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Newbie help needed

2035 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  elcielo

Ok, so here's the plan, I'm going to get some equipment and start a t-shirt printing business, i know ! not that simple right? So any advice greatly appreciated.

I'm based in the UK, my budget is £500, from which I'd like to purchase a cutter and heat press.
Plan is to only work evenings and weekends part time on a relatively small basis so I'm not looking to purchase gear priced at thousands of pounds and I won't be venturing into vehicle graphics or sign making. Hoping to get a fair few orders in, but this wont be my main income.

I have been looking at Silhouette Cameos, LIYU ranges and complete starter kits, heat presses, and various cutters.

What gear will be good enough to get me started, on this kind of budget?
Do I need a 24/48" cutter just for t-shirts?
Are Chinese import cutters really best stayed away from?
Could a Cameo hold its own?
WIll a cheap heat press let me down?

ps.. sorry if this is the wrong forum thread?

thanks in advance Scoff
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Since you're in the UK, Scoff, I can't speak to the more inexpensive heat presses. In the US, many of us have purchased inexpensive presses from Heat Press Nation and ProWorld with good results.

I own a Cameo and it's a great little machine and can hold its own. I've had a little problem with inconsistent blades lately, but you can purchase the CB09 blade holder and fixed blades (the Cameo has an adjustable blade) for very little coin and you'll be a happy camper.

So if my mental conversion math is correct, your £500 should get you started.
24" cutter will do the trick.
Some Chinese brands are good, others, not so good.
In the UK, I would recommend checking out Secabo with the Secabo heat presses and the Saga cutters.
thanks for the response guys.

The Secabo and Saga equipment hadn't even come up on my radar so I will deffinetly take a look at those.

Do you mind if I pick your brains for some much needed answers and fire some questions over please?
One thing to consider is contacting local companies that sell new hardware and see if they have any refurbished machines or lease repos that you can purchase for a lower price.

When it comes to cutters and heat presses, paying a little extra for local support is worth it. I can't begin to tell you how many eBay heat presses I have that stopped working after 4 months, and the eBay sellers were gone.

I also have a cutter or two that worked great for about as long, and then just stopped. No vendor support is like throwing money in a deep hole.
theres a website doing a cameo cutter with some garment vinyl to get you going, all youll need is a heat press but they sell those too: Graphtec Silhouette Cameo Free Garment Vinyl
just re-read the description on the site and it comes with some t-shirts and tools such as weeding tools and scalpels etc....
24" cutter will do the trick.
Some Chinese brands are good, others, not so good.
In the UK, I would recommend checking out Secabo with the Secabo heat presses and the Saga cutters.
Yes, this answer is so great!
i used a decent cutter from graphtec (second hand but never let me down) and a cheap Chinese heat press, the only problem i've ever had with my press is that the fuses blow sometimes if its left on without being used for over half an hour!
Thats a great link to the silhouette, thanks SignVinylsUK! I will have a better look at that, it looks like a good starter kit.
I have been leaning towards the cameo, its just although I'm well aware I want to 'crawl' before walking before running, would I end up needing a better machine 3 months down the line? Could always get 2 cameos running haha

Is the size suitable for t-shirts? In theory if I say had a 24" cutter and I ganged up say 6 rectangles end to end across the machines length, is this ultimately using the same amount of vinyl as if I laid them back to back on a silhouette cameo? Does that make sense??

Here is a full package set up i have been looking at i have been looking at -

Vinyl T-shirt printing package

or also thought just a heat press from these and run a cameo along side it.

Its bloody tricky, one minute I'm sold on a LIYU and even found a supplier in my city, only to come across another thread on here stating VERY bad reports about this company.

Also, running from my iMac is a must ! I have all creative suite software too.
One package I came across was giving one year subscription to signcut Pro for £12

This seems a reputable business I have been looking at there cutters and gear -
Vinyl Cutter

With regards to t-shirts quality and suppliers etc, I have signed up an account with Ralawise, they are sending me a catalogue out and seem to supply a hell of a lot of different merch/tees at reasonable prices.
My friend mentioned on a possible order we were discussing, they don't like 'the thick heavy t-shirts' and they are looking for something more like you would buy on the high street, such as H&M / River Island etc
Can you get hold of these? and are do you have to pay through the nose for them?

Attached are images of the kind of t-shirts I would regularly be creating for them, theseare actual regular orders that will be coming in for me from my mates gym, about 10 every month, could cameo fulfill this?

thanks scoff


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DO NOT USE LOVECUT! check out the reviews on here mate the guy is a complete cow boy! and from what I've heard UK cutter are just as bad... Great service until you have an issue then they dont wana know!

Cameos are great for someone who is starting off, they are cheap to run and you get a 2 year warranty from graphtec which is a bonus.. You get the software included as well and usually that's an extra cost when buying the bigger cutters.

IMO Best thing to do is go for something small to test the water and if business takes off upgrade to a bigger cutter in the future and keep your cameo running along side for some smaller stuff or even just as a back up
it's amazing how these businesses get away with it!
makes you sick. anyway thanks for the help
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