking about starting a fulfillment company, but if you had some simple t-shirts that you wanted to sell from your home, is a good quality printer and the necessary paper reasonably priced?
 

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A swing arm heat press is a must tbh. They are a tad more expensive but not by much. You can pay more for temperature gauges, timers, larger platens etc. I started off with a GeoKnight JetPress 12. It's a great heat press for starters. Cheap price under £400 / $800

I have Epson printers because that's what dye sub favours. They make dye cartridges for a few models. The Epson 980 is a fantastic printer, very quick. I have two Epson 1520s for A3 prints. Big clunky old skool printer but does a great job.

You'll want a guillotine, some transfers, and grease proof paper it you are going the heat transfer route.

Adam
 

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don't use the word SHIRT on here it's not allowed LOL.. that's funny
 

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The 'ideal' heat press setup is:
1 15x15" heat press (starting about $600)
An Epson printer - preferably the new 'C' series printers which use the Epson Durabrite Inks. (Starting at $70.00)
Transjet II heat transfer paper for heat transfers onto white and light colored garments. ($.60 per sheet)
White 100% cotton t-shirts- $.99 each Gildan, Hanes, etc...

The above is NOT for sublimation printing.

For sub printing, you MUST use sublimation ink and heat transfer paper specifically design for sub transfers. Due to the recent patent litigation, looks like Sawgrass now owns the patent (and market) for sublimation ink. Costs for sub ink cartridges have risen from a low of approximately $45 per cart (980) to roughly double or triple the price.

Sub transfers do NOT work on 100% cotton, thus the preferred fabric is the Hanes Soft'Link garment. Price runs about $4.50+ pert t-shirts.

No matter what kind of heat transfer you use, it is always best to place a blank sheet of regular bond paper on top of the heat transfer when you heat press it. This blank sheet helps absorb any blowout or 'offset' inks from getting onto the upper platen of your heat press.

If you desire a basic into to heat transfers, you are welcome to visit http://www.fun-tees.com Heat transfers, presses, inks, etc... are discussed.

Hope this helps.

Fred
 

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Before you buy check out all your heat press options.

www.printa.com - the 550 series is one of the nicest heat presses on the market. I use it at my trade show booth all the time at ISS and NBM/Printwear. It is easy to use and has auto release.

Sublimation does require a 100% poly shirt to do the best t can do. However, you are not simly limited to the Soft Link from Hanes.

Other shirts are available in the market.

www.acp.com

www.johnsonplastics.com

www.vaporapparel.com

good options including colored shirts that work with sublimation dyes.....yes colored shirts!
 

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A bit of a late response, but you can always try to find a used heat press, which should only run you about $150-350 instead of $500-$1500. Aim for about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of a new one, make sure it works, etc. You can check pawn shops, flea markets, or second hand stores, or go direction to screen printers/t-shirt bussinesses in the are and ask if they have a used heat press they might want to sell - that's how I got mine.
 
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