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How hard to start doing transfers?

1032 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  selanac
Hello, all.

Have been doing vinyl for awhile, signs/banners/T-Shirts, but anytime we did multii-color T-shirts, we jobbed it out.

We now have the opportunity to break into this industry full-time, and I'm curious about creating our own transfers, rather than screen printing them. Our nephew owns his own business and has had trouble getting his designs from a screen printer (too many intricate colors/shadings/siz/etc.). So my idea is to job it out and have a company print us transfers of his design.So far, so good!

Then I got a bright idea (usually what gets me in trouble!)! Why not learn to do transfers on our own? NOT on his job, probably, but eventually - for other intricate designs, because custom transfers can get very pricey if they're larger than the average.

So my question for all you smart folks is: What is the best printer/cutter (CHEAP!) to use for making your own transfers? Is anybody making multiple transfers this way? How is that working for you?

Final question: Is this a really dumb idea? lol

TIA for all input.
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I'm curious about creating our own transfers, rather than screen printing them.
You mean printing transfers with a laser or inkjet printer?
For promotional t-shirt I'd probably recommend Laser transfer papers, and a white toner printer. Not as durable as plastisol,but good enough for a t-shirt intended to last for around 25-30 washes
If you want to go on the 'cheap' I would suggest purchasing an inexpensive Epson printer. The purchase a small quantity of ink jet transfer paper for lights and darks so you can experiment and see if the results are what you expect. The entire investment would be less than $150.
Versatranz does 4 color process printing for screen print. You need at least 100 prints to make it worth it but they do come out nice. You will need to give them the seps but I like the results without having to learn how to screen print and also something more advanced like 4 color process printing.
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Thanks for your replies, all!

But I'm thinking more commercial, not the transfer papers stuff you can buy in Wal-Mart. I'm thinking solvent inks. Some of the ones I've researched seem to be good on white/light colors, but don't work real well on dark colors.

Surely SOMEONE makes the transfers that go on dark colors, right? Or we wouldn't have those kiosks in the malls selling them!

Edit to add: So I think I found the right paper to print them on....Stahl's sells it. I just need to figure out - before I go in debt for a few thousand dollars (NOT happenin!) - what type of a solvent-ink-type printer will make this is feasible/doable -
Solvent inkjet, with screen-printed white layer and adhesive.

These are not one offs, obviously.
Why not go to an NBM show. It's mostly signs but they have the printers you're looking for.

It's not hard to make transfers with a Screen Printing machine. People have issues with the process of screen printing, but others also have issues with printing machines. Printers clog, etc. Best of luck.
That's right...there is no magic way.
With a solvent printer and cutter, you can do both
1. printed vinyl transfers, and

2. printed with sreen-printed white layer and adhesive.

You are looking at around $15,000
Here is one option https://www.signwarehouse.com/p/mut...e-format-color-printer-valueprint-cut-package
Isn't there a Solvent Ink section on this forum?
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