Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for a business, a mom or a teenager on your summer vacation, custom t-shirts are a great way to have fun expressing yourself and also make money. On the internet there are great examples of personalized gospel t-shirt
The ways to personalize T-shirts have not changed much over the years and currently the most used, especially in promotional T-shirts is sublimation, due to the practicality and low cost of both production and investment in equipment.
In this article we will deal specifically with the most practical and cheap ways that are:
- Direct sublimation in light-colored polyester t-shirts, preferably white (most used)
- OBM sublimation that can be applied on dark shirts and cotton shirts
- Transfer paper for light and dark shirts.
- PU Film for Sublimation
- Trimming Films
These methods use basically the same thermal press, varying only process details, ink, transfer paper type and are the most popular forms used.
Moreover, anyone can, from their own home start a very profitable business with low investment.
Equipment and materials needed to apply the techniques of customizing T-shirts:
- T-Shirt Stamping Machine
- Epson Eco Tank Printer
- Sublimatic and Pigmented Paint
- Trimming plotter or scissors
- Transfer Dark and Transfer Light
- Sub-Limatic PU film
- Trimming films
These are the equipment and materials you will need if you want to perform all 5 processes. And in this case you will need two printers. One with sublimation ink for the direct sublimation process, OBM or sublimation PU film. Another for pigmented ink for the transfer process, dark or light.
If you choose only one of the processes you will have to choose the corresponding equipment as I will explain during the next topics
Custom T-Shirts with Direct Sublimation
Direct Sublimation is the simplest process and despite the inconvenience of limiting the dark colors and cotton shirts. It is still the fastest, most economical process and for this reason, widely used in promotional t-shirts.
To work with this process you will need the following materials and equipment:
- Flat Thermal Press
- Epson Ecotank Printer
- Sublimatic Ink
- Sublimatic Paper
- 100% Polyester T-Shirts
Here what happens is very simple, with your inkjet printer properly loaded with sublimate ink. You print your artwork mirrored on sublimate paper.
It sets the thermal press time at 35 seconds and the temperature at 200 degrees Celsius.
Press with medium pressure force and wait for the programmed cycle to withdraw.
Customize T-Shirts with OBM Sublimation
This process of Custom T-Shirts is the same as the process of direct sublimation. And the materials used are also the same. With the exception of the cutout ploter which will be very useful if you want to print curved shapes.
Using scissors at the beginning can replace the investment in a clipping ploter. But as your production increases the use of scissors may become inconvenient, due to the time spent in preparation and you will feel the need to have a clipping ploter.
The cool thing about this technique is that you will use the same printing system for direct sublimation and printing dark t-shirts and cotton
To work with this process, you will need the same materials and equipment as direct sublimation along with the following:
- Normal OBM if you are not going to make a cutout
- OBM Cut for cuts with scissors or Ploter
- Cotton T-shirts any color, Polyester or PV
This technique is very similar to sublimation of the previous topic with the difference of being executed in three steps.
First you must do the sublimation normally as in the t-shirt. Only in OBM that nothing more is than a white polyester fabric.
Then you will cut the stamped art with your cutter ploter or scissors, in case the work needs cutting to get the desired finish
Now you will take this artwork stamped on the OBM, already cut out if it is the case and without the liner, along with the shirt on the press at 200 degrees Celsius, with average pressure for approximately 15 seconds.
Custom T-Shirts with Transfer Dark or Light
Personalizing T-shirts with Dark or Light transfer is the most suitable technique for cotton shirts. And you must have an exclusive printer for pigmented ink. The difference is that the printing is done directly on the transfer paper that is applied on the shirt and with some variables.
To work with this technique, you will need the following materials and equipment:
- Flat press
- Epson Ecotank Inkjet Printer
- Pigmented ink
- Transfer Dark or Light Paper
- Cotton T-shirts dark and light colors.
- Trimming Ploter ( optional )
In this process what you will basically do is print your art directly on paper. Taking care to choose the right pepel for light and dark shirts, because they are different papers.
After printing you will cut your artwork on the cutter ploter or scissors and take along with the shirt in the press at 200 degrees Celsius, with average pressure, for a few seconds.
When using dark paper you don’t need to mirror your art, because the paper will be applied to the shirt after it is printed.
Once printed you can cut it if necessary with the ploter or scissors. After the cutout remove the liner from the back, position it on the T-shirt, cover it with butter paper or Teflon and press it for 10 seconds.
Transfer ligh is a little different from dark because it will not be applied to the fabric. And yes it is the ink that will come off the paper together with the silicone film.
In this case you will have to mirror your art before printing, and you will also have to cut the excess paper that has no art. Otherwise the film even without printing will be transferred to the shirt.
The process is very simple: Once printed and cut, just press for 25 seconds, remove the paper and that’s it.
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