A Digital Printing Network
We are about to get into our season at the race tracks and need to decide on a method to do the t-shirts, hoodies, and hats this year. We have been doing ink jet heat transfer using a epson printer and are looking at our options.
We will be doing about a 100 tshirts (all white or gray) with club logo on the front and the racing flags on the back. The back is a large image and has some very small text describing what each flag stands for.
Is there a print and cut transfer material that would be suitable? Weeding the smallish text would be a tedius task if not impossible.
We have done some testing with the newest Roland material with less than great results so we are looking for suggestions.
If it's plastisol...then it's screenprinted transfer...plastisol is the ink used for screenprinting.
Only way to hold real fine detail and lettering-I used to print them myself but without the proper hold-down equipment I couldn't do more than 2 color work. But it gives you a thicker 'body' to the letters to grip the fabric better than the iron on 'vinyl'. Almost 'old school' at this point, but maybe it's making a comeback!
When I checked last year, the price for plastisol transfers for the size and number of colors needed was just too much for what customers are willing to pay for a tshirt. I guess I just need a better class of customer :-)
I'm beginning to think that my best solution is to buy a larger format ink jet printer that I can put on a reliable refillable cartridge system and stick to ink jet transfers. I am still testing another solution that is showing good results....another 40 washes and we will know!
Thanks all for your input.
Sometimes you just have to explain to the customer that if they want to get exactly what they want in a shirt, means higher quantity of shirts to justify the price! I STILL get people in that want a multicolor shirt and only want a dozen of them...and have a hard time understanding that a screen is needed for EACH color no matter how many shirts...and a setup of 4 screens at $35 each is going to be charged no matter what they think.
Even a one color, computer cut iron-on I get $15 per shirt (including the shirt) for one side. Full color digital print, $20 or higher depending on how large the image is. I've checked on the Direct To Garment printers, and even wholesale-it can run $20 or more per shirt-and printing on DARK shirts there is usually a couple dozen minimum. Customers just have to be educated on design/cost/feasibility comparing what they want to what they can afford!
Dye-sublimation is on option. However, you need to use the performance poly shirts rather than cotton or cotton/poly blends. There is no weeding when using sublimation and you can get fine detail.