Inkjet Transfer Printing 
 (not dye sublimation)

by Don Ford, Fords Screen Printing, October 2001

If you are wanting to go to an inkjet (not dye sublimation) transfer printing system that works great for 50/50 and 100% cotton items, then I would suggest the CIS, Archival, bulk ink system. I switched to it due to the Epson OEM inks bleeding and fading.  I did about 300 shirts with the OEM inks when I first got my printer and am embarrassed each time I see one. The reds are now a light orange. The archival inks do not bleed or fade after several washings.  When you first print the transfer, it will look dull, but after transferring it to the fabric the colors brighten up. I went to this system after reading a lot of posts by Flo Karp of Fish Pie T-shirts, on the Heat Transfers Groups board. She has been an angel working with me on this and I give her a great big 10. 

I use the Transjet ll transfer paper, Epson 1160 printer, with the settings at 720 DPI, and the "Mode setting" on "Custom" and ICM checked. Press at 365 degrees for about 14 seconds. I have the Stahls' Hotronix, 16" X 20" draw pull heat press and peel hot. You will be able to tell when you have the right setting because when you peel the transfer it should peel of very smooth without too much resistance. (some transfer machines may need to be set a little different).

I washed the test shirt for 8 washes, I soaked the shirt in HOT water and folded it over itself, let it lay for two hours and it didn't bleed. I then put it in the wash and let it set after the spin cycle for another two hours and still, no bleeding. When you lay it beside another shirt that I pressed at the same time that hasn't been washed, the colors still look like the original. There is a small amount of stiffness when first transferred but that washes out after a few times. It will still have a little hand, but not as much as screen printing. It doesn't have the soft hand that dye sublimation has, I don't know of anything that does. 

The ink system I use with the Transjet costs less than $1.00 per sheet, including paper, for a 75% to 90% coverage on an 8 1/2" X 11" transfer. It will transfer to 50/50 or 100% cotton the same. 

Following is a list of what I use. 

Bulk Ink System
Continuous Inking Systems  www.nomorecarts.com (no longer selling systems direct)
CIS system, + model # of printer.........$125.00
*Rack4 or 6 depending on printer...........$12.50
*XL kit for putting bottle behind printer....$20.00

Call suppliers below for current pricing.  

Stock Solution                www.tssphoto.com
Cone Editions Express  www.inkjetmall.com
Specialty Inks, Inc.        www.specialtyinks.com

Transjet ll transfer paper                
Airwaves                            www.airwavesinc.com
BOO-Z Warehouse           www.boo-z.com
CDC Papers                      
Personalized Supplies      www.personalizedsupplies.com

Personalized Supplies      www.personalizedsupplies.com



These prices are as of 8-24-01. 

* I bought a plastic rack for the ink bottles and an XL Kit from CIS so I could put the ink rack behind my printer.  I just did that to get it out of the way.  It is not a necessity.

If I can help anyone in any way, please feel free to e-mail me

Thank you and have a BLESSED day. 

God Bless You,

Copyright © 2001 Don Ford.  All rights reserved. This article may not be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the author.

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