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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe you guys can help me out.

I am planning on doing heat transfer t-shirts that have text, one-lines or jokes etc... The problem that I’m having now is using the heat transfer I’m getting an outline around the image. My goal is to make t-shirts that have text and look like the ones sold in stores, they do not have any transfer lines. how can I achieve this goal?? Cutter, new paper, please help.

I have: canon inkjet ip4000, HT400 press and currently using jetwear



Thanks
 

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I am doing almost nothing but text jokes on my t-shirts. I use the MagicJet/TransjetII paper and trim about 1/16" around the wording. I cut out each line seperately and it looks good. I am also using plastisol for dark shirts. I will eventually just use inkjet transfers for trying new jokes or custom orders.
 

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The absolute best way to do text on a shirt is with cuttable vinyl material & a cutter. This process will leave a look and feel comparable to screen printing. Basically, you type your text into your design software, output that text to a cutter/plotter in mirror image, then you load the color of material that you want the text to be into the cutter and it cuts out your design. After your design has completed cutting, you weed away the excess material that you do not want transferred to the shirt. Flip over your design and heat apply. The durability is great and the look and feel is just like screen printing. One line of text might cost you about 25 cents in material.
 

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Sorry, I should have qualified my statement there. Plastisol is the way to go if you are doing any type of volume work. However the cost of a screen print set up is much more expensive than a heat transfer set up. Heat applied vinyl is the way to go if you want to do one offs or on site customization and quick turn work. For example, if you're doing a job for a team or organization and you can get away with having a turn time then definitely get transfers made, however when it comes to quick turn and low number runs for text no process beats heat applied vinyl. No burning of screens, messy inks just cut and apply. Also durability seems to be better....material outlasts garment with no cracking, peeling or fading.
 

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Just a quick note: most of the t-shirts you find in stores are screen printed, not heat pressed. However, heat press is much easier to do in a one-off setting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the help, and I plan to try to the magicjet paper. so thanks for that tip but I still have a few questions.
When using Plastisol where would I get good quality, and how would I go about printing. Will I be able to use my canon inkjet printer?
I’m not too familiar with it. Is somewhat like using transfer paper for darks? Can I use it for both light and darks, and would I wan to and what’s the difference?
Because I am looking at doing all kinds of text t-shirts and if that’s a great looking transfer I would love to try it out and use it.
Thanks again
 

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igotapezz said:
.
When using Plastisol where would I get good quality, and how would I go about printing. Will I be able to use my canon inkjet printer?
I’m not too familiar with it. Is somewhat like using transfer paper for darks? Can I use it for both light and darks, and would I wan to and what’s the difference?
Because I am looking at doing all kinds of text t-shirts and if that’s a great looking transfer I would love to try it out and use it.
Thanks again
I would also like to learn more about the Plastisol method as i too am not familar. cheers
 

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My basic understanding of this is that if you do not already do screen printing, then you will most likely not be making your own plastisol transfers either. What you do is create your designs and send it to a company that can make plastisol transfers for you. Then after you get them, you apply them pretty much like the other transfers you have used. One recommended company from this forum has been Silver Mountain Graphics.

If you are starting a business and If you are planning on doing a lot of text or simple graphics with basic colors (not photo realistic) in small quantities, then you should look into getting a plotter and using ThermoFlex Plus to create the shirts. There is no outline residue left. You can use any color shirt, light or dark, and the results are great. There is a learning curve to using a plotter and the software needed, but it's not too difficult. You have to learn to work with vector graphics. You will have to buy a plotter too, but it's all an investment in yourself and your business that anyone can afford if you save up a little for it.
 

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As far as what you have now goes, you might want to switch to an Epson printer with pigmented (Durabrite or 3rd party Magic Mix) inks. These inks won't bleed when washed which will leave customers thinking they got a higher quality product. Now, the problem with this basic heat transfer method is that you can only do light colored shirts (white, light ash, some lighter shades of other colors). The outline is nearly invisible on lighter shirts if you're using quality inks and papers.

If you want to print on to dark shirts, you'll have to try one of the other methods mentioned here -- Both plastisol and vinyl transfers are a nice, high quality print that will work on dark shirts as well as light.

Now, Plastisol is basically having someone screen print your design on to a piece of paper for you, and shipping that paper to you. You then apply the design to the shirt via heat press, and it ends up having quality similar to a normal screen print. Look at either Silver Mountain Graphics or First Edition for this.

Vinyl Transfers work well for dark shirts too, and you can do them yourself -- the disadvantage here of course being that you have to buy the extra equipment.
 

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The absolute best way to do text on a shirt is with cuttable vinyl material & a cutter. This process will leave a look and feel comparable to screen printing. Basically, you type your text into your design software, output that text to a cutter/plotter in mirror image, then you load the color of material that you want the text to be into the cutter and it cuts out your design. After your design has completed cutting, you weed away the excess material that you do not want transferred to the shirt. Flip over your design and heat apply. The durability is great and the look and feel is just like screen printing. One line of text might cost you about 25 cents in material.

That sounds pretty easy...I think I could do that.


I have some questions though...


Do the softwares that are available for the vinyl cutters let you type text in other languages?

I figure the software would let you change font styles AND sizes but I am not sure about languages...

If not, are you able to copy and paste text into the vinyl software before printing to the cutter?

I ask this because if I cannot type text in another language then maybe I could copy and paste it into to the software but even if I could it may not translate it thus allowing me not to be able to print it that way??


Right now we are looking at getting one of the inexpensive 8" cutter packages...

I know someone mentioned that you are limited with the 8" but does this mean you cannot tell it to print in landscape ONLY portrait?

Also, does this mean that there is no option for 11x14 OR is the paper options for vinyl not based on that type of paper sizing ?


Any info is appreciated!
 

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I use Flocking Transfer paper to do the text on t-shirt. It's the same way as the vinyl and it looks very good.
 

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Reviving a 1.5 year dead thread is probably not the best place to post your questions, hehe. Probably should've just posted this as a new thread, but:


Do the softwares that are available for the vinyl cutters let you type text in other languages?

I figure the software would let you change font styles AND sizes but I am not sure about languages...

Well, I think you'll just be limited by your fonts. If you have another language font, you can surely use it just as you would any other font.


If not, are you able to copy and paste text into the vinyl software before printing to the cutter?

I ask this because if I cannot type text in another language then maybe I could copy and paste it into to the software but even if I could it may not translate it thus allowing me not to be able to print it that way??

I'm sure you can copy and paste in just about any cutter program. However, it's going to be the same either way; you'll still need the font for that language (I assume you're talking about a language that doesn't use basic roman letters, such as Japanese for example?). There won't be any 'translation' going on in the cutter software; I'm not completely sure what you're trying to do here. You might want to give an exact example.


Right now we are looking at getting one of the inexpensive 8" cutter packages...

Most people wouldn't really recommend going with a small, cheap cutter. 8" is really cutting it anyway - you'd want at *least* an 11 inch for doing t-shirts. Most people recommend getting a quality 24" or larger (Graphtec, Summa, Roland...) even to start with though - they will last a long time, and give you lots of room to grow.


I know someone mentioned that you are limited with the 8" but does this mean you cannot tell it to print in landscape ONLY portrait?

Uh? If you have an 8" width cutter, it cannot cut wider than 8" (probably about 7.5" actual cutting area max). It doesn't matter what you tell it, it physically can't go larger :p


Also, does this mean that there is no option for 11x14 OR is the paper options for vinyl not based on that type of paper sizing ?

Vinyl isn't usually done in sheets at all (except for maybe scraps). Most of your vinyl work will be with rolls of vinyl, several yards long. The cutter feeds what it needs and slices it up. Again, if you have an 8" wide cutter, it simply cannot cut wider than that.

This brings me to another note for choosing such a smaller cutter - I don't know how many t-shirt vinyls are even available in such a small width roll. Most come in 15 or 19 inch width rolls.
 

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Well, we are trying to put lines of text on a shirt. One of the words in the line test is arabic with 4-5 arabic letters.

Right now I have it saved in MS Word but when I copied and pasted it into the hanes tshirt maker software it didn't translate the arabic characters. All it did was put question marks where the arabic letters are and kept all the english letters the same.

I did make transfers with it printing from MS Word to the transfer paper for lights BUT this is not gonna cut it for darks so..

that is why we were hoping it could work with the vinyl route but like I asked I am not sure if the programs,etc. will let me print the arabic.

We would like to do the work ourselves but will consider plastisol if we find out from the plastisol maker that they can print the transfer with the arabic language.
 

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Hi,

In order to use the Arabic alphabet you need to have the Arabic fonts that you want to use installed on your computer. Hanes t-shirt maker may not be able to use an Arabic font, but I don't know that for sure since I do not use that program.

Your best bet is to get a program that works with vector images. I recommend CorelDraw or Illustrator, but there are others out there that can handle simple text in vector format.

If you do not have the fonts that you need to work with, there is a work around that you can do. You will have to save an image of your text as a bitmap and then trace it in a vector program. This will save your text as curves (objects). That is one way to use a font that you do not have installed.

Once your text is converted to curves, each letter is basically just a shape that looks like a letter. This way, you can send it (using the right software) to any vinyl cutter and it will cut your text exactly as you have it designed.

Any plastisol transfer maker can create transfers for you with the Arabic language, but you have to convert the text to curves using a vector based program before you send them your artwork.

Again, once your text is converted to curves it doesn't matter what language it is. It simply becomes a shape that looks exactly like your text.

Also, your text will remain nice and sharp no matter how you resize it or alter it if you are working in a vector based program.
 

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Thanks for giving the info above.. I finally understand what vector is..LOL

At this time, I don't have the arabic fonts installed on my pc. I acutally copied and pasted the arabic word into MS Word from an online search and from there just printed it out with my 2 line text phrase onto transfer paper for lights.

Just a few more questions:

Regarding the vector programs, you recommended two above, but are these the least expensive of the vector programs?


Also, will I be able to do this with photos as well with the vector software? (There is also a design with digital photos we want to use..like a one line phrase with a digital photo right underneath it.)


You mentioned with the right software I could send it to any vinyl cutter....Does most vinyl packages come with software OR do you have to purchase this seperately, what do you recommend?


Finally, regarding using the fonts IF they were already on my pc as opposed to vector software,

I could probably download some free arabic fonts to my pc AND generally the programs on my pc like Hanes T-shirt Maker should be able to use it?
 

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At this time, I don't have the arabic fonts installed on my pc. I acutally copied and pasted the arabic word into MS Word from an online search and from there just printed it out with my 2 line text phrase onto transfer paper for lights.

Then I would bet that it actually IS an Arabic font of some sort. Some fonts contain extra characters beyond what you normally see; this is very common for including things like é, ñ, ë, ò, etc. Some of these also contain Arabic characters - e.g. ٸ ,ڝ ,ڷ ,ڃ (At least, I think those are Arabic letters?). If you're on Windows, open up Character Map and look at a common font like Arial; it has a ton of stuff in there.

When you copy it over, make sure you select the same font you are using from Word.


Regarding the vector programs, you recommended two above, but are these the least expensive of the vector programs?

No; they are the best. The least expensive is Inkscape, which is a freeware vector program. From what I've heard it's not bad, any many people have used it with good results (though it will be lacking some of the features of Illustrator or Draw).


Also, will I be able to do this with photos as well with the vector software? (There is also a design with digital photos we want to use..like a one line phrase with a digital photo right underneath it.)

Sure, you can trace anything you want. Just keep in mind that you can only do a few colors with vinyl (2-3 max), and you will have to have each color traced separately.


You mentioned with the right software I could send it to any vinyl cutter....Does most vinyl packages come with software OR do you have to purchase this seperately, what do you recommend?

Any name-brand new cutter should come with software; many also come with plugins for Draw or Illustrator. Some people opt to buy more expensive vinyl-specific software as well.


Finally, regarding using the fonts IF they were already on my pc as opposed to vector software,

I could probably download some free arabic fonts to my pc AND generally the programs on my pc like Hanes T-shirt Maker should be able to use it?

Most likely, yeah. If what I mentioned above doesn't work. Your file still needs to be in vector to be cut by a vinyl cutter though - the cutter doesn't look at the image, it looks at the paths which it cuts.
 

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Thanks for the additional info!

I found this program on download.com, here is the description..

Arabic Calligrapher - Reviews and free downloads at Download.com

"From GolanSoft:

Arabic Calligrapher is a new concept graphic design development tool for Arabic calligraphic art work production. Arabic Calligrapher is a program to draw artistic calligraphy. By its vector technology, it is a complete calligrapher workshop, Features: Simple, yet efficient graphical user interface. Multiple Arabic and Latin fonts are provided, ready for authoring ( Al-Farissi,Al-Nassek,[Al-thoulouth (sent by email upon registration)], Rustica ), Print, and OLE export capabilities.

Version 1.1 fonts design correction, visual character selection added (the write tool). Corrected program manual (the English help), anti-aliasing procedure for image rendering, corrected user interface at the save as Bitmap, and print dialog boxes."


I don't know if it is an all around vector program but would I be able to use it with a vinyl cutter in case some of the font tips you gave above don't work?

And, if I am understanding this correctly printing to a vinyl cutter would be like adding any other printer...

I would have the option to print to it from whatever program as long as I choose it under my list of available printers?
 

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I don't know if it is an all around vector program but would I be able to use it with a vinyl cutter in case some of the font tips you gave above don't work?

And, if I am understanding this correctly printing to a vinyl cutter would be like adding any other printer...

I would have the option to print to it from whatever program as long as I choose it under my list of available printers?
Newbie,
If its a vector based application, you should be able to copy/paste into another program or export as a vector file type (DXF, WMF, AI).

A vinyl cutter is designed to operate just like a desktop printer. My cutters are Rolands and they all operate just like plug and play desktop printers, but other cutters on the market should work just the same. I know that Roland comes with its own software (CutStudio), but other plotter manufacturers include a plugin for Corel or Illustrator. Make sure to shop around and ask lots of questions from dealers. Good luck.

Hope this helps,
Dana
 

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tshirtnewbie,

You should contact the makers of that program with this link and ask them if it will export the artwork as .eps which is probably the most common for vector images.

Golansoft-Contact

That program sounds like it will help you create the Arabic designs you are working on, which is great, but I'm pretty sure you will still have to get a vector based design program, and the software to communicate with the vinyl cutter.

As mentioned above, most quality cutters will have some kind of software for either CorelDraw or Illustrator, but I doubt you will find software to cut directly from Arabic Calligrapher. You should ask the makers of that program about that too.
 
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