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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
is DTG the best method to print images onto your garments if you want them to last wash after wash? the art im printing onto my shirts are about 7x7 of various vector arts. I was wondering are there also other affordable methods that print long lasting prints?

what would you guys reccomend (which method) for long lasting if i'm printing images like

http://s3.amazonaws.com/pixmac-preview/multicolor-transparent-heart.jpg
http://designiousmag.s3.amazonaws.c...525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/h/thumb2_46_2325.jpg
 

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apparel vinyl will last longer than the shirt. dtg printing will break down with the shirt.
 

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hi , can you please help to start up a new printing business. i'm from the philippines.

Here is a summary of what you will need:

What do I need to start out?

Hardware: First things first: you need a direct-to-garment printer. Next, you need a computer. You also need a heat press. These components are the basics of any direct-to-garment business.

Software: Adobe Photoshop is more or less an essential tool in the graphic design world today. Not only will it allow you to create your own art, it will allow you to fix your customer's artwork as well. Don't worry, you don't need to spend a lot to get Photoshop CS 4, the latest and greatest version. Version CS 2 offers a great balance of value and features. Plus, it's much cheaper than CS 4 and compatible with Windows Vista. If you have Windows 7, you need version CS 3 or later.

Knowledge: Now may be the time to invest in a how-to book about running your own business, or to take a course at a community college.

If you know how to run a business already, the other piece of knowledge you need is how to work with graphics. Remember that old term, photo-ready art? That denotes artwork that's optimized to the proper size and quality and ready to print. It's the rare customer that will bring you photo-ready art, so it's up to you to prepare the customer's artwork for printing.

Usually, you will need computer graphics knowledge to optimize or fix a customer's artwork. If you aren't proficient with Photoshop or another graphics program already, this might be the time to learn. But the easiest route might be hiring an experienced graphic designer, a local college student, or finding a freelance designer at a website like Elance.com to help set up your artwork.
Once you have a finished and optimized piece of artwork, printing out a design on a direct-to-garment printer is easy.

Now what do I do?

It's time to purchase your hardware. Take your time researching who to purchase your machine from and which machine to purchase. How long is the machine under warranty? How easy is it to get support? Remember, this is the company that you're going to be calling for support in the future and the machine that you'll be using day in and day out.
How easy is it to use the RIP software that comes with the machine? That's the essential piece of software that translates between the computer and the printer. The easier the software and the printer are to use, the easier it will be to have employees do the printing in the future.

Getting a machine with one or two timesaving features or a fast print speed can make a big difference over time. You'll be printing thousands of shirts with this machine, so make sure it's robust and reliable.

Different direct-to-garment printers have different resolutions. Some can only print 600x600 dpi, providing less detail than other printers which can print up to 1440x1440 dpi.

Some direct-to-garment printers can only print on white or light shirts. In some areas, dark shirts are preferred much more than light shirts, in which case you want to purchase a printer that has white ink to print on dark shirts.

Once you've purchased your printer, you need to learn how to use and maintain it. If you don't know how to print, you won't be able to make a profit. That's why installation and training may be very valuable things to include with your purchase. It's essential that you get up and running quickly.

What can I print?

You can print virtually anything you can see on the computer screen. That includes photographs, drawings, vector graphics, and bitmap graphics.

Remember that you may need computer graphics knowledge to tweak the colors or quality of the graphic that you want to print.

What can I print on?

Your most popular item will likely be t-shirts. 100% cotton shirts will work best, though with today's advanced ink formulations you can print on some polyester and 50/50 garments.

I've found that Hanes Tagless shirts print very well. These can be found for a reasonable price, about $2 per shirt. More expensive shirts like American Apparel, geared for upscale markets, generally work well too. You will be able to see a major difference in print quality between a cheap shirt and a quality shirt.

Don't forget that you can print on many other goods, like sweatshirts, towels, and even painter's canvas. Mouse pads will print well. You can even make a direct-to-garment print, then embroider on top of it.

Where can I buy shirts and other printables?

Purchase shirts and other printables from a national distributor like Bodek and Rhodes or Alpha Shirt Supply. Not only will these distributors have better pricing and availability, their shirts will also be free of the chemicals you can find on some blank department store shirts. However, you will usually have to purchase at least a case at a time. A case contains 72 shirts. If you are located outside the US then you will have to research to find a local distributor.

What should I print on?

Whatever you can print profitably. While you're in the business of printing great looking apparel, you're also in the business of making money. Unless you see an unprofitable job bringing you profitable business in the future, you may need to just say no.

How much should I sell my shirts and other products for?
Putting a selling price on your products can be difficult. Look at what shirts sell for at other local retailers, including department stores. Generally, you'll want to charge between $12-$30 for light shirts, and $15-$40 for dark shirts. Depending on your geographic area or target demographic, you may charge more or less.

Because you're direct-to-garment printing and not screen printing or heat pressing, you can charge more than average. That's because you're able to print shirts with sharp detail, with thousands of colors, and with personalized designs. That's something that other processes can't match.

Charge more for personalizing designs and less for stock art. Charge more for larger designs, because they take more time and use more ink. Charge less for orders in quantity, but only if there is little or no personalization involved.


Harry
Equipment Zone
 

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Well, if you are looking at the longest lasting prints... sublimation wins in my opinion, but that only works on 100% polyester and light garment prints only. Here is the deal... there are different decorating techniques that are preferred on different types of fabrics based on the quantities of garments you are looking at decorating with the same design. Each decorating technique has different pros and cons associated with them. You should get a good understanding of each decorating technique to understand when it is better to use one over another one. Page 6 in this document goes over this in more detail - [media]http://www.multirip.com/dtg101.pdf[/media].

Best wishes,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i appreciate the feedback guys, but unfortunately screen and dye sublimation cannot print/create designs such as these correct? they have multiple colors and shades

[media]http://s3.amazonaws.com/pixmac-preview/multicolor-transparent-heart.jpg[/media]

what would you guys recommend if i'm printing images like the one posted?
 

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you can print that with dyesub, printed vinyl, dtg, process screen printing, and inkjet/laser transfers.
 

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Coy, do you have a fabric preference? Are you wanting to print in-house or are you going to contract print? How you answer those questions can lead you to a good printing method for you. All printing methods using modern equipment and skilled printers can print graphics like your example beautifully.
 

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i appreciate the feedback guys, but unfortunately screen and dye sublimation cannot print/create designs such as these correct? they have multiple colors and shades

[media]http://s3.amazonaws.com/pixmac-preview/multicolor-transparent-heart.jpg[/media]

what would you guys recommend if i'm printing images like the one posted?

with heat transfer, it can be perfectly solved.
the effcet is the same as computer ,with elastic and washable
 
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