First off I'm interested in learning about different ways to produce the shirts I want. I am interested in the plusses & minuses of screen printing, heat transfer & sourcing printed shirts. From the simple basics I am aware of I am leaning toward heat transfer but need to learn more.
I learned towards heat transfers as well but realized that I just couldn't sell something that I didn't think was good enough quality. The hand left was unacceptable to me so I moved to plastisol transfers. I will let you know how those go once they arrive.
I am new as well, but I did buy an Epson 1280 and the ink cause I thought heat transfers would be nice but it leaves a box of wax or something around the image. I am sure someone here can explain a little better. Plastisol transfers are basically screen prints but instead of on a shirt, its put on transfer paper so its almost as good as screen printing.
If you use a quality transfer paper and apply it correctly, the hand on heat transfer is very minimal. It will feel a little stiff at first, but as soon as it goes through the wash its almost unnoticeable (about the same as most screen printed shirts I've seen). To be more specific: use Transjet II or Majic Jet paper, cut the transfer (about 1/8th of a inch from the design) before you use it, pre-press the shirt for 5 or so seconds, apply the transfer for about 15 seconds at about 375 degrees, and you should be good to go.
Plastisol is basically having someone screen print inks on to a carrier paper which you can then use a heat press to apply them to a shirt. The biggest advantage of thse over regular screen printing (IMO) is that you can apply them to shirts as they are ordered instead of having to guess ahead of time.
You might also want to search for some past threads about heat transfer versus screen printing, I've gone into more detail in some past replies
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