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How to make a printed T Shirt smooth?

1707 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jgabby
Sooo... I want to start a t shirt business because I have tons of great designs. I know I want to print using a Heat Press, but I have a question. I want my T Shirts to be smooth (No bumps if you run your hand over the printed pictures or text) Is there anyway to do this with a t shirt press? Or is it screen printing/dying.

ALSO If it is screen printing, Can I just paint the design myself???? It seems easier, but when I see pictures of Hand painted T Shirts (stencils or hand) they look...fake... or something just looks odd about them.

That's all, Thank you.
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I think Sublimation would be a process that would produce the type of print you are looking for using a heat press.
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Sublimation or silkscreen but with waterbase. You could also use heat transfer vinyl.
Im talking about when the printed part of the shirt sticks out farther then the t shirt, Thats what i do not want. I want the whole shirt to be the same level (ink isnt any higher then t shirt). Is Sublimation the normal heat press method? or something else
Sublimation is a method of transfering ink onto white polyester shirts only. But the ink that transfers becomes part of the fabric fibers, so there is no thick "feel" to the ink deposited.
Your options are sublimation onto light coloured garments, or print, cut and sew. Cut and sew you would have to outsource the printing. These would all have to be onto polyester.

Your other option is to screen print with waterbased ink. This can be discharge or standard waterbase ink.

Another option is plasticharge, a hybrid technique.

There is a new wave of screen printers who are able to produce some very high quality prints with classic plastisol ink. I print for a major brand here by hand. On the print I did today for them, the white has a slight feel or hand to it if you run your hand over it, but the other 3 colours are very very soft.

A retail shop compared my prints to the competition and said theirs were thick heavy prints and felt like wearing a glove, whilst mine were totally different. They print with an auto and I print manual, so the results should be the other way round. As I said, it really depends on your printer, so don't eliminate a process until you have seen the print.
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On auto, for soft hand + plastisol, this magic toy just after the underbase flash, and it smooth the print.

M&R Style Roller Squeegee 12in
After flashing it is entirely probable that you have fibers sticking up through the ink. Use the roller squeegee and a piece of Teflon film to flatten out the image and improve the smoothness of the print.

You need to print with finer mesh as well

Or waterbased, the hand is so great !
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