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Hello all of my fellow T-shirt buddies, I did a search for this topic, but I didn't find much of anything so I thought I would ask you ALL. Okay, our small little business is just getting started and is almost ready to God-willing make some great strides. We have a lot of one-liners to print on t-shirts and I want to know from all of you what would be the very best/ most economical way to print them. I don't want 50 shirts silkscreened with a saying that doesn't sell (then I am just stuck with the 50 shirts). I want to be able to print one or two of each saying and then post them on my website, t-shirt store, ect. I am thinking either the ink jet method or the T-Jet (for dark shirts) would be the best way but I am not sure.



Also, those of you who ship shirts what have you found is the least expensive way to do this? Do you all have a PO box or give out your home address (if you work out of your home?)

Thanks,
Silverbolt
 

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silverbolt said:
I don't want 50 shirts silkscreened with a saying that doesn't sell (then I am just stuck with the 50 shirts). I want to be able to print one or two of each saying and then post them on my website, t-shirt store, ect. I am thinking either the ink jet method or the T-Jet (for dark shirts) would be the best way but I am not sure.
If you can find someone to outsource DTG printing to (who will charge reasonable wholesale prices that still allow a profit) that would be a reasonable option. If you are nervous about commiting to a print run of 50 though, I'd also be nervous about commiting to a $15,000 piece of equipment that not everyone is happy with.

Digital transfers (ink jet + heat press) are probably the cheapest/lowest risk option, but they're not the best looking of your four options. They're something to keep in mind if you expand your product line beyond text, or if you want to have the lowest investment cost.

The other option popular for one-liners is plastisol transfers. You can gang several slogans onto one sheet, and they are economical. If they don't sell you aren't stuck with printed inventory, but you are stuck with a bunch of (considerably cheaper but equally useless) transfers.

Plastisol transfers are probably the best cost to risk to quality ratio.

silverbolt said:
Also, those of you who ship shirts what have you found is the least expensive way to do this?
There have been a lot of posts on this; the ground has been pretty thoroughly covered. If you still have questions after reading the other threads you'd be better off posting a new thread for that separate question.
 

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jdr8271 said:
And also vinyl. You can get a vinyl cutter for about $1000, and then use a heat press to apply the die-cut vinyl to shirts.
Sorry, you're right - five options, not four.

I've always thought weeding one-liners would be a total pain and ultimately not worth it, but it does give you a good price to quality ratio as well (and just as having an inkjet printer and a heat press opens up other ways to make money, having a vinyl plotter and a heat press opens up other ways to make money - even if you don't want to make a primary business out of it, it can generate some extra side income to supplement).
 

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While we're talking other options, there's also dye sublimation. I tend to think of digital transfer and dye sublimation as 1a and 1b, but in the case of one-liners it is pretty different. The main reason I wouldn't use digital transfer for text is that the "box" of the transfer will be a lot more obvious. Dye sublimation only transfers the ink, not the carrier paper, so it doesn't have that problem.

So six options, until someone else comes along with the seventh ;)
 

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Also, those of you who ship shirts what have you found is the least expensive way to do this? Do you all have a PO box or give out your home address (if you work out of your home?)
You should probably get a PO BOX or private mail box.
 

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silverbolt said:
getting started and is almost ready to God-willing make some great strides. We have a lot of one-liners to print on t-shirts and I want to know from all of you what would be the very best/ most economical way to print them. I don't want 50 shirts silkscreened with a saying that doesn't sell (then I am just stuck with the 50 shirts). I want to be able to print one or two of each saying and then post them on my website, t-shirt store, ect.
Also, those of you who ship shirts what have you found is the least expensive way to do this? Do you all have a PO box or give out your home address (if you work out of your home?)
Silverbolt, here's my work-around for doing text for just a few tees with my inkjet printer and transfer paper. Put the text on a solid background. It could be as simple as a solid rectangle. You can trim a rectangle pretty easily :D

I'm getting ready to make some newlywed t-shirt gifts for a friend who is getting married again. It'll be text with an image.
 

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Yes I have access to a vinyl cutter and yes for text I think this is the way to go. Clean text, perfect lines etc,,, I am looking into plastisol transfers but for a one color design,,,,,I do love the vinyl.
 

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I havent used too many companies vinyls for shirts and such but with materials like EZ-Weed you can do multi color layers. Im still waiting for my press to show (painfull E-Bay seller story) but when I do the jerseys at the local sports shop, I do accent lines inside the blockier main lettering. Looks good. As soon as I have my press show, if ever, Im going to see just how detailed I can go. So to give you my take on the way to go. Buy a nice 15 or 24 inch Robo and you will never regret it.
 

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I have been using plastisol transfers since I started in this business last year. I first tried inkjet but was unhappy with the quality and limitations. The plastisol transfers allow me to get screenprint quality with on-demand printing. I can get 5 or 6 two line jokes to a sheet. I usually order a quantity of 24 sheets for new jokes. Even at this low volume my printing only costs about 40 cents per shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have been using plastisol transfers since I started in this business last year. I first tried inkjet but was unhappy with the quality and limitations. The plastisol transfers allow me to get screenprint quality with on-demand printing. I can get 5 or 6 two line jokes to a sheet. I usually order a quantity of 24 sheets for new jokes. Even at this low volume my printing only costs about 40 cents per shirt.

Please tell me more about these transfers. How do I do them? .40 a shirt is phenomenal.
 
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