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Hi. I’m just starting in the DTG type printing. Since I will have a heat press, I may want to do simple 1 color designs instead of DTG for those jobs to keep the price down for my customers. What are the pros and cons of both vinyl and plastisol? Do they last through multiple washings without peeling? I used to screen print with plastisol many years ago. I would be purchasing the transfers from suppliers instead of printing my own. If I get enough business and vinyl is my choice I could purchase a cutter in the future. I won’t print plastisol for sure.

Thanks,
Rob
 

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Depends on how many single colour designs you are doing at any one time. For the odd one-off, or even 10 to 20, then htv is fine, but above that, weeding of your designs becomes a major factor, assuming you will eventually end up cutting them yourself.

Plastisol transfers are a good option, but you need to be ordering at least 50 to 100 sheets of the same colour and design to keep costs at a competitive level.

Both htv and plastisol wash well though, and htv gives the added option of allowing use of different vinyls, such as metallic, glitter, neon, etc.
 

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I use both and have to say the plastisol transfers are far superior to the HTV as far as longevity, look and feel goes in my experience but most people don't really even care or know the difference. I just know if I didn't offer single one off customized tee's our business would suffer and you can't do that with plastisol transfers. But in hindsight, if I could go back and not have spent $9000 on a Roland BN20, I probably would've gone the sublimation route instead of the vinyl. Way cheaper setup costs but you're limited to light tee's and polyester only but no weeding, no expensive equipment to maintain.
 

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I haven't noticed any difference in durability, both eventually crack, but that only makes it look better IMO. Seems like everytime someone wants a one-off or small qty design it's way too complicated for vinyl. To be honest, I quit selling HTV, there is way more money in sign vinyl. You'll pay for a cutter in weeks or months doing signs, windows, vehicles, etc., and there is a lot less weeding.
 

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When I have large runs for HTV, I like to make the design in what I call " Stencil" Meaning that I can just pull the htv material off without having to pick the insides of the letters and design.

As far as quality, All my HTV is thermoflex plus and it looks great, Not good , GREAT after 20+ washes.
 

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There are a few transfer companies out there and people will have different opinions. I started off with fmexpressions and use transfer express now. Both have their pros and cons. Transfer express has some designs you can use that is a little cheaper then using your own designs. Fmexpressions has a 15 cent offer. But if you are only doing a few shirts it will get expensive.

I also do HTV. Better for one or two shirts single of two color. A lot of different types out there from reflective to glitter to holographic. I use siser mostly. You could also go route of solvent printer and do printable htv. I am starting that currently. Would need printer and cutter for that or a combo unit like Roland.

If you have a design you know you are going to use often but not at the same time I would suggest transfers. I do that for a fire department. Order 150 or so transfers in and do them up when requested. Keeps their prices down and don’t have to worry about setups for only handful of shirts.
 

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Thanks everyone. Can some of you recommend some good plastisol transfer suppliers? Preferably without a high minimum order amount.

Thanks again,
Rob
Ordering just a few plastisol transfers can be expensive. Depending on the size of your designs and how many different designs you want printed " Ganging as many different designs up on a sheet as you can and ordering 10 sheets and up you can help you get your price down :)
 

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I use both plastisol transfers and vinyl. I use vinyl for smaller orders; ~30 is my breakeven point.

I use several plastisol companies:
  • Transfer Express is good and I use them for their templates
  • Seay Graphics does great work
  • Semo Imprints and F&M Expressions have good deals on 1-color prints
  • Versatrans has the biggest sheets that I use for ganging.
 
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