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Discussion Starter #1
Scenario--- You have $25,000 for equipment, 6 months of (paid)free time(workshops, seminars, etc) and support of your family.

Which printing skill would you learn first? Screen, Heat or DTG? and why
 

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Im kinda of new to the t-shirt game i learned how to screen print but am not in my opinion going to start making shirts until i perfect it dont want to get a customer and turn him away due to my lack of knowledge....I have not tried heat pressing or DTG but im assuming that screen printing is more complicated so maybe try learning that. And that can help you in making plastisol transfer (i believe its calledthat). If any veterans in the t-shirt game read this and see that i have mentioned something wrong because like i said im still learning and consider my self a amatuer not even a rookie yet.
 

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Sounds to me like you're pretty serious about the business so I'd say screen printing, if you're doing transfers do plastisol transfers. Most shirts out there are screenprinted, usually plastisol or waterbased ink. So if you're shooting high I'd go that round, if it's just a hobby (which it doesn't sound like it is) you could always do heat press with basic transfers.
 

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TC said:
Which printing skill would you learn first? Screen, Heat or DTG?
Screen printing.

TC said:
Because you have six months to fill and it's the only one that would take more than a day to learn ;)

Or you could do...

Day 1: Heat press
Day 2: DTG
Day 3 - 180: Screen printing.
 

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I don't do screen printing, but do the art and send out to have plastisol transfers made. If I size/gang designs I can have 1 color transfers made up at about 40 to 50 cents per shirt including ups.
I do oneoffs and samples with Inkjet transfers and a Roland Cutter to remove excess hand. Having the ability to show my customers cost effective samples has really been a good sales tool
I might be stupid, but It took me a lot longer to "learn" transfers and get good enough at it to pass them off as "screenprinted" than the 5 minutes it took me to learn how to email a cdr to Ace.
 

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Everyone in this industry should learn the basics of screen printing, especially artists. Printing T-Shirts is actually easy. The hard part is learning
#1 What mesh screens to use - per art type
#2 Wether to modify inks or not
#3 Print orders
#4 Basic printing methods (push, pull, flood)
#5 Off Contact
Everything else is pretty much self explanitory and usually involves steps. If you follow the steps your good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yeah, I agree, screen print is a good skill to learn. The reason I asked this question relates to the other threads I read about printing. Some said they think DTG is the way of the future(1-2 years) and would go with DTG if they had the money for the equipment. I would hate to get into screen print only to be doing DTG a few years from now.
 

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TC said:
Some said they think DTG is the way of the future(1-2 years) and would go with DTG if they had the money for the equipment. I would hate to get into screen print only to be doing DTG a few years from now.
The problem is that DTG probably is the way of the future, but it's not the way of right now. In a few years $25k will probably get you a great DTG printer well worth having. At the moment it'll get you one that works for some businesses, but I personally would find too limiting. People are making a living off them, so they're clearly not crap, but personally I don't think the technology is ready.

I'm confident screenprinting will be made obsolete, but I'm not confident when. It's possible that in ten years we could still have this conversation. On the other hand it's possible that it would seem absurd in two.

If I had $25k to spend I'd either spend it on screenprinting equipment, wait a few years for other equipment to catch up, or outsource my printing (i.e. not buy equipment).
 
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