Custom t-shirts
October 30, 2004 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Custom t-shirts: I don't have a silk screen, nor the inclination to acquire and learn how to use one. What are my other options? I can only think of thermal transfer, but I remember that being an unreliable, short-lived approach. Is there a better way to do thermal transfers, or a better way altogether?
posted by blueshammer to Shopping (5 answers total)
I found some information that may be useful. It seems to suggest that thermal transfer is relatively easy to do.
posted by majick at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2004

You could just set up a cafepress shop and buy from it.
posted by Tlogmer at 8:32 PM on October 30, 2004

I took up airbrushing cuz a real neat shirt I bought in San Francisco finally gave out and I wanted to replicate it.
posted by RavinDave at 3:34 AM on October 31, 2004

there is (shh) apparently a movement afoot which involves a thermal transfer that looks just like a screenprint.

I'm not particularly sure on any of the details, sorry, but we've been offered a deal (from an outsourcer) that would cost us $2-3 dollars a transfer.

I've found for a lot of industrial clothing things you're better off trying to make offline contacts -- the industry simply hasn't moved online yet. however, know that great thermal (read: iron-on, if you have a heat press) transfers exist, and you just need to find the folks who are making these products.

the guys I heard about are out of LA. That's a start. Sorry I don't have more info, but from what I've heard it's a fairly recent technology.

can't say much about the links provided already, as I haven't tried too much of their stuff, but I can say that the gear I've got from cafepress is suck compared to a real screenprint, and also the home version of iron-on transfers is pretty worthless. I *have* been assured by a friend that there *is* something out there which is heat-transfered and pretty much as good-looking as screenprints -- can't give you the terms to get you closer to it, but I encourage you to keep looking... if you don't want to screen it yourself, you can pay someone to make these transfers for you, and buy yourself a decent heat-press (neighborhood of $300, i think) and make shirts with it.

if you only want one shirt, I would have to back the cafepress recs. one-offs are an expensive proposition -- you're going to have to trade quality for price at that point. there's probably no-one in the textile industry interested in making you one of anything.
posted by fishfucker at 5:52 AM on October 31, 2004

If you want just one, CafePress does single-item printing; you don't even need to open a shop anymore.

If you're supplying a softball team or something, I would recommend Brunetto T-shirts. They do the printing for a lot of webcomic guys like 8-bit-theatre, Goats, Creatures in My Head, Diesel Sweeties, etc. I've bought from them before and the quality is excellent.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:48 AM on October 31, 2004

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