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Hi Everyone I'm here in need of advice.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by digital, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. digital

    digital New Member

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    I'm going to post my advice question here since I"m not sure where else to post it. But here goes.


    I'm thinking of making T-Shirts with my websites logo etc and possibly other artwork.

    Here is the Dilema.

    Do I invest in a $600 Heat Transfer machine to make my own iron on T-shirts or should I simply make the graphics and submit them to online services that make custom T-Shirts for me.

    I live in :Canada: so if I were to order T-Shirts from the U.S.A I would be paying duty on those shirts and than to turn around and re-ship them out to customers.

    I'm not looking at making thousands of shirts just in the low hundreds.

    So I would appreciate any advice.

    So Should I buy my own Heat Transfer Machine and buy my own t-shirts ? or pay an online service to do it for me?:Canada 2:

    I should also add I'm planning on using an Epson Photo Printer to print my logos on standard Iron-On Transfer sheets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006
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  2. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    Hi and Welcome. Why don't you do up your artwork and gat a local screenprinter to do them for you. I only find the "iron on stuff" good for one off jobs or putting numbers on shirts. I wouldn't be too quick investing all that money without getting the work first. If you can find a good local screen printer you could also advertis printing and outsource to him, as you would still be selling you own design. Good Luck.
     
  3. srt10x3

    srt10x3 Member

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    I think if you are going to do 100 shirts, doing them in house is going be cheaper.
    $.25 per sheet of paper = $25.00 for paper
    $.35 for ink/sheet = $35.00 for ink suppy

    supply cost is $.60 cent per shirt. I don't think you are going to find any screen printer to print them for less than $1.50 per shirt so based on the math you saving $90.00 doing it yourself which pays for 15% of the machine.. So each additional 100 shirts you do pays for another 15% of the machine.

    The above example excludes your labor cost and shirt cost, assumes 30% coverage using sawgrass dye ink.

    Just my .05 worth.

    Craig
     
  4. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    I'm going to jump in here because we do screen printing and what you're saying may save n the short term but you need to think more long-term than that.

    I'm not sure where you are getting 60 cent shirts unless you are buying huge bulk at a time, but I can tell you they are probably thin, white and irregulars. Certainly not something you would want to represent your business. And while a heat press can be a good investment, transfer shirts do not have the longevity that a screenprinted shirt has. If the point is to advertise your business then you want it to look good and be worn.

    Screenprinting is very affordable in the scenerio you mention above. For 100 white Jerzee 50/50 T-shirts screenprinted in one color, one imprint area is $3.20. A buck more if you want a colored shirt, 55 cents each additional color or imprint area. That is our normal walk-in-the-door pricing.

    On top of that we haven't had a chance to formally announce it yet, but as a merchant member we've decided to offer a 20% discount to signs101 members. I come up with $2.56 a shirt. For a quality product that is much more likely to be worn. I understand not wanting to ship to Canada, but my point is that even at $3.20 a shirt you may pay locally it is worth the investment.

    If you do decide to buy a heat press, I would recommend thermoflex instead of a printed transfer. Thermo will last a long time before it will crack or peel and doesn't fade. If the whole point is to get your name out there, you really need to make sure it looks good when you do.
     
  5. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    I believe srt10x3 is referring to dye sublimation, which is a whole different process than your common Avery heat transfer that you buy at WalMart and print with a 40 dollar HP deskjet. Dye sublimation is a very durable imaging process that makes the image become part of the shirt...looks great and has no "hand"...you can't feel it. It's only real drawbacks are it can only be done on white or very light color shirts for the same reason that inkjet printers have to print on white materials. And they have to be polyester. It doesn't work well on cotton shirts. Hanes makes a shirt especially for dye sub that is cotton on the inside for comfort and polyester on the outside for dye sub inks. You can do some things with dye sub that you can't do with screen printing...like full color photographs. You can also make many other imprintable items with dye sub...plaques, coffee mugs, lots of things.

    I've got a good dye sub setup. It's a good process that makes a good-looking product that's just as durable as screen print. But I have to admit, if I wanted several hundred shirts to give away to my customers, I would probably give my artwork to a screen printer and buy the shirts from them. There probably wouldn't be a big difference in price, and I wouldn't have a weeks worth of work tied up in something I'm going to give away.
     
  6. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Digital's question mentioned he was using an Epson Photo printer to do the transfers. We have one here we use for people who want their kids picture on a shirt - we even have some dart teams that have had shirts done for the season, but there's no getting around the fade. I know dye sub is a good process - not knocking it - but an Epson photo printer on iron-on sheets would not be the way to go to promote your business.
     
  7. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    If you use the right shirts and dye sub inks, there is no need for iron on sheets...the image goes directly into the fabric of the shirt...no shiny, slick feeling transfer is left behind. I have shirts with my logo on them that I've been wearing for years with no fade. The quality and durability is every bit as good as screen printing. The process just doesn't lend itself to big production runs. It would take me a week or more to do several hundred shirts, while someone with a 6 or 8 station screen printing setup (and enough people to man the stations) could probably do them in a few hours.
     
  8. srt10x3

    srt10x3 Member

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    Sorry you mis-read part of my post. I didn't not include shirt cost, the $.60 supply cost was paper and ink added together.

    I was looking at it as a way to buy equipment for a shop and be able to justify it. I do screen printing as well and both applications have advantages. I would not recommend Heat transfer at all. I prefer dye sub.. The dye sub shirts don't stick to you in the summer :)

    Broder and Staton both have great prices on shirts :)

    I only have a 4 color 4 station press, If you can do 8 color large quantity stuff, I'd be interested in talking to you as I currently outsource that :)

    Craig

     
  9. srt10x3

    srt10x3 Member

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    Jan 26, 2006
    Figure 45 seconds per shirt for heat time.
    15 seconds to place/unplace
    assuming you have a stack of 100 images ready to go
    Take me 2 or so hours to do 100 shirts. Not folded or packed :)

    Craig
     
  10. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    Personally I do not buy polyester shirts because they don't hold their shape and don't breathe as well as cotton. I use a heat press only for pressing Thermoflex numbers onto team shirts. As for looks you can't beat screen printed.
     
  11. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Craig - can't do 8 color - 6 color is our limit. Drop me a line anytime if you need a quote!
     
  12. Frank.Lo

    Frank.Lo New Member

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    Dec 31, 2005
    :Welcome:
     
  13. natedev

    natedev New Member

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    Jan 15, 2006
    To the thread starter, if you aren't willing to invest in a good Dye-Sub setup your best bet is probably to get them screenprinted.


    For the guys using a Dye-sub setup, what paper are you using to transfer the Dye Sub to your shirt?

    I'm looking for paper that leaves me no carrier but doesn't have a faded look to it.
     
  14. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    Printing, sorting sizes, burning, folding and packing. It all takes time. And most people want a big image on the back and small image on left chest. That's 2 burns for every shirt. I'm probably a lot slower than you...I haven't worked to get my speed up. I discovered early on that I'd rather work on signs than mass producing t-shirts. However, I'm glad I have the capability to do them. It's a nice add-on sale for certain customers.
     
  15. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    Natedev, google dye sublimation. You'll be able to find out whatever you want to know about dye sub. Conde' Systems in Mobile, Alabama and Tropical Graphics in Florida are two companies that sell dye sub inks, carrier paper, and many, many products you can put images on. If you want to do full color heat transfers that leave no film on the shirt, then dye sub is what you're looking for.
     
  16. digital

    digital New Member

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    Feb 8, 2006
    Wow I want to thank everyone for their responces. I would like to get into more detail on what I was thinking of doing and get you're input on which direction to take it.

    Original Plan:
    to buy the "Lite Press" heat transfer unit +100 Haynes T-Shirts for aprox $600 U.S., and use Avery Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper with my Epson Photo Printer to print and Iron my websites logos as a starter and possibly provide t-shirts with pictures of 3D Landscapes which is another hobby of mine. Again small batches we only have about 130 members on our site so I dont expect all of them to want to buy shirts.

    Your Advice:

    What should I do? Should I buy my own equipment? or simply submit my artwork to an outside company and have my members purchase the t-shirts through the outsourced company?

    If you think I should buy my own equipment, would it cost $1000 or less?

    Here is an example of what I want my T-Shirts to look like, I used photoshop to make it using my website logo.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    On the black shirts if you are using trensfer paper - you will have a solid white box around everything - transfer for dark materials is opaque and you actually peel it off the liner and pit it down on the shirt to press, so what you are showing above would have to be screenprinted or dye-sub printed (not sure if you can dye sub on dark)
    On the light shirt you will see the line around the clear transfer material but depending on the brand will depend on how much that line will show up. If this is the logo you are using I would get them screenprinted.
     
  18. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    I would sub this job out and do some more research into what direction you want to go. The Avery transfer thing is not the right direction if you want to do quality work. Either invest in a dye sub setup, invest in a screen printing setup, or sub all your work out. The only way you're going to spend less than $1000 is to sub it out.
     
  19. digital

    digital New Member

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    Feb 8, 2006
    I'm a hands on type of person which is why I wanted to buy the equipment and do it myself. However I cant deny all the excellent advice here.

    So I will do my own graphics and outsource them.

    So without getting anyone in trouble I hope.

    What would you guys recommend for my U.S. Members and Canadian members? I've heard of places like branders and cafeexpress.

    All of :U Rock:

    Again thanks for all the advice.

    You will see me here often with a progress report and such :)
     
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