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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I've been stalking you guys and the site for approximately 2 years but never commented.

I need some advice as to what is the best format for printing a black outline onto a plain white tshirt. Basically I used to get the tshirts for the kids to colour in themselves (like in a colouring book but on a tshirt with fabric crayons). I started getting asked for them for gifts and decided to source packs of crayons and sell them as a set.

I've recently been asked to display and sell the collection (12 designs) in a local party store and am in the process of creating my own website to showcase all my other items. Unfortunately after recently receiving what promises to be a moderate and steady order the lady who I buy them from has just told me she is no longer supplying them.

I immediately contacted a local screenprinter who said he would be able to do them in short runs for £3.50 each plus £20 each for the screens (12 x 20=240).
Sue (artist) seems happy to let me continue using her artwork providing I pay her a fee. Then while talking about it a friend of a friend recommended it might be cheaper to obtain plastisol transfers and just do them as and when but then i would have to source a press as I don't own one. (I've just got an inkjet, a laser printer and cutter) I've used various types of iron on transfers and diamantes and hotfix so that side of it i'm comfortable with but i'm just dubious that they will last being after being washed and I don't want them to look poorer quality than previously or I'll loose my customers

I am just going round in circles as the outlay is alot initially for both screen printing and plastisol especially since I'm newly redundant and don't exactly have a large amount of cashflow. Plus I am not even really sure which option suits the project best. Is it worth paying the initial outlay in hope that in the long run things will build up.

It's such a basic design that I really do think it would be easier for me to do it myself but I can't seem to see the forest for the trees and I just keep going back and forth so any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance (if you're still awake after all my waffle)

Mands
 

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How were the shirts being printed before?

Have you considered direct to garment printing? No screen charges, you should be able to find low/no minimums and be able to order as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi Teeser

Thanks so much for your response. I'm not 100% to be honest but they look screen printed to me, when I asked the question it wasn't really answered. I've attached an image for you to see one of the designs (if it works being that it's the first time i've tried it lol).

I actually came across DTG printing last night when i was reading a plastisol thread. I read up on it a bit but was going to look at it a bit more to see what the score was basically it;s just like a big version of your printer at home isn't it. I think i'll contact indigo and see what kind of prices I'm looking at. I don't mind paying for the screens etc when i start getting larger orders but I just feel at the moment that at around 30 tshirts a month it's not really worth it.





Thanks for you're input it's much appreciated.

Mands
 

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I actually came across DTG printing last night when i was reading a plastisol thread. I read up on it a bit but was going to look at it a bit more to see what the score was basically it;s just like a big version of your printer at home isn't it. I think i'll contact indigo and see what kind of prices I'm looking at. I don't mind paying for the screens etc when i start getting larger orders but I just feel at the moment that at around 30 tshirts a month it's not really worth it.

For the low quantity of 30 pc a month I'd look for a DTG printer in your area, solves all your problems and should be very reasonable price wise to print since it on a white shirt and not many colors, if that's not a option the next suggestion would be plastisol transfers which would require you to buy a heat press.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does help thanks I'll start asking for local quotes asap keep forgetting it's a bank holiday tomorrow over here so I won't here anything until at least tue.
Thanks again for your input it really is appreciated.
 

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It's such a basic design that I really do think it would be easier for me to do it myself but I can't seem to see the forest for the trees and I just keep going back and forth so any advice would be much appreciated.
For a black outline on a white t-shirt, it sounds like vinyl transfers cut with a vinyl cutter and applied with a heat press would be the best way to do "on demand" printing.

So, if you wanted to go that route, you'd need to buy a heat press. You said you already have a cutter, do you mean a vinyl cutter? If so, you're halfway there.

This thread shows how I made my first single color design t-shirt with a vinyl cutter and a heat press: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/t-shirt-crossover-diary-heat-press-newbie/t10363.html
 

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Hi Rodney thanks for the response much appreciated I loved the thread you're funny! you made me smile whilst reading it and what a fantastic job you did for a first attempt. I can only hope mines just as successful!

I have a craft robo that i got as a prezzy from mum for xmas, i've never done vinyl on it but i believe you can.

I didn't have much luck with the dtg quotes as alot of the people were coming back to me saying DTG is better for small quantities of more complicated designs that contain shadings, gradients and colour tints or photographic type images, not used for small single colour designs like mine.

They've been recommending screen printing which got me to thinking that it doesn't make financial sense to pay for screens when i could invest the money in a heat press. I've got an inkjet and a laser printer so i guess your right i'm almost half way there and i enjoy the process with a standard iron so i'm sure once i was comfortable I would enjoy it with a heat press too.

I've been reading up on the forums and I am leaning more towards the clam press because of space restrictions i liked the look of the mighty clam press 15 x15 but am finding it hard to find one or one similar. I don't have the money to get anything shipped here any suggestions?
 

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ps. how much do you thinks a reasonable amount for someone like me to be paying for one?. I'm not using it to start a business as such but I will be doing my current range to sell. I don't want to buy something to cheap and limit myself i want something that I can experiment and learn and grow with. Who knows in the future I could decide I'm addicted and want to run with it :)
 

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I didn't have much luck with the dtg quotes as alot of the people were coming back to me saying DTG is better for small quantities of more complicated designs that contain shadings, gradients and colour tints or photographic type images, not used for small single colour designs like mine.
Wow, a nickel worth of pretreat, a nickel worth of ink cost, a minute tops start to finish and they don't want to take the job? What, because its TOO easy? LOL I wouldn't think twice about taking that job.

If you're leaning towards plastisol transfers you'll probably be able to get at least two designs on a page and that would halve the screen costs.
 

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I'm in the same boat with Rodney. Get the heat press. In fact, as I'm typing this response, I see the banner ad above for a heatpress from ProWorld for $169. Just skip a couple nights out and it's paid for ;-). Then all you need to do is buy the vinyl, shirts and crayons. Remember, it's only 30/month now... but the idea is, the more exposure you have, and the more you'll sell in the future. Before you know it, it'll be 3,000/month... you never do know ;-). Anyhow, neat idea, and good luck.
 

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Hi RemySL thanks for your response I agree I've been looking at heat presses and I really do think that it's the best way to go especially since I already have a decent tshirt supplier and a printer and cutter. The only issue I'm having is that I'm not really aware of a reputable company like pro world over here in the uk. Alot of the stuff widley available is from people with questionable reputations I've looked up peoples experiences on here and the majority have been negative and I looked at pro world to see how much shipping to england would cost but it said "You must be a reseller of our products to qualify for an account" which i'm not so and i have no idea how much it would be for import duties or other taxes so the search continues lol.
 

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Hi sarah lol they were happy to do the job but were pretty much saying it would have to be screenprinting, I guess with it being such small amounts it might be a bit of a not worthwile kid of thing they probably want to concentrate on regular and larger orders which is a bummer for me.

Oh right i didn't realise it would work like that well that works out alot cheaper cost wise then. To be honest I just want the cheapest way possible because of the small quantites i'm doing at the moment but i also don't want to limit myself because it doesn't make financial sense. I mean peoples tastes change all the time and although i love the designs they aren't mine so i'm paying the artist for them and i'd quite like to introduce a few more options so thinking heat press is the most sensible option. I can be as fleable as I want them i'm also tempted by the oppertunity to play about with a new toy aswell ha ha ha ;)

thanks for your input :)
 

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I'm not sure I know your goals for your business, so I can't tell you to run and buy a heat press.

However, it must be pointed out that printing a design on a light or white shirt is a more perfected process that printing on a dark shirt. Therefore, a heat press and a paper such as JetPro SofStretch our to do the job quite well. (Many people feel they obtain satisfactory results printing heat transfers on dark shirts, but there are plenty who dissent.)

There should be someone around who makes shirts, mugs and related items who would give you a quote on doing some heat press runs. There must be ten such shops in my medium-sized metropolitan area.

Price the paper they agree to use and the cost of using the heat press, and find your per-shirt cost. Then, price a heat press and the paper you would need to run this project for 6, 12, 18 and 24 months and see whether investing in a press makes sense. Also consider if the numbers would change if you raised your prices 10% or 20%.

There is a difference in feel among transfer papers. Some feel soft, others feel like plastic, as if you have a frozen pizza glued to your chest. Consider getting some sample packs or listening closely to recommendations from experienced users of this site.

My apologies if I overlooked something or duplicated what others have said. I read everything, but it didn't all stick in my head. :rolleyes: I hope I was helpful at least a bit.

Ben
 

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Hi ben to be honest it's been something i've been doing part time as a hobby along with my other craft stuff and mainly selling because people have asked me for the tshirts but I can really see the potential to make a proper go of it and it's something I enjoy.

I've used jetpro softstretch before and even with a normal iron i was impressed by the quality and from what remember it washed decent aswell.

I've been using a normal iron for various transfers and iron on products for a long time so i feel comfortable that i'd get the hang off it and thats whats making me think about taking the next step. I mean why use the money to pay for screens (ie £20 per screen x 12 designs = £240) when i could invest that money into a press and not be limited to just those designs and that supplier. Thanks for your input i love the fact that there are so many people willing to offer advice and spend a bit of time sharing their knowledge on this site it makes it a very comfortable place for those of us who aren't so sure and like to talk through the process/questions. :)
 
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