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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very much interested in designing my own shirts, I tried doing stencils & heat transfers before but didn't really have much luck with it. What would you suggest, between the two, is the better procedure to learn more about? Or are there any other designing procedure I should consider?

In one of the threads here I read that heat transfers would "only" work with white colored shirts? Can anyone please verify.

Also, does anybody here know about the heat transfer shirts sold in downtown Vancouver? Like in the Cherry Bomb store? I'm very interested to know the type of printing on the paper and the paper itself. The designs are the glossy type. Will I personally be able to achive that or do I need specialized paper and machines?

Hope to hear from you...Ü
 

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Normal heat transfer can only be done on light-colored shirts effectively (white especially, but it also works fine on ash and natural). However, there are other methods available that use that same heat press to apply designs to dark shirts, such as plastisol and vinyl/flock.
 

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I'm sorry, but I have no idea of the Canadian supplies market.

However, in the UK you can now buy some excellent transfer stock for dark materials, even stuff in impregnated glow-in-the-dark and reflective qualities. By excellent, of course, I mean excellent for transfer technology, not necessarily for quality printing that people would actually buy....

I'd advise to be very, very careful. Very few designs are better as any sort of transfer. You'll cut off a very large market who refuse to buy transfer goods (even though some are excellent today...people have been burnt by the shoddy supplies avalible over the last few years).

If I were you, I'd take Twinge's advice if you're commited to using a heat press....plastisol, vinyl etc.

Please note that I'm also very biased towards actual screen printing, so feel safe to ignore me ;)
 

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sarafina said:
[
Monkey, whats your issue with screenprinting?
I meant that I love screenprinting.

Screenprinting wins over any sort of heat press method every time for me.

Just personal preference.
 

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jdr8271 said:
Why would anyone refuse to buy transfer goods?
Because of a perceived lack of quality.

For years Cafe Press was considered a total joke by anyone with internet experience, for example. That reputation seems to have turned around considerably in the last few years, but for some people the damage will already be done.

(whether or not they deserved the reputation I am not entering into - just saying they had it is all)

jdr8271 said:
Most people wouldnt even know the difference, particularly with vinyl and plasticol.
That is a whole separate issue. Some customers know they don't want heat transfer. Could you fool them if you tried? Maybe. Not really relevant though.

Heat transfer still hasn't shaken off the associations with cheap iron-on transfer. People often think of it as the same thing they would do at home with an inkjet and an iron. So long as those home options are available, you're always going to have at least some customers thinking of the one as the other.

It's also associated with smaller operations, which sometimes goes along with lower quality. If a company uses heat transfer you also have a greater chance that they didn't apply it properly than with other print methods (this is, of course, a risk a customer takes to at least some extent with all printing everywhere - but the risk is greater in this case).

The fact is that heat transfer doesn't have a very good reputation with some portion of the customer base, and that is what a business that uses this method has to fight against (or not, if they don't need those sales). Alternatively you can just go for the customers who are ignorant enough (or unprejudiced, or open-minded - take your pick) not to care.

Other reasons not to buy transfer goods are simple things like the fact that dark coloured shirts are considerably more popular than light, and wanting a softer hand to your clothing (or harder for that matter, if you're a fan of bullet-proof printing). Screenprinting is superior if you want to print on non-standard locations (printing over seams, or across two halves of a garment for example). It can also be more flexible - both in terms of what fabric you can print on, and what inks you can print with.

Heat transfer also has its own advantages, but it would be naive to overlook its disadvantages. I know it's getting better everyday, etc. but it's not there yet. And if it does get there? It'll be years before the PR campaign catches up.

You need to be aware of the limitations of your medium if you're going to be successful with it and emphasise the things heat transfer does have going for it (e.g. flexibility to offer more size and colour choices to the customer).

(this goes for any medium, as screenprinting has a bunch of obvious limitations of its own)
 

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I couldn't have said it better Solmu.

To 90% of your customer-base, saying "heat-transfer", when sold from a small site, means "vile iron-on that will peel off in three washes, that I could make at home myself just as easily". Most people who buy shirts don't come to boards like this....they have no idea of the latest technology...they have no idea that "heat transfer" means about a dozen totally different methods and materials, ranging from awful to excellent.

Whether you want to hear it or not, few customers would buy transfer over screenprinted. Many would buy screenprinted over transfer.


To make goods that are 100% screenprinted *will* boost your sales. I've screenprinted at a professional level for years, and also done my fair share of heat press application with a range of materials. We sold them in the UK, to both boutique shops and a hefty number from a co-op site on the net. Screenprinted outsold transfer 5 to 1, if not more. The boutique shop paid more for screenprinted. And, best of all, the screenprinted had the lowest cost to us.

Yes, screenprinting has many issues which make it difficult to start in. But if you do, you *will* sell more.
 

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Peekel said:
Also, does anybody here know about the heat transfer shirts sold in downtown Vancouver? Like in the Cherry Bomb store? I'm very interested to know the type of printing on the paper and the paper itself. The designs are the glossy type. Will I personally be able to achive that or do I need specialized paper and machines?

Hope to hear from you...Ü
That store "Chery Bomb" is a complete replica of a Well known 20 year old Toronto t-shirt Store. The prints they sell are Litho-Transfers from bang on....i think. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
T-BOT said:
That store "Chery Bomb" is a complete replica of a Well known 20 year old Toronto t-shirt Store. The prints they sell are Litho-Transfers from bang on....i think. :rolleyes:
Thanks T-bot, i'm checking out the Bang On site now. Would you know where I can buy Litho-Transfers and can I use any ordinary ink-jet printer with that? Hope to hear from you!
 

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Peekel said:
Thanks T-bot, i'm checking out the Bang On site now. Would you know where I can buy Litho-Transfers and can I use any ordinary ink-jet printer with that? Hope to hear from you!
nope, you cant make litho-transfers with a jet printer.
these transfers are made in a special way, not even all screen printers make them. You need to make something like 1000 25x38 size transfer sheets in order for them to be cost effective. Also, they are not and have never been durable in the wash (comparing to screen print/plastisol etc.). They do look great, i own a lot of them myself. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again T-bot. I checked the net and it does seem like an expensive hobby. I guess i'll try to find good quality ink-jet heat transfer paper and learn more about stencils hehe. Thanks!
 

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Bang-on was started in Vancouver, not Toronto. :)

I have not been to Cherry Bomb, so I am not sure exactly what kind of transfers they are using, but I am pretty sure the ones Bang-on uses are not inkjet transfers. They are most likely plastisol transfers, which can't be printed on your home printer, but you don't need to order 1000 for it to be a cost effective option.
 

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Jasonda said:
Bang-on was started in Vancouver, not Toronto. :)
They are most likely plastisol transfers, which can't be printed on your home printer, but you don't need to order 1000 for it to be a cost effective option.
"That store "Chery Bomb" is a complete replica of a Well known 20 year old Toronto t-shirt Store.
Jasonda, Bang on is not the store Im talking about. Bang on was not even around then. Bang on Makes the litho's like the Famous " I PITTY THE FOOL ".

Litho-Transfer that Bang on makes are NOT plastisol transfers. Litho-Transfers ARE "lithograph process transfers". :) Comprende (spell?).
 

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Cherry Bomb is owned by Bang-On. All the same company owned by Craig Doyle.

They have their own silkscreening facilities at their office. The transfers they make that are solid colours like the hockey logos, or the 2-3 colour graphic type images are cold-peel transfers. I never really liked the quality, as they seem too glossy, and they don't really last long before they start peeling.

If you talk to the art dept. at Bang-On, they will make transfers for you.

They also do litho transfers. These are the "photo" type images they have. - Or the Sesame Street ones, etc, etc. All of these are liscensed by Bang-on, and I think they do wholesale them, if you really want them. They offered to make them for some of my designs -by adding them to larger runs they do. - at a decent price.

You'd have to talk to them though. I decided against using them, because I just couldn't get myself to like the cold-peel quality.

Starline Pacific in Delta do hot-split transfers. The quality is good, and the prices are decent.
 

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well Kent, i had no idea you were so well connected. :) lol

Litho transfer process is the only heat press transfers type that a dtg screen printer is not able to do. :D ....serious. You can ONLY make them as Heat Press Transfers.
 

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T-BOT said:
well Kent, i had no idea you were so well connected. :) lol

Litho transfer process is the only heat press transfers type that a dtg screen printer is not able to do. :D ....serious. You can ONLY make them as Heat Press Transfers.
They're like Dog's Ear transfers from the 80's. Not sure If I'd ever do them. Don't like the plastic feel to them. But that said, they do serve a purpose.

There's still a Dog's Ear in West VAncouver. Haven't been in, but I'm sure there are some Knight Rider transfers kickin' around on the shelves.
 

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Hey- Im new on this site.
Rodney said you were the Litho person. I just had a big run of litho prints done at a place in LA called instagraph. Ever heard of them? They turned out pretty well. Colors are a bit flat but nice detail. I know nothing about this process. Did you say they don't wash well? I washed one a few times and it seemed ok. I was talked into these by the company because my images were very detailed and photographic. I tried to have them screened and they sucked. Whats your word on these in general? Any suggestions for something that would work better?
thanks
Sally
 

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I'm sorry, but I have no idea of the Canadian supplies market.

However, in the UK you can now buy some excellent transfer stock for dark materials, even stuff in impregnated glow-in-the-dark and reflective qualities. By excellent, of course, I mean excellent for transfer technology, not necessarily for quality printing that people would actually buy....

I'd advise to be very, very careful. Very few designs are better as any sort of transfer. You'll cut off a very large market who refuse to buy transfer goods (even though some are excellent today...people have been burnt by the shoddy supplies avalible over the last few years).

If I were you, I'd take Twinge's advice if you're commited to using a heat press....plastisol, vinyl etc.

Please note that I'm also very biased towards actual screen printing, so feel safe to ignore me ;)

monkey,
can you direct me to the UK manufacturer of the glow in the dark transfer media?i want to try and find something else than what we got in as a sample.I think it 's glow-jo

BB
 
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