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Hello everyone,
I'm looking into starting some sort of a t-shirt selling business (can't get too much into details right now) and I would love to hear your guys' opinions. I am really new to this, so please treat/explain me like I am 10 years old :)
What are the most common printing techniques? Why are they better than the others?
I've seen 'heat press' and 'screen printing' mentioned a lot. What are their pros and cons? Cost efficiency? Time efficiency? Quality?
Thank you in advance :rolleyes:
 

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If I were the owner of a big company, I would probably use DTG because of the feel (also know as "the hand").

I do not use DTG because those machines are very expensive.

I started going through a DTG On-Demand company (think, Zazzle, Cafe Press, etc.) because I had no other way at the time. The tees were nice -- lots of colors, no hand -- but expensive.

I started looking for better, less expensive ways to make tees. I knew I didn't want to screen print them because it is messy, time-consuming, and has a sizable learning curve.

I chose indirect screen printing (also known as plastisol). In this method, I have a company screen print my designs on special release paper and mail them to me. I then use a heat press to transfer the design from the paper to my tee.

This is a good method for the beginner as all you need is a heat press. You might need a graphic design program (Corel Draw, Illustrator) but you can use a free one (Inksacape) or find a plastisol company that has templates you can use (Transfer Express, Versatrans, etc).

Plastisol is not good for small quantities as the designs are a lot cheaper when you order more.

I recently bought a plotter/cutter (a GCC Expert 24 LX) that I use to cut vinyl. I prefer this method on smaller orders (up to about 35 items -- any more than that and the cost benefit leans towards plastisol).

I can also use the vinyl cutter for banners, signs, window stickers, etc.

Finally, I have a laser printer (a Brother 3070CW) that I have used with ImageClip paper. This is self-weeding paper that is done in 2 steps. I haven't had great success with this method. The colors are good and the hand is fine but the designs don't seem to last as long.

Does that help?
 
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