If you have already made up your mind that you will start with one of our “Magic” ink systems, then you can safely skip this page and go to Graphtec Vinyl Cutters without missing anything.
If you think that budget considerations or other reasons will force you start with a printer and regular “store-bought” cartridges, then read this page.
The information on this short page will at least give you a chance of staying out of “hot water”.
Inkjet Printers and Regular Cartridge Inks
All printers used for heat transfers are standard, off-the-shelf printers. There is nothing special (modified) about any of them. Most of them (despite manufacturer’s claims) print just as good as any other printer, for heat transfer needs (insofar as picture looks go).
The potential “Devil” is in the regular ink. The reason for this is because so many printers use a type of regular ink that is very water soluble and therefore washes out very easily.
However, some inks give
acceptable results, not great, but acceptable. The rest of this page tells you
what to look for.
Three General Regular Ink Cartridge Types
Practical Facts About The Two Ink Types
Another myth is the thought that no dye based ink washes good and that all pigment inks do. Wrong! Bad ink is bad ink. Good ink is good ink.
As an example, we actually have several different formulations of TransMagic! Inks™: some are dye based and some are pigment based (this is because our inks are tailored to specific printers).The wash difference between all of our inks is practically unnoticeable.
Note: There is about a 5% color loss on the first wash, with any of our inks. Even pros consider this to be very acceptable. The important thing is that there is very little color loss after that.
Our conclusions: If you own an inkjet printer, and want to use it, then the only smart thing to do is to test the ink that is in your printer. Print a transfer with it, heat transfer it to a shirt and then wash it. This ain’t rocket science, so just see what your eyes tell you. If the results don’t please you, they certainly won’t please your customers.
Practical Ideas To Use In Your Planning
As my granny used to say, “There is more than one way to pluck a chicken”. The best printer and ink to use is what fits your needs and your budget and works! There is no one way. There is only the best way for you.
If your budget is really tight, don’t spend your last dollar on equipment (you will need some money to buy shirts too). Instead, start smaller and get an inexpensive printer that uses decent regular inks, a pack of our excellent heat transfer paper, the best heat press that you can afford and have at it.
Work smart and save part of your profits to get “bigger and better”, when you can afford it.
Yes, we all want the very best but we wouldn’t be a very good supplier or friend if we encouraged you to be equipment rich and cash poor. You need to be practical.
On the other hand, if your budget allows you to start off on a more professional level then definitely consider our TransMagic! Inks and MagicFlow! CIS™ delivery system. You will quickly recoup your initial investment costs and be producing a shirt with a superior image.
Four Facts You Need, if starting with regular inks
If you can't afford one of our MagicFlow! bulk ink delivery systems, with our special TransMagic! T-shirt inks we offer this advice-
That does it for your general education on inks and printers. Now let’s look at vinyl cutters and T-shirt vinyl.
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