Heat transfers, also known as plastisol transfers, is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to create t-shirts for your home business. Plastisol transfers are much different from the type of heat transfers printed from a home computer.
With plastisol transfers, a screen printer will go through the exact same process of screen printing a t-shirt, but instead of printing onto the shirt, they print the design onto a special release paper (plastisol transfer), which can later be used with a heat press machine to transfer the plastisol inks from the paper and onto a t shirt.
So you’ve essentially got yourself a screen print quality t-shirt because the same inks traditionally used by screen printers, are now on your transfer paper… The quality of the transfer is great and these types of t-shirts can last for many years without peeling, breaking or fading away.
Not all heat transfer papers are the same… Don’t buy the heat transfer paper from local hobby stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joann’s. These are much different from screen printed transfers, or plastisol transfers.
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The type of heat transfer paper sold in these hobby stores are more like iron on transfers. They’re are cheap and do not provide the same quality as the screen print transfers I recommended earlier. These cheap t shirt transfers will usually break, fade and smudge almost immediately after the first wash.
Your customers will be upset and angry with you and will likely never purchase t-shirts from you again if you print with these cheap iron on transfer papers.
Plastisol screen printed transfers are the way to go. I’ve been using this screen print transfer method since 1999 to press and sell hundreds of thousands of screen print quality t-shirts to customers all over the world.
Quality: Your clients want quality. They are putting their trust into you, and you want to produce a product that is durable, looks great, and will last a long time. When your clients are satisfied with your product, they are more likely to recommend you to others.
Low cost: The heat transfer method is very cheap compared to other methods of creating t-shirt designs. Depending on your designs and methods for getting these printed, your costs can be much cheaper than the traditional screen printed route.
Easy to do: Almost anybody can make t-shirts with this method. You come up with the design concept, send the artwork to a screen printer specializing in this method and that’s it.
Quick turnaround: Making and pressing a bunch of t-shirts for your home t-shirt business is easy with this method. It typically takes only 8-10 seconds to transfer a design from the plastisol transfer, and onto the t-shirt when using a heat press. You can reasonably press about 50-60 t-shirts per hour.
Versatility: I like this method because you can transfer your designs onto a bunch of stuff other than just t-shirts. For example, you can transfer your designs on to hoodies, sweatshirts, pant legs, sleeves, aprons, jackets, etc… You can also purchase other types of presses and get your designs onto puzzles, coffee mugs, caps, etc…