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I am new to this site so if this has been asked forgive me but I'am doing regular heat transfers with inkjet printer and the only disadvantage I see is that the transfer have to be in a box and I also have problems doing jobs with letters. So would it be possible to get the same quality of image on vinyl that I can get with a heat transfer and If so then what type of vinyl and vinyl cutter would I need.
 

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There are certain machines out there that will print and cut special vinyl material. However, these printer/cutters are somewhat expensive. The easiest method to eliminate the box around your transfers, particularly those for dark garments, is by using an optic eye cutter. You can actually print photo quality designs on an opaque inkjet media and by using crop marks, program the cutter to trim around your design. If you are doing one or two color designs without color gradients/photo quality you can simply create your graphics in a vector format and output those graphics to a cutter loaded with the color vinyl that you want (no printing needed).
 

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Hi,

All my designs are printed using vinyl, flock etc. I find it is far more durable (and probably cheaper) than using heat transfer paper.

I use a Roland Desktop Sign Cutter machine linked to my PC and the detail and accuracy is superb.

With the vinyl material, the good thing is that colour can be applied on colour so you get good sharp designs. If you want to check out my designs to see the finish you get with vinyl you can.

Don't think I can post a link to my site on this thread though!

Regards

Colin
The T-Shirt Shack
 

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SIDNEYD said:
Hi,

All my designs are printed using vinyl, flock etc. I find it is far more durable (and probably cheaper) than using heat transfer paper.

I use a Roland Desktop Sign Cutter machine linked to my PC and the detail and accuracy is superb.

With the vinyl material, the good thing is that colour can be applied on colour so you get good sharp designs. If you want to check out my designs to see the finish you get with vinyl you can.

Don't think I can post a link to my site on this thread though!

Regards

Colin
The T-Shirt Shack
I wonder if you could tell me...

With vinyl, I'm assuming you use a heat press to transfer onto t-shirts. I know with sublimation it only works only synthetic or part synthetic materials. Doew the same apply to vinyl or can you apply designs to 100% cotton t-shirts?

Cheers

PS - nice site, your designs look good
 

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Yes, you can apply ThermoFlex to 100% cotton t-shirts. Plus, it doesn't matter at all what color your t-shirts are. They can be light or dark.
 

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Hello. I'm new to this site. I own a vinyl company that specializes in auto graphics and signs. I stumbled upon this post when I was searching google to see if vinyl could be applied to tshirts.

I'll explain the vinyl cutting/application process, it may help you. You may already know it.

There is a program that you use to send the design to the cutter. I prefer Cibercut 5.6. You load a graphic file, usually .eps or .ai. Then you can resize it, edit it, whatever.

The cutter I use is a Pcut Creation CT630.

After you have you design ready to cut, you load the vinyl into the cutter, position it, adjust cutting pressure, speed, etc...

Once it's finished cutting, you start weeding, which is removing the vionyl that isn't included in the design. After that you apply transfer tape to the whole design. The design is basically ready to apply at that point.

A roll of basic colored vinyl is about $17 for a 24 inch X 30 foot roll. Specialty vinyls cost quite a bit more. Fluorescent costs about $60-$70 for the same size roll. Holographics, Reflectives, Gradients, and Shadeshifters are also quite a bit more. Transfer tape comes in pretty much any width you want. I usually get 18 inch X 100 yards and it runs about $50. I think the cutter I use was like $800 recertified. For tshirts you could probably just use a hobbyist type cutter and get it really cheap. Like around $100 maybe?

Questions I have for the people that use vinyl for tshirts...

Do all types of vinyl work? What about polyester? I think chrome is usually polyester.

How durable is the vinyl once it's applied? Any special care instructions?

Know of any guides anywhere where it details step by step how to do vinyl tshirts?

I really want to learn how to do this. I've got a customer that just started a little league team and wants a huge banner with the name on it. Maybe I could sell him shirts too. ;) Would really appreciate some feedback.

Derek
 

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To do the vinyl on shirts, you would need heat transfer vinyl. Common brands are Spectracut, Thermoflex, Thermofilm etc. It is the same concept as cutting vinyl for signs/vehicle graphics, but instead of cutting the design in the positive format & using transfer tape, you cut your designs mirror image & after weeding away the excess you will have your design pre-spaced on a mylar carrier sheet. Once you get the design to that point, you just need to simply flip it over and heat apply it using a heat press. Transfer Vinyl is a breed of its own, and comes in many types. There are materials for cottons, polyesters, nylons & even leathers. Material ranges from base colors to glitters, flocks, reflectives & neons. Transfer vinyl is viewed as a nice alternative or add on to screen printing for smaller runs. Personalization, the names & numbers on the back of those little league jerseys, is what this material was designed for. The durability of most materials is for the life of the garment.
CARE INSTRUCTIONS:
** Machine wash using mild detergent at 176º F max.
** Dry at a normal dryer setting on household machines.
** Do not iron directly onto this material.
** Do not dry clean.
 

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Great post Josh, and welcome to the forums Dereck.

Being familiar with the use of your cutter and the design program you use is a great start, and you probably already have a list of potential customers.

Now all you need is a good heat press, the transfer vinyl, and some practice.
Being in the sign business, you are probably familiar with Beacon Graphics. They carry the supplies you will need. Check out TLM Supply House also. FYI - Ameriban does not carry the transfer vinyl.

The manufacturer of probably the most popular transfer vinyl is Specialty Materials.
 

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Im sorry if i didn't read the thread correctly.

But how does one actually print onto the vinyl before cutting and tranferring.

Also RaceDayVinyls mentioned a $100 hobiest cutter, which were you referring too, i have never seen cutters that cheap.

Thank you.

Zac
 

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You generally don't. You buy the vinyl in the color you want and then cut it in the shape you want. For multiple colors, you do each color seperately and put them all together.

I have heard of SubliFlock before (Dye Sublimation + Flock) which would basically be what you're talking about, but I don't know much of anything about it and it isn't really in widespread use.
 

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racerz said:
.........Also RaceDayVinyls mentioned a $100 hobiest cutter, which were you referring too, i have never seen cutters that cheap......

I haven't either, unless maybe a used one. The Stika SX-8 is one of those less expensive hobby cutters, but I would not personally recommend taking that route for a cutter. They do sell a lot of them though.
 

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The cutter I use is a Pcut Creation CT630.
Hey RaceDay....have you had any problems with the Pcut? I'm thinking about buying my own cutter and am doing research on different brands. I know that Roland appears to be the hands down favorite but I'm finding other brands to be much cheaper but that could possibly be more expensive in the long run.

Any comments would be appreciated...
 
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