I realize this site focuses on poster printing, but I figured it likely that some of you have had experience with t-shirt printing as well.
I'm looking into picking up a small press to print shirts... not very concerned with being able to do anything and everything, just looking to get a small operation going to be able to pursue personal projects and small small small business ventures.
Not really looking to do massive process jobs or ridiculous spot color designs... just a simple press that will do the job... I don't mind designing to its limitations... of course the more colors/palettes the better but honestly I prefer designing for a small number of colors anyways
Don't do it, just figure out how to print nice one colour prints without a press. Cheap tabletop presses will just be a headache. Find some space and buy a nice floor model press once you know you like printing shirts (which you will discover you do not like.)
yeah, from what i know, all the small table top presses will end up being a complete waste of money. you're better off watching craigslist, or going into screen printing suppliers and looking at their bulletin boards. people realize all the time how much they hate, or they suck at screen printing. you can find totally legit setups for the same price as those shitty, chincy setups. good luck and godspeed.
Vastex used to make a table top model of their V2000 press . . . since it's a Vastex, it's not going to be a piece of crap. Should have micros and all the adjustments.
My first press was a terrible table top press . . . I actually got it for free, because I paid for it, the guy never sent it, I called Visa, they called the FBI because apparently he was doing this a bunch to different people via ebay, and instead of going to the slammer for fraud, he sent me the press. And it was a piece of crap anyways, but it tricked me into thinking printing shirts is a good idea.
Go for a 6/4 Hopkins. Even without micro you would come out ahead of a Vastex or CAPS or some table top unit. You can print without a flash and a conveyor dryer, despite NeroInferno's post. Even if you chose to print primarily on light garments you would only be limited by the number of heads you have, and if you do your artwork and setup right you can actually gang different colors on the same screen- in essence turning a 4 or 6 color press into an 8 or 12 color or more. You can print a multitude of spots wet on wet, even on a dark garment... Use waterbased inks and grab a heat gun and you can make it work. If you want to take it a step farther you can set up a discharge process with waterbased air dry inks as well and print vibrant colors on dark garments hands down. If you want to try you hand at textiles without breaking the bank, grab some jiffy hinges from a supplier such as Nazdar and build a wooden base to load shirts onto. Order a small container of a Wilflex waterbase ink and hang the shirts to dry. I would not wish an Anatol on anyone. Hopkins and M&R all the way. If you are lucky enough to find an old HIX or American Rototex press you must must must nab it ASAP.