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Discussion Starter #1
First post here, thanks everyone for a great forum.

For context, I drive a customized espresso truck, and am only producing my own design shirt to wear myself, advertise the biz, give away as prizes, whatever. So rather than trying to get all the way into the T-Shirt business, I am using heat transfer on light fabric, with a mocha-latte color scheme, not looking for the bright colors of sublimation. I did buy a small heat press. I am using Best Blank's Transfer Jet paper. (open for suggestions)

I have an Epson Photo R200. The first tests seem satisfactory, although it doesnt' have the Durabrite or Pigmented type inks. Am I missing something? (cost, durability) At least it has inks in separate cartridges. At this point, I'm not sure its worth buying a bulk ink system and a new printer, since my business is coffee. Any thoughts?

Finally, it seems kinda amazing to me that transfer paper instructions say things like 4-7 seconds, a range that nearly doubles the press time. I can only guess that density of material is involved. While I am going ahead and experimenting, I'd be grateful if someone could say if there is another reason for time variance. Thanks in advance.
 

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That sounds very low for a press time; most papers call for somewhere around 10-20 seconds. It does vary a lot though, depending on material you're transfering to, the press itself, pressure, etc. Experimentation is required, but usually something in the middle of the suggested range works well enough.

As far as what paper to use, I'd recommend getting the Transjet II/Magic Jet paper, which can be found at www.personalizedsupplies.com.

Since you're just printing a few shirts for yourself/prizes, I would not suggest getting a bulk ink system. The only thing I'd suggest since you aren't using pigmented inks is that you might want to pre-wash any shirts you're giving away, since dye-based inks tend to bleed the first time they are washed.
 

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Hi ExpressoGuy . . . mmm Coffee . . just my cup of tee . .*orange peel smiles*~ . .

I am new to the tee biz also . . *tee-o-holic*~
I started off printing my transfers with a HP 970, then switched to a epson C86 *yuke*~
it was mentioned somewhere on this forum, someone made the comment and thought Durabrite should have been called duradull . . JMO . . they were right... so I went back to my HP printer
since I started the T-shirt end of my personalized gift biz. .
-- hmm, I guess its been about 6 weeks now . . I have sold (as of today) 152 T's - 14 Sweatshirts and 12 tote bags... and have only screwed up one transfer and one tote bag . . .

I use -- QLT "EZ PEEL" Ink Jet Transfer Paper -- Hix 400 @ 385º w/12 sec's on the timer 4 the T's and 17 sec's on the Canvas Totes . . .
I allow my product to cool down a bit and then place parchment paper over the design and press the product again (7-10 sec's) I find that the P-paper softens the transfer . . again, JMO

I keep a good stock of throw away material to do some testing of different colors
I test them for bleeding . . . *crossing fingers*~ . . I haven't had any issues . ..

I guess one day, I really want to grow up and be a real Tshirt pro . . LOL*~ . . .

but anyway . . *knocking on wood*~ . . so far everyone has been very very pleased with my work ... and thats a good thing... and it feels real good to hear or read great feedback from your buyer . .

though you've sold an item to a buyer, .. that buyer is your advertiser for as long as they wear your product . .

hope just a bit helps . .

Diane ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips - I might have to buy a printer after all - I had some bleeding and fading on my first experiments, but I was using the photo inks on cotton T's.

What is the prevailing wisdom about bleeding being the result of non-pigmented, or otherwise inappropriate inks versus being the result of the T shirt material? I stubbornly tried on cotton first, because I really don't want to wear a poly shirt all day. Maybe I'm dreaming.
 

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Hi

If you only want a few t-shirts why don't you try one of the fulfilment sites such as cafepress or spreadshirt, see the forum here on fulfilment sites. It will save you the cost of a printer and inks and you could perhaps sell a few too.
 
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