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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I actally have alot of questions but I will try to stay on topic to the ones that I feel are most relatedable to this forum.

I got started into the whole graphic,shirt image business as I call it by accident really, up until about a year and a half ago I had not so much as cropped a photo, I say this because I want to make it clear I do not make any claim of being a graphic designer or to know the ins and outs of this business.

For the most part what I do could be considered to be more topic related than it is product related and not so much about becoming a printing super star.

Recently I have been opening ideas to being able to offer more sevices. Most of what I do is through cafepress, however I have times when I am approached by people that ask me do to merchandise for their own needs. My issue is trying to do that through cafepress is not really cost friendly. Most of the time people want orders that are 12 of less. I might include that some of the groups that have contacted me for items would include Animal Rescues, Animal Shelters that kind of thing for fund raiser, so clearly the higher cost defeats the purpose.

So I have been watching this forum as well as trying to get general information about heat transfers. The reason I am leaning towards heat transfers is because from my understanding I can use the same type of equipment to print transfers that I would be able to use for doing stickers and decals (which is something else I am getting into) but I am not real clear on this, like I have already said I am very blind in this area.

Realizing the cost of the equipment I am trying to make sure I have covered all my basis and invest in equipment that is as diversified as possible.

Thank all of you in advance.
 

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Welcome, onmyway. You might start with a search through the forum on starting up a heat transfer business. There are a lot of threads about other members experiences getting set up doing heat transfers.

Briefly~~ you'd need a heat press and a printer and the correct paper for your needs.

If you are already planning to set up a printer with pigment inks, that would make printing the actual transfers easy enough. However, you won't get good results unless you apply them with a decent heat press. If you are only going to do occasional orders of 12 or less, it may not be cost effective.

I do heat press transfers at dog shows, mainly, and also do special orders for specialty clubs, rescues, etc. The additional wholesale orders are a nice bonus to my business, but it would not be realistic if I didn't have the major amount of my business from retail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thak you grey and i have looked through this forum and I have gained some knowledge jsut not enough i guess.

I do realize that i would heat a heat press and i have watched the prices they are going for and I dont feel it is too out of line for what I would use it for.

The area where I am still having problems understanding I guess is the ink types and what inks are multipupose that would hold up under both application. One can assume that if ink is going to with stand washing, and dryer treatment weather elements should not be a problem, but there is something to be said for assuming.

I do feel I can recoup the cost of the heat press, but I did not want to buy a printer that will be limited to one application, then have to turn around and buy another one.

If you do shirts for dog shows then you would have an understand of why im leaning toward the heat press and the printed image as I am sure many people want thier dog on the shirt, thats pretty much what i am looking at.
 

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You need a printer that uses pigment inks ~~ there are several Epson style printers at very reasonable costs, it's the INK that costs! We recently upgraded our little $75 Epson C88+ to refillable cartridges and it really reduced our ink costs. I think that model is pretty much discontinued now, but there are some new models that are very reasonably priced.

Durabrite inks have some issues (especially with yellow) ... there are several threads on that here too. Search on 'durabrite.' We've been hearing good things about the Claria inks, too, and will probably upgrade to that system when this printer gives out.

I use an a solid workhorse heatpress .. BlackMax 15x15 clamshell (made by Stahls and sold under a couple of different brandnames). (I've been hauling it around to a gazillon dog shows for the last 6 years, great machine.)

While we purchase a lot of transfers (am an authorized dealer for one line of our designs), we make all our transfers for my other line of designs. We also do custom work and small wholesale orders with customers designs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is very helpful really and i thank you for that, this is where I have had a hard time understanding things. Like i say from the outside looking in I would like to thing that ink is ink, but then again not to long ago I thought an image was an image and knew nothing about dpi. 72 dpi didnt look so good on a shirt.

I will research this farther with the information you provided, is there a preferred line of heat transfer vinyl of somehting i should stay away from there?
 
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