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Discussion Starter #1
I have been comming up with designs for a t-shirt company, but I think that I have been going in the wrong direction. I was about to build my own screen printing machine, but after working on a few designs i noticed that they were probly too complex to try and silk screen myself. And it would cost a fortune to have them silk screened for me. So i was woundering whats the best way to do this? If it is silk screening then i'll go ahead and work on getting good enough at that to print the designs i want, but after reading on here Ive learned about plasticol (i think thats what their called) transfers. Are those as good of quality as silkscreen? Also, if you have those made do they send you the whole shirt already printed or do they just send the paper? And is there any way to make those transfers at home without having to order them?
Thanks for reading this and all replies

EDIT:
oops, I forgot to put one of the designs that I want to print:
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y104/drkcyron/five.jpg
 

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Re: Just starting... please help

Lou to the rescue.. goosie.. love the name.. Plastisol transfers are made to your design. They actually screen print the design or wording on a release paper and then you press on the shirt. it can be expensive or very cheap depending on the quantity you order. Your designs have to be sent to the company in an editable mode which means using vector art. Your design has a lot of different colors or shades. the more colors, like screenprinter the more the cost. You should try to bring it down to 3 colors at the most.
50 12 x 12 transfers for 3 colors at First-Edition is 3.27 each according to the price sheet I have. You add 1.25 for a white shirt and you in the ball park for about $4.50. Hope that helps. feel free to ask.. Lou
 

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Re: Just starting... please help

Ok, so basically it will cost a ton of money to have that design printed? Is there any type of transfer paper that I can print that design at home and put it on the shirts by myself? I would do silk screen, but there are a lot of shades and colors in that design and when i try to make it less colors it doesnt look good to me.
So basically, is there any way i can print the shirts at home and still get good results other than silk screening? And is it any cheaper than plastisol? Im still in high school, so I dont really have that much money to get the company started on.
 

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Re: Just starting... please help

To do the design in silk screening and keeping the colors you have is going to cost a lot. If you do it with hot peel transfers you could get all the colors and trim around the design on a white shirt or light shirt. As for as saying is screening any cheaper than plastisol. Plastisol is screening, only it is done on a release paper and then sent to you to place on garment. The end results are just like screening. No one can tell the difference. No trimming, no borders, no outlines. The cost is based on number of transfers you need. That works the same way for screeners only a screener may charge extra for all the screens he has to do.
 

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Re: Just starting... please help

Hi Lou-
I too have just started. I have been looking at ordering Plastisol transfers from First-edition. I was originally using a screen printer but it was going too slow and getting too frustrating. I am kinda a "control" freak!

Anyways, I have 15 different designs-- which means at First Edition it is going to cost me about $2k to get them all done. Is there any cheaper way that gives similar results... like printing yourself??

I like the litho transfers as well, but those seem to be even more. I want quality but at a reasonable cost?
Any ideas??

Thank you
 

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If you are on a tight budget you should just look into a fullfillment site like cafe press. You can set up a store, submit your designs, set your profit at whatever and buy your own designs one at a time or as many as you can afford. If you do that you dont need to purchase any supplys and can get a taste of whats going to happen if anything.
 

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That cafepress thing sounds like a good idea... But whats the commitment on it like? Do the designs i submit become their property? I'm looking through the website now, but I'm having a hard time finding the answers to these questions... Also is it basically I give them the design, then buy the shirt from them at a base price?
 

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I dont know all the ins and outs but there are folks here that do. I think you can set your actual profit at zero and just purchase your designs at thier cost plus profit. You obviously can set up shop and sell and or test your designs within the actual marketplace. I think its a good way to go if you are short on cash and want a feel for business.
 

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MotoskinGraphix said:
I dont know all the ins and outs but there are folks here that do. I think you can set your actual profit at zero and just purchase your designs at thier cost plus profit. You obviously can set up shop and sell and or test your designs within the actual marketplace. I think its a good way to go if you are short on cash and want a feel for business.
Ok, thanks for the help. I guess thats a good way for me to get started. If my designs sell a lot then I'll stick with cafepress until I have enough money to buy a heat press. But now I see that design i made doesnt necessarily look good on a t-shirt... Back to photoshop :)
 

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I have 15 different designs-- which means at First Edition it is going to cost me about $2k
why would you have them all done at one time. lets evaluate your business structure. 1. Are you going to make inventory before you sell. 2. Are you going to sell in bulk wholesale or one at a time at retail. 3. What size design do you want on shirts? 4. How would is cafepress do your shirts and what control do you have as to how the product looks. 5. Do you want the designs on white shirts or color shirts? Have you tried hot peel transfer for whites or light? I would have some one do the shirt for you with heat press and see what it looks like on a white shirt. Lou
 

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Ok, made a cafepress shop but while trying to work on designs for shirts and stuff i'm having a hard time in photoshop. So im woundering if anyone has any tutorials for drawing a picture, then scanning it and coloring it that way? It'll be a lot easier for me since i can change everything easier on paper without all those effects...

cafepress.com/deviantclothing

EDIT AGAIN:
Well, i decided to go with spreadshirt instead :) but im going to order a test shirt from each of them to see which is better quality, ect...
But I have to design a good shirt first before i can convince my dad to let me put the house address in it so it'll be visable... I need a new sketchbook tho... i havent actualy drawn anything in a long while...
spreadshirt.com/shop.php?sid=44555

Thanks everyone for all the help, I went from being almost clueless to what im doing to getting my own shop open thanks to you guys
 

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badalou said:
why would you have them all done at one time. lets evaluate your business structure. 1. Are you going to make inventory before you sell. 2. Are you going to sell in bulk wholesale or one at a time at retail. 3. What size design do you want on shirts? 4. How would is cafepress do your shirts and what control do you have as to how the product looks. 5. Do you want the designs on white shirts or color shirts? Have you tried hot peel transfer for whites or light? I would have some one do the shirt for you with heat press and see what it looks like on a white shirt. Lou
Ok..business structure:

I would like some inventory prior to setting up shop. I am having a a web designer build my store and I want pictures with the shirts on it. It is for little kids. I will offer onsies and tees up to age 5. I do have my wholesale license and plan to order from AA. I will offer both retail (I am assuming at first most of my biz will come from here) and wholesale. The designs are completed-mostly 4"x5" - some a bit smaller. I would like the designs on white/tan/ and black for now-- hoping to add colors later. I was having a screen printer do them and just order small quantities-- it would have only been about $850. However dealing with the screen printer has been a bit "trying". I would like to have more control over this-- I want this business to be mine (control freak--I know). I want a very polished look and if I have to spend the money I will for quality-- I do not like cafe press shirts-- just was kinda hoping there might be other options. Either way I look at it-- it is an investment I guess... sometimes it can just be scary.
 

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I would suggest custom plastisol transfers. Same ink as screen printing only they are done on release paper and you can print them on blanks as you move forward. You just store them in a file and as you sell a shirt...whip out the transfer and press it. I dont know what your designs consist of so its kinda hard to guess what exactly is your best option but having said you were screen printing...this will probably work for you. I dont understand the need to have a bunch of inventory printed up prior to sales.
 
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