Holidays are coming! What to get the crafter in your life.
With the holidays right around the corner, you might be thinking "What can I get the crafter?! I know NOTHING about making shirts, decals, and all that fun crafting stuff!".
Well not to fear! Neko Prints is here with some of the best product recommendations to get started or continue growing in the crafting game.
New to crafting? Check out the below recommendations to start up a hobby or a business!
As someone just starting, the best place to start (in my opinion) is either with HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) or Sublimation.
What's the difference?
Here's a quick video that explains a few differences between some methods. Make sure to subscribe! :)
Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV
Well HTV is a special type of vinyl that you cut, weed (remove the excess you wont be using), and then press onto the shirt using heat. HTV is awesome because you can use it on tons of items like shirts, pants, bags, and more. You can layer different colors to make different images and get more creative. There are also different types of HTV's with different patterns, glitter effects, glow in the dark, and more. The downside? You can't do things like full color images with it unless you implement some other type of method. Since the vinyl is all solid colors (for the most part), its not possible to get things like shadows, pictures, and gradients with HTV.
Sublimation is quite different than HTV. To start, Sublimation requires the use of a special printer and ink. With sublimation you can achieve full color prints with gorgeous color on multiple substrates. You can print on shirts, metal prints, tumblers, and more. The downside? The substrate needs to be sublimation friendly. Meaning if its a shirt, you want to have a minimum of 60% polyester, and you will need tumblers, frames, and other items that have a polymer coating or are marketed as sublimation friendly. Otherwise the ink wont bond to the item and will simply wash off. Also, for the best results, you should have a white base to print on. While sublimation can be done on polyester shirts with a gray or different colored base, keep in mind that you are not able to print the color white. So the printer assumes that you are printing onto a white surface. The color of the substrate being pressed will be used as the base of the print. Remember for this you will need sublimation paper as well to print on. This paper is a special type of paper that holds the ink until its heated and then allows it to be transferred to the substrate.
BONUS*** White Toner Printing
A white toner printer is a printer that can print the color white. This eliminates a lot of the restrictions you face with HTV or sublimation. Now with that, comes a heavier price tag than the other 2 methods. A white toner printer can actually substitute the other 2 methods in the long run. There are sublimation toners that can be interchanged with the regular toner that comes with the printer. No need to weed either. You can just print your image, attach the adhesive to it, and then press onto your shirt. The method of pressing is a bit different. But you are able to achieve full color prints with a white toner printer with no need to weed any excess.
Now that you know the difference between the three, here are a few recommendations you can check out for that special crafter in your life.
For Heat Transfer Vinyl
I personally LOVE and use the Cameo 4 by Silhouette. This bundle comes with different items to get you started and practicing with both Heat Transfer Vinyl and Adhesive Vinyl for decals.
I absolutely LOVE my Sawgrass SG1000. It allows me to print up to 11x17" images and has an optional bypass tray to be able to print even larger images of up to 13x19".
Here are some items that are sublimation friendly.
White Toner Printer
I love and use the Uninet iColor 560. It has been super easy to use and works great. While the price tag is a bit heavier than the other 2 methods, its definitely something that will end up paying for itself in the long run if used correctly.
2 step paper used with white toner printers