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Thanks Rodney.

I've been wading through the huge volume of posts on Heat Transfer and have yet to find a consensus on the BEST method.....Laser vs. InkJet. (If there even is one)

Could you or others offer a current opinion on the best choice. Assuming the best of printers and the best of transfer papers?

I'm very new myself so please double check all this, but from all my research i have summarized the following for producing in-house heat transfers:

- Epson inkjets are used with various commercial grade heat transfer sheets (JetPro SS, Paropy/Joto). Some paper for printing on light garments is self-weeding (ideal), but i see no self-weeding paper for inkjet printing onto dark garments. Re: Pigment ink is preferred over dye for durability, which Epson supports. Many people are using a 3rd party CIS - Continuous Ink Supply - system which helps reduce ink costs. The key heat pressing technique i see mentioned is after pressing, gently hand stretch the shirt and do 2nd pressing on the shirt with a silicone sheet for a few seconds to help durability. To be clear, inkjets work on both light and dark shirts, but there is no self-weeding paper for the dark. Printing on dark requires you to cut out the design by hand or using a cutter/plotter. Also printing for dark shirts seem to require 2-3 steps.

- Laser printers seem to offer the benefit of self-weeding on light and dark. The go to laser printer seems to be Okidata with the white ink option. The key heat pressing technique for laser prints is very heavy pressure.

Best Option: outsourcing your designs to a larger shop that can produce Plastisol heat transfer sheets will produce the best results using a heat press. After a lot of research, I narrowed down my list to F&M and Versatrans and have currently several orders in with F&M. Next step for me is to buy an inkjet/laser printer (or both) for producing small runs in-house. The challenge is, dark shirts and self-weeding. I have settled on the fact that i will need 1 or 2 printers:
inkjet for whites self-weeding, darks manual weeding, inexpensive
laser for light and dark self-weeding both, expensive

As for printer brands, here are the ones that keep popping up in this forum. Pricing is between $100 to 3,000. Remember, inkjet pigment ink is preferred by veterans on this forum.

Inkjet Printers
Epson Sure Color P800, P600 (not the P400) newer, wide format inkjet
Epson Stylus Pro 2800/2880, 3800/3880, 4800/4880 seem older but good
Epson 1500W ?
Epson WF 1100 ?
Epson Artison 1430 ?
Epson C80/C88/C88+ (cheap with great reviews, many use this) 8.5x11 borderless printing

Laser Printers
OKI C711, c831, pro920

That's after 3 weeks of reading lots of posts on this forum.

Hope that helps.
Anthony
 
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