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Hello again.



I have been reading all through out the site and I have been hearing talk about different transfer papers. plastisol paper, opaque paper, vinyl etc. So here is my question WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PAPER and what do they do.

Heres what I’m doing and maybe you can help with the best types of paper. I am planning on using multi-colored images on both light and dark colored shirts. Using a Canon inkjet print, if I get a new print what kid should I get, I’m looking to spend about $200.



So my questions are what are the different kinds of transfer paper and what do they do and how would they benefit me?

thank

 

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This all assumes you already have a heat press; if not, that will set you back $200-300 for a used one to $600-$1000 for a new one.

Normal Transfer Papers:
These are printed from any inkjet printer, preferably an Epson with pigmented ink. These can be any number of colors. They must be cut out close to the design prior to application. They can only effectively be applied to lighter colored shirts (esp. white, but light ash and some other light shades of blue, yellow, pink, etc. can work as well). The quality is good when quality inks and paper are used; not a screen print but not too far off. These cost about $0.30-$1.00 each depending on quality and quantity bought. The best paper to use for this option is the Magic Jet/Transjet II paper.

Opaque Transfer Papers:
These can also be printed from any inkjet printer and handle any number of colors. However, these transfers or completely opaque, meaning that all the 'white' in the transfer is going to be white on the shirt. This means they are only useable for big block images; not text or anything else detailed. The advantage here is that they CAN be applied to darker colored shirts; unfortunately the quality is very questionable and they feel stiff and plasticy. These run about $0.75-$1.50 each. If you want to give them a try, Transfer Technology will probably send you a free one to test.

Plastisol Transfers:
These are generally ordered from a 3rd party. These are essentially made by having a company screen print your design on to a carrier paper which you can then apply to the shirt. The advantage here is that the quality is very good and can be applied effectively to any color of shirt. The main disadvantage is that it costs extra per color used. One other small disadvantage is that these require pretty precise settings when pressing them and need to be rubbed afterwards to press them in correctly, so there will be more botched attempts early on. You will have to take the time to order in advance, however, and you will need to order several sheets at once. The price can vary from a few cents per design for 1-color large orders to a few dollars per design for large, multi-color small orders. You can gang several small designs on one transfer to do multiple at once. One final advantage over traditional screen printing is that you can still basically press shirts as they are ordered, instead of having to plan colors/sizes in advance. You'll want to go with either Silver Mountain Graphics or First Edition for these.

Vinyl/Flock:
These are made via a vinyl cutter. You need to stock vinyl of the colors you intend to print. After the design is cut, the excess vinyl needs to be weeded away. Vinyl Transfers apply well to any color shirt and have a very high quality. Each color needs to be applied seperately which can be time consuming. Also, you will need to own a vinyl cutter (or possibly order some transfers from a 3rd party? I don't have any recommendations for this) which will set you back $1000+.


To me it sounds like Plastisol transfers are your best bet. You will have to order some in advance, but you won't have to buy any extra equipment and they'll work well on all shirt colors. If you would like the ability to do custom jobs as well, you'll want an Epson printer with pigmented inks and some normal transfer paper to do those on light shirts, because plastisol will need to be ordered in bunches of at least 6 or 12.
 
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