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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! Wonderful site with an amazing amount of info!
You guys probably read this a lot, but what I need is a helping hand getting started, someone to point me in the right direction. I have found good info, but I think it would be best if I tell you what my aim is.

I'm doing a collection of car related apparel, I'm skilled in Illustrator, have finished some designs and I actually own a compatible toner and ink cartridge reselling business so this stuff is not new to me. What I'm not exactly fimiliar with is the outcome of certain garment printing technologies. I've narrowed my choices down to pigment transfering (DTG being too expensive for the start) and what I'm mainly looking for is a high quality, beautifully colored prints, 100% cotton, up to A3 format. Time spent printing or transfering really isn't an issue as I don't expect to print high(er) quantities. I'm able to acquire high quality pigment inks for pretty much any printer at great prices. I hope to print on any color shirt with stunning results. I'm not planning low budget, but like I said, DTG is off the charts. Over 1000$ is ok. "Quality, not quantity" is my goal.

Unfortunately, some of the printers you guys recommend aren't available here in Europe, but the models and specs are similar.
I'm thinking something along the lines of Epson Stylus R1400, R1900, R2880, though I don't see a great benefit in the 2880 at almost double the price.

So my questions are:
Which would you recommend would be best for my needs? Which transfer paper and heat press would you recommend for this theoretical setup, and why?
The garment supplier also has things like jackets, laptop sleeves (can't remember the fabric, something like neoprene), backpacks - would I be able to print on these or have to go sublimation?

I've already had a local company make some test shirts, they use Flex technology and frankly I'm not very pleased with the result. The gradients got lost, black parts seem "greenish" even though they're on a white shirt, red is a bit faded, white is great, the edges are weird (didn't take time cutting it out)... so I'd rather go solo.

I'm really excited about this business, I'm not really looking for a high income shop, but more of a playground where I can let my creativity loose and maybe make some customers happy :) Excited to read your thoughts.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply!
I'm not really looking for any in depth answers, just someone who can say "Yea, we use the R1900 with great results." or "We have the R1900 but wish we had bought a Canon xxx, have a look at that."

Youtube is really helpful, I'm going through tons of videos about using the papers, heat presses, various tricks. I know this stuff can't be explained in a few sentences, but like I said, I'm just looking for recommendations and I'll study the rest as much as I can.

Here's a cutout of one of the designs. On the sample shirts, this came out pretty much as a black blob, with a greenish color to it (this is of course CMYK colors). This could be fine tuned in AI, but I'd rather have a good printer that can create almost exact results. When I print this picture on my HP OfficeJet 3310 (6 color), I get exactly what I see on the monitor.


 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I've done some more studying, and here's the "startup kit" I've come up with, what are your opinions?

- Epson R1900
- JPSS paper for lights and darks
- PCUT 630 cutter
- heat press with digital temp

One thing I'm wondering is on the darks, lets say I Have a color picture and above it white text - will the cutter cut out that part, thus leaving the white text (paper) to be transfered? How do you keep complex cutouts from falling apart between the cutter and heat transfer?

Having the cutter I could also get into vinyl transfers right? The process would be pterry much the same as with inkjet transfers?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I went with the above equipment, the last of it - the heat press - should be in tomorrow.
I've also bough some sample tees and flock/flex foil sample sheets.
Can't wait to get started!

Btw: anyone tried combinations of JPSS/flock/flex? For example a design printed on JPSS and then adding "chrome' flexfoil to it. Can't seem to find any threads on that.
 
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