How to Print on Technical Fabrics

In recent years, promotional textiles have been invaded by extremely technical materials that both serigraphs and embroiderers and other decorators have had to adapt. Fortunately, the marking processes have evolved, providing solutions such as transfer, sublimation and, more recently, direct digital printing on polyester (even dark polyester). We offer you a list of the most delicate materials to customize along with a classification of the most appropriate techniques for each of them.

Printing on Different Types of Fabrics

Polyester

It is the most produced synthetic fiber in the world and the main material for the manufacture of sporting goods. Why? Because, in addition to being non-wrinkle, it dries quickly and is breathable, a characteristic that makes it ideal for sports. Nowadays, almost all brands of promotional textiles offer in their ranges T-shirts made of 100% polyester. Most manufacturers further enhance the properties of this fabric through technologies developed in their own laboratories (CoolDry for Promodoro, Cool Fit for Slazenger, Cool Comfort for Kariban Sport, Cool Max for James & Nicholson, etc.).

Digital Transfer**
Screen Transfer**
Sublimation*****
Embroidery*
Serigraphy**
Direct Digital Printing**

Coatings

It is a proven fact, promotional textiles are no longer limited to t-shirts and sweatshirts. For some years there has been a proliferation of highly technical jackets that star in the collections. As in the retail market, brands develop numerous models that guarantee high performance, such as Softshell jackets, to meet all requirements in terms of comfort and protection. Another example: parkas, multifunction or not, that benefit from multiple finishes (especially coatings) capable of increasing their resistance to weather conditions, making them water repellent, waterproof, stain resistant and even more insulating.

Digital Transfer****
Screen Transfer****
Sublimation
Embroidery**
Serigraphy*

Elastane

Widely used in the field of sport thanks to its elasticity that guarantees comfort and great freedom of movement, elastane is also used in ready-to-wear, since it is also capable of satisfying purely aesthetic demands. The great success of this matter lies mainly in the fashion of wearing tight clothes, especially women’s t-shirts. Often mixed with cotton, elastane allows, for example, to offer very flattering models that enhance the silhouette of women. Also known as Spandex (in Anglo-Saxon countries) or Lycra (registered trademark of Dupont), this synthetic fiber is considered today as one of the main raw materials of the textile industry.

Digital Transfer****
Screen Transfer ***
Sublimation  –
Embroidery  *
Serigraphy****

Nylon

The main characteristic of nylon, synthetic textile fiber belonging to the family of polyamides, is its low absorbent power, which makes it a fast drying waterproof material. Prêt-à-porter brands usually use it to make a large number of garments, such as swimsuits.

Manufacturers of promotional garments also use nylon for a very precise segment: that of windproof jackets. It is a reference garment that we find in any promotional collection, both for men and women or children.

Digital Transfer****
Screen Transfer***
Sublimation
Embroidery*
Serigraphy****

Legend

Unsuitable technique for support*
Possible technique**
Recommended technique***
Perfectly adequate technique****
Inadequate technique for this support
  • Article courtesy of
  • Marking & Textile Magazine
  • Nº33 July / August 2009

How to Fix Embroidery Error.

We are all human and we make mistakes , but in the world of embroidery these mistakes can have very serious consequences if we do not act immediately to repair it . The problem is that generally this mistake makes us nervous and not able to react quickly . But before any mistake in an embroidery, it is important to quickly adopt certain measures to be able to rectify in the least traumatic way. As an illustration, think about how important it is to apply first aid correctly in a small accident, knowing how to apply these basic first aid measures generally facilitates recovery.

Here are some recommendations that you should follow when you detect an embroidery error. 

Follow our advice and you can solve the problem more easily.

1. Act but without hurry

We all know the saying “dress me slowly that I am in a hurry” and it is also applicable to the world of embroidery. It is important to keep calmin order to analyze the situation and make the right decisions. The embroidery machine only seems to give problems when we are embroidering a very valuable garment, or we have a very tight delivery date. Generally the problem arises because we are working in a hurry, and the situation is further complicated. But you should never try to fix the error in a hurry because the result can be fatal. If you have embroidered something incorrectly and try to undo the stitches, you may end up boring the fabric. The key is to remain calm and be patient during error repair, and in this way you will get a better result. Also, if we are in a hurry we may be wrong again.

2. Keep the garment in the frame

When you detect an embroidery error, the first thing you should do is not remove the garment from the frame . This is a very simple recommendation, and the first reaction to an error is to remove the garment from the frame and remove it.

If you remove the garment from the frame, it will be almost impossible to return it to the frame in exactly the same position. While if you keep it in the frame after correcting the error, you could continue with embroidery. You just have to find the correct stitch and restart the embroidery machine without having to perform any machine readjustment. At least you will have a reference to restart embroidery. When you discover an embroidery problem that you must correct, take note of the exact point of the design where the error occurred. And when it comes to repair, you should always write down the stitch where the embroidery machine stopped.

Sometimes, you can even write it down in the interlining used on the back of the garment. The problem will usually have occurred before that stitch, but at least you have a benchmark within the design. And later you can return to that point (or slightly before that stitch), when you have already corrected the error.

And why is it important to note at what point of the error the error occurred? Although it would be easy to leave the machine stopped until the error was resolved and to be able to resume embroidery. This is totally unproductive and the most efficient thing is to continue embroidering another garment unless error repair is very simple. If you need 20 to 30 minutes to undo the stitches, you could use this time to embroider another 3 or 4 designs. It is advisable to have a spare frame (one or two of each size), to be able to remove the frame with the garment in which you were wrong and continue with your production.

3. Tips on how to undo stitches  

In most cases, it is necessary to undo the stitches to repair an embroidery error . It is preferable to undo only the part of the design that is incorrectly embroidered to re-embroider it correctly. Try to undo the minimum stitches, not the complete design

A small trick is to frame the design on a paper or liner to mark the error on it and use it as a reference to the previous sting. In this way, you can use your point of origin (the initial point of the design) also as a reference. Instead of starting the design in the center, you can start at a point in the previously embroidered design. After loading the sting, you can find that point and align it with the embroidery machine.

Try to undo a complete part of the design, and not just the section that must be repeated. For example, if when embroidering a name we have made a mistake only in one letter, it will possibly be easier to align it if you undo all the letters before or after the error, instead of undoing only the incorrect letter and try to align and repeat the embroidery of that one letter.

4. Embroider above

Sometimes it is not necessary to undo the stitches to repair an error, because you can cover it with the correct stitches . These errors usually occur when embroidering with a thread of the wrong color. When you detect the problem, simply go back to the point of the design where you were wrong about the color and embroider over it with the correct color thread.

The only problem is that sometimes the thread of the correct color could be seen through the new stitches. To avoid this, you can place a thin interlining before embroidering with the correct color thread. The interlining will act as a barrier , preventing the first thread from being seen through the new color. You can use a tear-off interlining and after embroidering you can stop the embroidery machine to start the remaining interlining before proceeding with embroidery.

Hiding errors with new stitches is a very old trick used in the world of embroidery. You can even create a fill design to hide the initial error.

5. Repair holes

Repairing holes can be complicated or easy. If the hole is generated in the embroidery area, the stitches can usually hide it. In this case, you just have to go back to a position before the hole, place a small piece of interlining under the garment and embroider again. The embroidery stitches will repair the hole and thanks to the interlining it is difficult to break again in that area.

The problem can occur when the embroidery does not cover the hole, in that case it will be necessary to patch the hole. Analyze the possibility of creating a filling area to hide the hole and embroider on top. Of course, you should take into account the value of the garment on which you embroider, if the hole is produced in a € 2 shirt and the repair is not simple, simply throw the shirt in the trash.

6. Minimize wasted time

Ideally, errors can be repaired without having to stop production . If you get the embroidery machine to continue working while you repair the error, and then finish embroidering the repaired garment, you will make sure to minimize the lost time.

Follow these tips and you can repair embroidery errors.

How to Start T Shirt Printing Business

If you are thinking of starting a custom t-shirt business, you may have started with a “great idea” to create your own collection. In general, we get carried away by the initial illusion and we start looking for ways to print the shirts with our designs. In PrintablePress we are specialists in various customization techniques .

But if you do not do a previous work of analysis and reflection , it is possible that your new personalized t-shirt business will fail . It is not enough to have a good idea , but it is important to perform certain prior “duties” to take the right direction. Do not throw yourself directly into action with the hope that everything will be fine.

Next we analyze nine important points that you must keep in mind before starting your custom t-shirt business. Regardless of the dimensions of your project, whether you start developing your project from home or if it is a joint venture with several investors-

Use this guide to prepare and develop your project .

1. Write your Business Plan

Before investing any amount of money to buy machinery, pay a designer, etc. You must do your homework and develop a business plan . You must analyze the entire sector from suppliers, distribution channel, marketing, etc. Who are your competitors? What are the manufacturing costs for your line of items? Are you going to make the designs yourself, or do you have to pay a designer? What sales channel are you going to use: in a store or are you going to make the sale online? You can read our post on How to create your Business Plan , where we perform a more detailed analysis.

2. Study what your production costs are

Print or print a shirt for a very simple task, however the costs can vary greatly depending on the number of shirts you choose to print, the number of designs you choose to add to the shirt (front, back, sleeves, etc.), in In the case of screen printing, it is also important to determine the number of colors because it will directly affect costs. It is important that you get a current price list . This is essential information that you must have before making the designs of your collection because you must find out your cost structure to be able to launch your creative design ideas.

3. The purchase decision is 50% design and 50% pledge

The best-selling t-shirts are those that, in addition to design, take great care of the type of garment they use for their collection. The color, the model, etc. They are determining factors. Possibly 50% of the purchase decision is based on the characteristics of the shirt . Surely you’ve ever seen a t-shirt design that you liked, but you didn’t buy it because they had it in a color that didn’t suit you, or you didn’t like it because of the type of t-shirt. You would have wanted the same design but with other options. For this reason, you should try to combine the right design with the right shirt (pattern, color, etc.). For this it is important to understand which market segment we are going to and to know our potential clients. You should not choose what you like, but what your customers like.

4. Design is crucial

If you are the designer of your clothes, you have this point resolved. But if not, you must invest time (and money) in choosing the right designer for your clothes. Do not try to save with this service because not your goal is to create shirts that awaken in the consumer the desire to buy it.

5. Beware of copying!

If it has crossed your mind to copy a logo or design of a known brand to modify it slightly, do not do it. It is not just that it is illegal and unethical, but it demonstrates an attitude little committed to your business. You should try to design something different and if you don’t have that “ different ” design yet , you should rethink the design.

6. Clothing with own label

Our recommendation is that you add your own labels to your shirts because it manages to transmit your brand and give a consolidated business image, it is even a marketing tool because you will be able to promote your brand. Creating your own labels is not that expensive, you can start with preprinted thermo-adhesive labels.

7. Prepare a sample

It is important that you print samples of your shirts because they are prototypes of your collection and it will be the best way to promote and test your products among potential customers. The samples cost money, but don’t forget that you are investing in a business. You can include the cost of preparing the samples in your business plan.

8. What do you think of my designs?

If you want to test the quality of your designs, don’t ask someone you know because they could tell you they like it just so you don’t dislike it. You must get the honest opinion of someone impartial, and for that you will have to ask people who don’t know you. Before producing your shirts, use the printed samples to make a small market test and get them to see as many people as possible. Large companies conduct these market surveys with many new products, and you can do the same on a small scale.

9. Take care of your employees and suppliers

The success and growth of your business depends on the people and companies that participate in the production process. You must pay them properly because they are the ones who will help you reach your goal.

If you are serious about your decision to create your own collection of personalized shirts, you should consider this project as a business and seriously analyze all the previous points . Before you start investing money you must understand the business perfectly, and although success is not guaranteed, you will be on the right track. If you think we should add some other advice to the above list, write us and share it with us.

5 Tips To Create Custom T-shirts

When working in the t-shirt industry it is not uncommon to receive questions such as “What do I need to create a quality design and that people want to buy?”

If in your company or personal venture you are thinking of making personalized shirts with your own design, we recommend you take into account some details in order to achieve your goals. It is important to meet some criteria so that everything works perfectly.

  1. Choose the right design: It is important that you reflect a lot about the design your shirt will have. Try everything you want in it because what it is about is that it reflects the spirit and idea itself, be it the logo of a company, phrases, shirts of artists, etc. You can even try to make an example to scale to give you an idea of ​​how it would be printed later on the shirt.
  2. Keep your design simple: The trend for this year is to take care of the implicit nuances in your print by measuring simplicity and using minimalist designs, especially if you are going to print logos, in this case you should not abuse the colors in your print! Choose shades that are complementary and that allow you to be visually attractive The less elements that have to be processed by the people who look at your design, the more attractive it will be.
  3. Think of your audience: On the other hand, think about who will be the ones who will wear your designs. If it’s about giving it as a gift, for example, to the staff of a company, you probably have it clear, but if you want to generate personalized shirts to sell, know your audience very well to choose the right shirts. Are they men or women? How old are they? Identify all the demographic data of your audience to make the right decisions.
  4. Review various alternatives: To achieve the desired result, the most important thing is to continue squeezing ideas until the end and not settle for a single design, especially if you plan to have your custom shirt worn on more than one occasion.
  5. Base yourself on the latest trends: It is good that you look at the latest trends in t-shirts and fashion style so that you get an idea of ​​what is being carried out right now in fashion concept and thus manage to capture what suits you best.

Each contact with another person is an opportunity to show your ideas and stamp shirts is ideal to always passively communicate them. In addition, if it is about disclosing a brand, t-shirts are a very economical alternative compared to other means of advertising. T-shirts and the power of advertising is a relationship that should not be underestimated.

Screen Printing Vs Sublimation: Which is Best?

Both screen printing and sublimation are two practical textile printing and printing processes for having a very high wash resistance and considerable quality. Both processes have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the one chosen it will be

What are the advantages and disadvantages of screen printing and sublimation and which one suits you best?

Screen printing is an analog technology that has proven over the years that it can be reliable and durable. Although certain processes have been automated, it is still a mainly handmade craft system. It is currently the most popular printing system. The screen printing process begins with the selection of the design to be printed, then it is printed on a photolith and then transferred to a mesh of tensioned fabric on a frame or frame called a screen.

The advantages of screen printing are as follows:

  • It allows to print on all types of garments: T-shirts, polo shirts, caps, sweatshirts, bags, polar.
  • There is an alternative to digital screen printing.
  • It allows to print only the design area.
  • It allows to print on any color of fabric.
  • Maximum durability and resistance to washing.
  • An ideal technique for large orders.

As a disadvantage it can be mentioned that it entails additional costs in the preparation of the screen, it is necessary to have sufficient experience in the technique, it can have an excessively thick finish, each color needs a different screen and it is not suitable for images of photographic quality.

In sublimation, an inkjet printer is used to print a design on a special sheet of paper. This paper is then placed on the material to be decorated and is heated with an iron. The temperature causes the printing of the sheet to be gasified and transferred to the fabric.

The main advantages of sublimation are the following:

  • It is a simple technique and does not need too much experience to perform.
  • It allows to apply an unlimited range of colors, since it uses 4 inks (CMYK).
  • Printing is integrated into the support and is part of it. Unlike the transfer paper technique, the printed design is not perceived by touch, cannot be scratched and does not lose color.
  • It allows to stamp images with photographic quality.
  • The method is so fast that the products can be produced the same day.

As disadvantages of sublimation, it should be contemplated that fabrics must be 100% polyester or with at least 2/3 polyester in their composition, otherwise sublimation does not work; The fabrics should be white because the sublimated inks are transparent and the background color mixes or contaminates the final shades of the print (It is possible to sublimate in colored or black cloth, but it requires a special process).

Deciding on screen printing or sublimation depends entirely on the needs and focus of each person for your project, in the end the most important thing is to be clear about the objectives and have the right materials for each situation.

3 Big Differences Between Sublimation And Screen Printing

n the world of prints and prints, the most practical and popular techniques of engraving designs are: sublimation and screen printing .

In this post we will analyze 5 aspects of these processes and recognize the most important characteristics of each one of them, in this way we can know the technique that is most useful for our project. Let’s get started!

How are your procedures

Sublimation or thermal fixation is that printing technique in which the ink is printed by means of heat on the canvas, microscopically painting with a ‘spray’ the article to be sublimated, thus moving from a solid state to a gaseous state.

For its part, the screen printing technique – being one of the oldest – requires an important manual intervention to be able to perform the stamping, although in recent times it has been updated with machines.

The process begins with the selection of the design that will be printed on the photolyte, which will be transferred to a mesh of tensioned fabric on a frame called a screen. Through the insolation of the screen it is possible to transfer the design to the mesh. In the sunstroke it is possible that some pores of the mesh are open (where the ink will pass) and others closed (in which there is no ink transfer). Finally, the screen is placed on the garment and the ink of a single color is transferred, dragging the ink with a palette on the screen.

Development of materials

Sublimation is successful in 100% polyester textiles or with at least 2/3 of this in its composition, as well as being one of the few printing methods that allows printing on totally rigid supports (cups, photo frames, plates, watches , etc.) it is necessary that the articles incorporate a special polyester coating.

Eye: cotton textiles today are possible to sublimate, however they require specific techniques and products, otherwise sublimation will not be very durable.

With silkscreen printing, it is possible to print on almost all materials (cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, cloth or metal), in articles of very varied formats – although it is mostly used to print flat areas.

Colors

Sublimation : it should be noted that the origin of sublimation is in the development of photography, so this technique achieves an unlimited range of colors, using CMYK sublimation ink which are transparent and add to the background / support color.

In this sense and as we know it, the printing of photographs is done on white photographic paper and not on one of color, so, by sublimating on a white support, colors faithful to the original image will be obtained.

Screen printing : allows the use of denser colors, offering a wide variety of color and solidity when exposed to light. This uniqueness allows very concrete and attractive effects to be achieved, which cannot be done with the other systems.

It should be noted that if the original design consists of several colors, a screen for each color should be prepared.

Is screen printing or sublimation better?

The truth is that there is no option that is better than the other, each of these stamping techniques has great advantages for specific purposes so it all depends on the work to be done, that is, the type of order, design , fabric, color, material etc

How to Print on t-shirt Without Transfer Paper

With so many options to use for putting images on t-shirts, you might think no one would be interested in learning how to do so without transfer paper. After all, printing with transfer paper is one of the easiest ways to get graphic designs onto t-shirts. It appears that with the explosion of t-shirt printing options there is no reason to produce a printed t-shirt without transfer paper.

Putting designs on t-shirts without using transfer paper is possible. You might still have your doubts as to whether it is possible to put designs on t-shirts without the heat transfer paper, heat transfer vinyl, a screen printing mesh, or other tools.

The trick is to do put your design on the t-shirt with a stencil.

But, what is a stencil?

A stencil is a pre-cut template that is used for designing graphics. Stencils can be a simple graphics or complicated design. No matter what it is, you can produce a stencil by either using a downloaded template or getting help from any image editing software to create your stencil image. 

How to put a t-shirt design on with a stencil

The first thing you would need to do after you have created your design is to print it. Use A4 paper to print your stencil design for the best results. You may then put acetate on top of the image and secure it with tape.

Next, cut the design to make a stencil on the acetate. It is recommended that you start with the small spaces in the center and expand out gradually. This way you can repair any errors you have made on the stencil using the tape.

Before you transfer your design on the shirt, wash it first and allow it to dry completely. You take this precaution to prevent your shirt from shrinking.  Once you have prepared your t-shirt, put it flat on the surface you will be working in. Also, insert a cardboard layer inside the t-shirt.

Stick the stencil to the t-shirt with masking tape. Make sure that the stencil is flat against the t-shirt and that the cardboard layer is in place.

Now you can turn to your ink.  Mix it on the palette until you get the color you want. Use a foam paint roller to roll the ink until you see no lumps.  The roller must be completely covered with the ink.

Next, roll your color across the stencil starting with a few light strokes followed by heavier strokes as you go along. The aim is to cover your t-shirt with a full coat of ink which must be evenly distributed. Before the ink dries, carefully remove the stencil.

Your t-shirt is ready for the next step. Place a sheet of baking paper over the image.  The ink should be thoroughly dried before you put the baking paper over it, so make sure the ink is dried. With the baking paper on top, iron the design for as long as the time stated on your fabric ink.

Once you are finished ironing, admire your handiwork.

That’s it! A few simple and straightforward steps for putting an image on t-shirts without transfer paper. As you have seen, stenciling your design is an alternative to using transfer paper to print designs on t-shirts. With stenciling, you will be able to transfer any design onto t-shirts at a less costly rate. So, allow your creativity to soar with the stenciling technique for producing awesome t-shirt designs. Your family, friends, and customers will love it!

Heat Transfer Paper vs. Vinyl – What is Best

If you were to choose between heat transfer paper and vinyl to transfer graphics to your t-shirt, what are some of the things you need to consider?

You might need to consider the compatibility of your material to the task at hand. Flexibility in the range of creative options you can explore for your t-shirt design is also another consideration.  How easy it is to transfer your design to the t-shirt, as well as the range of colors you have at your disposal are also vital considerations when choosing between heat transfer paper and the heat transfer vinyl. 

Heat transfer – using paper or vinyl

If you want to produce items with multiple colors, then the heat transfer paper is your best bet. Vinyl is a little more cumbersome for use with numerous colors.  It is easier to use vinyl cuts for single color designs. If you were to produce a blend of color or to overlap elements using vinyl, this too would be challenging.

Vinyl on t-shirt is heavy, so it is essential to check the adhesiveness of the vinyl panels you are using.  If your design is large and unwieldy, you might not feel too comfortable wearing the vinyl version. There are, however, various brands of vinyl that offer excellent quality suitable for t-shirt printing. Higher quality vinyl is typically thinner than the inferior quality vinyl. The thinner vinyl is easier to cut with the vinyl cutting machine or by hand. Furthermore, high-quality vinyl is easier to transfer to t-shirts, and they are produced in a range of vibrant and trendy colors your customers will love.

Heat transfer paper is easy to work with. Just create your design, print it on the heat transfer paper, and apply the design to the t-shirt with a heat press machine or an iron. You have two options with heat transfer paper – the one for light colored fabrics and the other for dark colors. Each transfer paper has its specifications that you need to pay attention to. It is not practical to use the heat transfer paper meant for light colored fabrics to transfer images onto dark colored apparel.  It won’t work!

The main downside of using heat transfer paper for t-shirt designs is the lack of durability you get. The typical transfer paper print does not stand up to washing and will fade after a few washes. If the heat transfer print was not done correctly, you will also experience cracking and fading in short order.

Conclusion

No doubt, your choice between heat transfer paper and vinyl depends entirely on how you intend to use the materials. The selection also depends on your circumstances. The advantages of using heat transfer paper are that this material is relatively low cost, is easy to use, is more flexible regarding what you can produce with it, and the final results are acceptable to customers. The main downside is that t-shirts printed with heat transfer paper tend to fade and crack after a few washes. Vinyl, on the other hand, is mainly used for designs that are not too complicated regarding color and design elements. If you love vinyl on t-shirts, then you are more likely to be satisfied with the results.

Heat Press vs. Iron: Which is better?

Heat press vs. iron: Which is better?

Which is better for your t-shirt printing business, the heat press or the ordinary iron? It might be a no-brainer to say that the heat press is better since it is a piece of equipment developed especially for businesses like t-shirt printing.

The household iron, on the other hand, is useful if all you need to do is to press a design onto a t-shirt.

Difference between Heat Press & Iron

The Heat Press

The heat press is a vital piece of equipment for transferring designs or images on fabrics such as t-shirts. To carry out this t-shirt printing technique, you need first to print the image or to draw on a special transfer paper. Afterward, you apply the printed design onto the t-shirt using a heat press.

What makes the heat press printing technique so effective is the combination of pressure and heat that is used to embed the printed image to the fabric. Furthermore, the heat press must be set at the required temperature to ensure that you have sufficient heat to do the job. The timer is also required so you can set the time for the design to be transferred to the t-shirt.

The main advantage of using the heat press for t-shirt printing is its effectiveness with intricate designs. It is quite suitable for intricate designs that have multiple colors. The heat transfer is also long-lasting on the t-shirt.

Using a heat press to transfer prints to t-shirts and other garments is relatively easy to do. The heat press works quite well with complicated designs and usually produces high-quality results; the heat press also allows for full-color outputs.  The main disadvantages are that this method is slower than other t-shirt printing methods. It is also not suitable for fabrics that are heat sensitive.

The iron

Now let us look at the iron:

The household iron can be used to apply a printed design to any t-shirt as long as the design is printed on transfer paper. For best results, the iron must be set on dry and not steam settings. You will also need to heat the iron so that you can press the design on the t-shirt.  Of course, without the kind of temperature settings carried by heat presses, you would have to judge for yourself the heat setting most appropriate for the transfer you want to make.

While the heat press operates with a combination of heat and pressure, the iron uses heat, but you must exert your energy to press the design evenly onto the t-shirt. 

The iron is handy for small heat transfer jobs and is not suitable for large and bulk orders. In a typical t-shirt printing business, the iron is hardly the tool used for producing plenty of high-quality printed t-shirts.

Conclusion

You can see for yourself that a comparison between the heat press and the iron to determine which is better for t-shirt printing seems hardly fair.  The heat press will emerge as the clear favorite for anyone wishing to enter a full-fledged t-shirt printing business. Sure, for smaller tasks the iron may be a convenient choice. While both the heat press and the iron have their strengths, they also have weaknesses. For example, the heat press is a more robust option for large orders of complicated designs but can be a little slow to churn out products.  The iron is a convenient option for smaller jobs that do not require much to accomplish. The quality of its output depends heavily on the skill of the person using it. Ultimately, if you were to choose between the heat press and the iron, it depends on what you want to achieve in your t-shirt printing project.

How To Start A Heat Transfer Business

Are you thinking of starting a heat transfer business that specializes in using heat press? If you do, you only need to secure some things to get you started in running and making money from your business. Start with the research process.

Research

The research process entails knowing more about your market, which is a vital step in starting any business. The more you conduct research about your prospective market and your business plan’s feasibility, the more detailed the information you obtain. This helps in lowering the risks you encounter in starting a business. Researching also entails determining what you prefer your business to do and specialize in, including where it should be based and its size.

You need to determine your target customers and know what their likes are and why they should choose to do business with you. Determining your potential market’s size is also important. Do not forget to determine your competitors together with your company’s strengths as well as weaknesses. The whole point of going through this process is to get a clear understanding of the business and its target market.

Start-Up Costs: Determine All Expenses Needed in Starting Up the Business

These costs and expenses include the remodeling and rental expenses if needed and computers, furniture, software, printers, office supplies and production equipment your business needs. Other business expenses include employee wages, licenses and permits expenses, professional fees, insurance costs and other related ones.

Create the Business Plan

Starting a business requires creating a business plan, which is a document that can be your guide throughout the process. It is also necessary especially if you will need financing. There are several things a business plan should contain, including your market analysis and strategy, business offers, your company’s mission statement, financial projections and its legal structure.

What You Need and Selecting the Right Equipment

Once you are done taking care of the first few steps, you can now proceed to selecting the equipment your heat transfer business needs. There are basic factors you need to consider in selecting equipment and to make sure that it is the right one you need. These are the types of work your business is going to specialize in – your workspace’s size, volume of work and your staff’s experience in operating the equipment. As for choosing a heat press, you need to ensure to pick a reliable one. There are several accessories your heat press should have too, including the cover sheets, heat erasers and heat-resistant tape. Other optional equipment includes heat printing pillows, pads and interchangeable platens.

Benefit of Sublimation Printing

While there are many different names for sublimation printing and the printing tools used themselves to carry out the task, they are commonly accepted to be one of the most effective printing tools out there. Recognized because of the high general quality of the photographic output from surface to surface, it leaves a hugely rich and detailed image on the other side.
It also takes very little time to do, and the setup and management costs of sublimation printing are quite low – this makes it a favorite with many designers who want to create enticing advertising campaigns and promotional material.
So, how does the process work? And how can it help you out?

The Process

The process itself is fairly simple to follow. It starts off with films that within them contain specific dyes. The variation of the colors depends on what is actually being painted, but a common selection is cyan/magenta/yellow/gray pigmented colors. The films which contain the dye are placed on the paper, and then heated up by using the heat printer provided. This causes the pigments to then leave the film they are stored within, and enter into the paper which then causes the dyes to solidify and conjoin with the picture.
You are going through a fairly scientific process – you are first almost vaporizing the films and the dyes, and then reversing the process immediately to re-solidify the colors. Because of the speed and power of the process, though, it all happens very quickly and leaves far less time for any mess that you might expect to see with traditional ink painting processes.

The Benefits

The actual benefits of using sublimation printing are quite easy to spot, as well. It leaves a continuous, detailed tone throughout the picture due to the way in which the colors are added to the image. The quality of the image is easily reflected by looking close-up with magnification at the color. There is a consistency to the entire color scheme, but with traditional painting you can notice different colored “dots” all throughout the color.
Therefore, the actual quality of the color in an image created in this format is going to be far more professional and far more effective. They allow for deeply professional image creation, but keep in mind that using sublimation printers for typical document printing and the like is not advisable at all. Because each pixel is printed using a thermal process, it looks far more effective than it once would have in the past.
If you are looking to create high-end photography that looks consistent and really produces its best form, then sublimation printing is the choice that many people are now beginning to take. When you compare the quality,, though, it’s very easy to see why this has become one of the premium printing methods.

How To Write A Thank You Note

In the modern era of texts, emails, and social media, it has become easy to show your gratitude, and what a wonderful thing to have more gratitude expressed in the world! In the days of yore when everything had to be written would you have told someone that you are obsessed with those brownies they made and then asked for the recipe? Or that their holiday card made you so happy? I doubt it. We can now show our love over the tiniest things, every day. Did someone make you happy today? Go text them. Right now.

But for the big things, a written thank you note is essential. What counts as the big things? 

-Gifts, whether physical or monetary.

-Attending an event, such as a wedding, an important party, or a funeral.

-Special effort, when someone helps you out with something.

For some people dashing off a thank you note is easy breezy, but for some it is a merciless burden. And like any nasty task, you procrastinate and avoid it, and then are slowly crushed by guilt as you pass that stack of stationery waiting menacingly for you on your desk, glowering at you with blank pages.

I am generally one of the easy breezy kind, but even for me at times I cringe away from doing it. I think to myself, “Not today, I’ve got sooooo much to do, like look, I’ve gotta unload the dishwasher! I can do it tomorrow. It’s okay if they’re a little late. Or a lot late. I’ll just stick “belated” somewhere in there so they’ll know that I know I’m late.” 

How long is it okay to let slide a thank you note? Ideally you should do it within a week of an event to allow for postal time, but for some things that’s just not possible—such as weddings, funerals, or births. In that case people will give you two or three months grace. But no matter what, no matter whether it’s two months or six, it’s better late than never! Do not let guilt make you postpone it until it’s the next year suddenly and you feel like a total ass and can’t even bring yourself to call them.

However, there is hope for all—The Crib Sheet.

Thank you notes do not, in fact, have to be brilliant. Nor do they have to be stunningly original. All they have to do is be from the heart. And here is a crib sheet on how to start off. 

——

The Greeting

This is the easiest. Stick with “Dear [insert name]” and you will never go wrong. If it is a dear friend you may address them in a more personal way, that is up to you. “Hi there”, “My darling”, “Bonjour, my dear”, whatever feels personal or even an in-joke between you.

——

The First Line

-Thank you so much for…

-It made my day when…

-I can’t thank you enough for…

TIP: Never use the word “money”, replace with “your generosity” or “your kindness”

——

The Second Line

-For gifts, discuss how you are using or will use the gift. “It is exactly what I wanted and I use it every single day!”

-For attending an event, say how happy or grateful you were to have them at the event. “It meant so much to us that you were at our…”, or “We are forever grateful that you came to the…”, or “I will always remember how you helped me during this difficult time”

-For a monetary gift, mention how you plan on using it—”We will be using it for a helicopter tour on our honeymoon!” “We are putting it towards getting Brandon the tricycle he has been obsessed with for months!”

——

The Third Line (optional)

I believe in the third line, unless you have over 50 thank you’s to write after a wedding or something of the sort. But the third line can still be easy:

-We are so lucky to have such wonderful family…

-I am so grateful to have you as my friend…

-I am so blessed to have you in my life…

-Do you know how awesome you are? You are more awesome than bacon.

——

The Closing Line

Restate your thanks, and mention the future. Feel free to use exclamation marks if it feels appropriate—the only exceptions are for professional colleagues, friends of the family, and old-timers who just aren’t into all that extra grammatical stuff.

-Thank you again for… and I hope we can see each other again soon.

-Again, thanks so much, and I hope to see you soon!

-Thank you again, and I’ll send you a picture of Brandon on his new tricycle!

——

The Sign-Off

Even this can be fraught, but just choose from the appropriate one below:

-Love or With love, (family and close friends)

-Yours or Your truly, (friends or semi-close acquaintances)

-Sincerely, (older family members, professional colleagues, or just to play it safe)

-or draw a heart (yes really, you can, for dear ones I do it all the time, especially when I run out of space (which is frequent))

——

That’s it! Greeting, thank you line, second line, closing line, sign-off. Or another line in there if you’ve got the time and the person really is just the best and deserves some true gushing. Want even more possible sentences? Here’s a great source, Words Of Appreciation

You need never fear the hulking stack of thank you’s again. Attack those cards, brandish your pen like a sword (since it’s mightier than it), and treat yourself to an ice cream afterwards. 

5 Things You Should Still Write By Hand

When I was a kid my best friend moved away to California. But we assiduously wrote each other at least once a month. We started stories for each other that the other would finish and send back, sort of like a long-term exquisite corpse story (but more filled with unicorns and magic and sailing boats) (we were in 4th grade after all). I treasure those letters still, as I know she does as well.

But by the time I was in college there was wonderful, oh so easy email! This kept me in touch with so many friends that I know I would never, ever, have had the stamina to keep up with. There are friends who live in other countries that I have not seen for countless years, but I know what they’re up to. We exchange family war stories, recipes, and we support each other in times of need. I have no doubts when I say they are still dear friends.

However. There are still things I strongly believe should be written by hand.

They’re not many. They’re quick to write. And they are the things that can even be treasured for years. 

The things that should still be written by hand:

—THANK YOU NOTES

—NOTES FROM KIDS

—HOLIDAY CARDS

—CONDOLENCE CARDS

—TO-DO LISTS & RESOLUTIONS

You are either thinking, “Why is that necessary?” or, “Well of course!” For the doubters out there, here are the reasons why these things should be hand-written.

THANK YOU NOTES

Often it is fine to email a thank you—for a dinner party, a spontaneous gift from a pal, any little thing that makes you want to reach out. But for larger gifts and huge gestures, a written thank you is precious. Everyone knows that writing things by hand takes longer and more thought. Everyone knows it involves choosing a card, composing your note, addressing, and a trip to ye olde blue poste box. It is old-fashioned in the best way. And to discover a personal note amongst all the junk mail and bills is a great way to make someone’s day a tiny bit brighter. 

One of my best friends once received some hand-me-downs for her son, from a friend of a friend. And we’re talking good hand-me-downs, from Janie & Jack (which can cause sticker shock but lasts for years). My friend promptly wrote a gracious note to say thank you. And here’s the amazing part—the acquaintance was so impressed by such thoughtfulness that she has kept sending clothing for the last 3 years. The kid is the best-dressed little boy ever. 

NOTES FROM KIDS

This is pretty self-explanatory. Because the notes that kids write are adorable! But also, children should always be encouraged to practice their writing skills, and should be taught the importance of gratitude. This is something parents and relatives treasure and as the years go on you can compare their development. Here is a free printable thank you card for kids that you can customize with their names.

Once after a play date my 3-1/2 year old son told us he wanted to write a letter to his friend. Letter by letter we spelled it out for him, which he then painstakingly (and frequently backwards) wrote down. We sent it off and it was met with such delight that our families became incredibly close.

HOLIDAY CARDS

Now, I’m always happy when I receive an emailed card or image from a friend during the holidays, or even a holiday emoji text. But the ones you get in the mail are so much better. You can line them up on your mantle and be surrounded by the glowing faces of loved ones and their personal greetings. 

For holiday cards you should feel free to just scribble your names or pencil in a brief note, like “Hope to see you in the new year!” Even the tiniest personalization can mean something. There is a scene in Orange Is The New Black where a character receives a Christmas card from her ex and estranged son. But the moving part, the part that made tears well up in her eyes, was that this time the son had signed his name by hand, opening the door just a tiny bit. And that made all the difference.

Plus if you do an unusual one people keep them and you feel like the cool kid in school. This is ours from 2014.

CONDOLENCE CARDS

If you can’t visit someone who is bereaved, the next best thing is a hand-written note. There are two reasons: the recipient knows how personal such a note is, the effort that goes into it, and because it is a physical reminder of just how many people care for you. It doesn’t immediately get archived in email.

I have my own anecdote for a condolence card that really meant something to me. My cat of 17 years passed away two years ago, and I was devastated. It is can be very hard for people to understand how heartbreaking such a loss is.

I received a card from my vet that was incredibly cheesy—yet it made me cry anyway. This is what it said:

Somewhere on the other side, our sweet companions play,
certain that we’ll come for them on the appointed day.
So having said our sad goodbyes, let healing thoughts begin,
with memories to cherish until we meet again.

How cheesy is that? And yet how precious is it when your vet, who has so little time, writes in it, “I am so sorry for your loss, Moké was more like a soul mate to you than just a pet. You have my deepest condolences”. I have kept it all this time.

Okay, now I have to stop tearing up and get onto the next one.

TO-DO LISTS & RESOLUTIONS

There are many great apps for lists, like Teux Deux, that make your life easier. But if you want to engrave something into your brain there is nothing better than writing it down. It has been proven that the act of writing imprints the message into your memory far more than typing. The combination of thinking plus motor skills ingrains it much deeper. Plus, there is the extreme satisfaction of scratching out something you’ve accomplished.

Something I’ve done for years is have a pad of paper on my desk, that I write a fresh list in every morning. If something from the day before has not been done it gets rewritten on the next day’s list. An easy thing to do is every time you have a junk piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″, cut or tear it into quarters and clip it together. I never feel bad about then using them up for my to-do’s and grocery lists. 

One step further is to write down your goals and tack them up—here is an excellent article from Forbes magazine that details why. 

Aside from those little 5 things, embrace email whole-heartedly!

Do you have any stories about a time a hand-written note warmed your heart? Or one you’ve written that has meant a lot to someone else?