Thinking of starting a garment decoration business or adding to your existing one?

Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explains why transfer printing is great for both start-ups and for existing garment decoration businesses.

Garment transfer printing is a lower cost way of applying full colour designs and printing them on to a dark or light-coloured garment.

Although I have called it garment transfer, the paper used can also be used to print on hard substrates such as wood metal glass, leather etc. This opens up an unlimited range of products that you can personalise. The cost of setting this up is relatively low compared with the profit you could make out of it.

How much can you make?

To print on a dark T shirt, the cost of the shirt would be around £1.50, the transfer paper would be £2.30 for an A3 size print, obviously less on a smaller design. You could retail for at least £10 so you would make around £6.30 per garment for an A3 sized print. If you are printing on to a white or light shirt the paper cost would be around £1.00 an A3 sheet so your margin would be around £7.50 a shirt. This is just an example but it depends on quality and type of product.

What equipment do I need?

You would need an OKI white toner printer; you can purchase either A4 or A3 size. You will also require a good standard heat press.

At the moment the OKI Pro 7411WT A4 printer is around £2,000 and the OKI Pro8432WT A3 printer is around £3,495. These come with a three-year on-site warranty, so you don’t have to worry about service costs for this amount of time. A good heat press would cost from £600 up to around £1,800.

So, you can set up from around £4,000 to £5,300 for a professional printing business.

Below I have set out some printing methods.

Printing full colour on to black or dark garments

For this process you need the OKI white toner printer.

First print your image in mirror in full colour on the transparent A-Foil. Press it together with the dark opaque B-Paper and separate both sheets from each other while hot, giving you a transfer ready to be applied to your garment. The white coverage on the image from the B-Paper, not only increases the opacity of the transfer on dark garments but also contributes to the wash ability of the transfer. Also remember that there is no weeding.

Prints on to most fabrics and substrates, such as: cotton, polyester, mixed fabric, nylon, leather, denim, paper, book covers, felt and much more.

Printing single colour on to black or dark garments

This paper allows single colour printing on dark garments but only requires a standard black laser printer. The papers are available in standard colours, metallic and neon.

First print your image in mirror in black on the transparent A-Foil. Press it together with the dark opaque B-Paper and separate both sheets from each other while hot, giving you a transfer ready to be applied to your garment. The white coverage on the image from the B-Paper, not only increases the opacity of the transfer on dark garments but also contributes to the wash ability of the transfer.

This paper has many uses and can print intricate designs for fashion or personalisation, with no weeding.

Prints on to most fabrics and substrates, such as: cotton, polyester, mixed fabric, nylon, leather, denim, paper, book covers, felt and much more.

Printing on to white shirts

There are several types of transfer paper available for printing on to white or pale coloured shirts.

These are all one paper systems and range from basic high production to high end products.

The basic products are ideal for printing full colour on to shirts, mouse mats caps etc.

The high-end papers for printing on white offer intricate printing with no weeding and no background around you image. One of these requires the use of an OKI white toner printer and gives brighter colours on a white shirt. The other one is a transparent product and works with a standard CYMK laser printer.

So, arrange a demonstration now at an established distributor and see the potential.

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