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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Could anyone give me some information on the best products to use with an A4 and a3 Inkjet printer?
I do not own a heat press at the moment but will invest in one soon, which are the best models for a small start up and best value for money?
Is the Epson R1800 and good for T-shirt printing?
Cheers
 

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PHotal, although your question is incredibly important to you, it is what I must call a COSMIC question. I response would require writing a volume.

May I suggest the following:
1. refer to your business plan and share with us what is entered there regarding the purpose of your business. When we know what you intend to create, we can be of assistance.

2. how deep are your pockets? The options available for a $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 budget are very different. The R1800 is an 8 color printer and can support printing on black. However the P600 is better.

3. I have no heat press. This suggests to me you are not familiar with the hands on reality of DTG printing. You may find it VERY beneficial to use the same printer, buy a REALLY good heatpress ($700+) and begin your adventure in the transfer method. Learn your fabrics and graphics. Get you marketing and suppliers and affiliates arranged. Meet the local printers and see how you can help each other.

IN closing, if you don't have a business plan, that is a plan the defines your business, the map for how your business will grow and expand, what you are selling, what the costs of making and acquiring are, what this will be sold for, your costs, break even point, who is your ideal customer, how you will reach them, where are they located, what are they willing to pay, what do they want and how you will market...if you don't have that plan, most of us here can write for you the final chapter of your adventure.

It is possible, you are not pursuing a business, but a hobby. IN that case, you are going to have a LOT of fun. Seriously, so much to learn and a lot of personal gratification when the creation fits you to a tee.
Best of success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Thank you for the advice. We have been in business for 7 years now with selling artwork and framing and thought some of my designs would lend themselves to T-shirts.
I will do more research in to the printing methods and pressing.

Our other thought was to maybe sell other artists T-Shirts at Gallery

Regards Aaron
 

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Whatever method you use, you are going to need a heat press.

For vinyl designs you'll need a contour cutter too. All kinds of vinyl can be cut and pressed: solid colours, glitter, metallic, holographic, neon, glow-in-the-dark,...........

For dye sublimation you'll need a compatible printer and sublimation inks and paper. Dyesub is only any good for t-shirts containing a high percentage of polyester (100% for best results) and very light colours. However, it does offer the chance to expand into many other areas: mugs, bags, coasters and placemats, photo tiles and slates, cushion covers, flip flops, aluminium sheet,........ you name it!

Inkjet transfers may look fine but don't wash well. Pigment inks perform slightly better and there are laser options.

Screen printing gives good results but needs expertise and a range of equipment.

DTG, Direct to Garment printing sounds great, but is prohibitively expensive for most people and maintenance and ink costs are high. These printers are really for daily, high volume work.
 

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I've been reading here for awhile, but my experience is limited, so what I'm about to say is a distillation of advice given on here by others, a tl;dr, as it were; and a bit of opinion from me, especially the last two paragraphs.

Since you asked about an inkjet there are two ways to go - inkjet transfers, using pigment inks; and dye sublimation. In both instances, start with an Epson WorkForce WF-7210 (you can buy 7 for the price of 1 R1800), with 3rd party refillable cartridges, and appropriate 3rd party inks. Either way you are limited, for best results, to white fabric; cotton or blend for inkjet transfers, polyester for dye sublimation. JPSS paper for inkjet transfers, I don't know about dye sublimation paper, need to do more research.

Or, you could buy a good heat press and have someone plastisol print your designs (screen printing on heat transfer paper).

You can buy a cheap, no-name, Chinese heat press from ebay for $200 or less, and you're on your own, or a Chinese made press with some dealer support for around $450. If you want the top end, a George Knight DK20S for something less than than $1500, or a HIX SwingMan 20.

Dye sublimation gives bright, vibrant color, which might be better for reproducing art, but you'd want to be careful about color matching. But for another $200 you could also have a dedicated pigment ink printer (best not to switch inks in a printer) and use whichever suits the specific art. Throw in a Silhouette Cameo for $200, to contour cut your inkjet transfers (again, pigment ink on JPSS paper), and the occasional heat transfer vinyl job, and for less than the price of the R1800 you can be up and running with both inkjet transfers and dye sublimation, and upgrade or replace equipment when the need arises/your t-shirt business grows.

That's the down-and-dirty, testing-the-waters, startup business plan. Not much invested, not much to lose. If you've got saleable designs, and you already have business experience, you've got 90% of it, the rest is just "manufacturing".
 
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