Iron on transfer for T-shirt..

Have any of you ever tried an “Iron On Transfer” for your surfboard logo / company name to make a T-shirt? You know, the type you can print on an ink jet printer, then iron on a T-shirt. Any brand out there that is decent and will last a couple of washes? This is just the first step before I may spend the bucks for a real silk screen job.

Not for my logo, but I’ve put plenty of obnoxious statements on old Tees just to turn heads. Major brands work fine, last awhile… but you have to print on light color shirts, and they can’t do white, obviously. About the equivilent of printing your surf logos on rice paper - compared to silk screen.

Holy crap, you read my mind. I just went to CompUsa 2 days ago to look for iron ons. Seems like a great way to promote your boards, plus it would be just too cool to wear your own logo.

OR, you could go the extra step and go to your local art supply store and get a silkscreen kit. a little trial and error, and the next thing you know, you’re printing your logo on t-shirts, laminates, your dog’s back, it’s everywhere!!! actually, the silkscreen thing is fun, and it lasts longer than iron ons. as for the iron ons, one positive element is the variety of logos you can do, ie font changes, pictures and what not. limiting factor is size, only 8.5 by 11 unless someone knows where you can get larger sheets.

what type of ink is good for laminates, thru the silkscreen?

What is the average cost of a “silk screen kit” at an art supply store? Under $50 I hope.

Screenprinting is awesome. You can make it simple, or really complicated. Be careful though, don’t get hooked!!!

They have paper on line that you can print on dark shirts if you need a site I’ll have to look it up but I will if you need it. Also if you know someone who does t-shirts and they have the industrial Iron/Press have them press your logo on It will last much longer and follow the washing instruction for the first wash. I make lots of these for the company I work for. J.B.

Go for the silkscreen, and keep it to 1 or 2 colors. The iron on transfer really bites, they don’t hold up to washing, and negative or blank space in a logo comes out as white. Fine of your ironing onto a white shirt, but it sucks for anything else. The iron on kits are best for photos of grandpa with sayings like “#1 dad” etc. My $.02

to the guy wondering the cost of a screenprinting kit; under $20 last time i bought one. if you can’t find one at a hobby or art supply store, look in the phone book (yellow pages) for screenprinting and supplies. call 'em and you may even get some free stuff (happened to me). the best ink is water based for textiles. best because it doesn’t react with resins once it is heat set with an iron or blowdryer and it’s easy to clean the screen after use (note: wash the screen asap to avoid ink drying and permanent cloggage). i can’t remember the mesh of the screen, but it’s fairly simple, just get something cheap and experiment (i bought 3 yards for under $10). besides the kit, you’ll need a 150 watt light bulb in one of those silver pan portable fixtures (sorry, can’t think of what to call the damn thing), and get your image copied onto clear acetate. put it face down on the bottom of the screen once your emulsion has dried and let the light shine on it for about an hour, then rinse it out. this will all make since once you have the kit in hand. good luck! it will take a little trial and error, but it’s amazing how precise your images turn out.

just checked my ink jar, it says to use 100 mesh screen for white, and 220 for other colors. my guess is that i’m using the 100 and it seems to work fine for all colors. one neat thing, you don’t have to use screen print ink, you can run acrylics through the screen.

I checked a source at $69 US for a very small screen kit. There are two problems: 1)greed, but 2)good squeegees are very expensive. Look in your local yellow pages for “screen printing suppliers”. Pick up a couple of (roughly) 21" x 23" pre-stretched screens with near 110 mesh. This designation indicates monofilament polymer fibers. They’ll last longer and withstand solvents better. The screens should cost less than $20 each. You need screens enough larger than the image to pool the ink on both ends. Larger is still okay, but too small won’t cut it. Get some premix polymerized photoemulsion. I like the kind for use with epoxy ink because it lasts longer. Also get some photo emulsion remover for cleaning dried screens. Here’s the money saver. For the squeegee, go to Home Depot and buy a window squeegee two inches narrower than the inside of your screen frame. After you get hooked on screening you can buy a real squeegee. Buy a couple of narrower window squeegees for applying photo emulsion. Buy velum from a local drafting supply store, and print your autopositives on it. For burning screens, I’m going to have to contradict some advice given above. I burn my screens with 2 two-tube shop lights placed about 4 inches above the screen. The secret to clean image edges is to place the printed side of the autopositive directly against the back of the screen, and cover it with a pane of glass to hold it close against the screen. The professional method is to turn the whole system over. Pros place the autopos right-side-up on a light box platten, and place the screen right-side-up over that, then cover the screen with an opaque weight. My combination of lights and photo emulsion works best with a 5 minute exposure. You’ll have to experiment.

noodles, when you say two tube shop lights, i’m assuming a couple of four foot shop lights, correct? how do you suspend them? my exposure time is much longer with the regular bulb, more like 45 minutes. works well, just time consuming. thanks for the input.

allen: “when you say two tube shop lights, i’m assuming a couple of four foot shop lights, correct? how do you suspend them? my exposure time is much longer with the regular bulb, more like 45 minutes. works well, just time consuming. thanks for the input.” allen, Yeah, a couple of two-tube, 4 ft shop lights. I think most of the commercially available photo emulsion responds better to shorter wavelengths. The higher light intensity of flourescent also speeds things up. One of the biggest enemies is ambient light, and heat is a form of light. The shorter the exposure time, the less danger of incidental exposure. I put four hooks in the ceiling, and suspend each of the ends from chains. I put a carabiner half way up each chain as a hook to shorten the chain for working. This is the setup I have for glassing. I expose screen on my shaping racks. If you do it this way make sure you don’t have shiny surfaces below the exposing screen. they will reflect light back onto photo emulsion which you don’t want exposed. The professional light boxes (inverting the process) allow you to weight the image with an opaque flexible weight which blocks the front side of the screen (opposite the autopositive) from ambient light exposure. The better large pro setups stretch screen over stretchable frames. They expose the screens with UV light and permanent photo emulsion, like a water rinseable Suncure. After printing they remove and clean the screen and store it in case the customer wants another run of the same image. The stretchable frames are expensive, but in this application they save money through reuse.

Thanks for all the technical replies everybody. After all is said and done, I’m probably just going to payout the cash and get a silkscreen shop to do a small run of shirts for me. I’ll keep it to just two colors, and get my logo on the back and on the front pocket area. Thanks again, I learned a lot!

i got some t shirts done from not bad cost if you cant find anyone in your area.

That place looks great. Just hope they have decent quality and prices. In the mean time, I found and used “Epson” T-shirt iron-on transfer paper with ok results. It may only last a couple washes, unlike a real silk screened shirt. Thanks again.

Howzit Grant, A little trick for washing t-shirts with iron ons is to turn the shirt inside out when washing and drying. I’ve got some t-s that are at least 2 years old,get worn and washed regularly and have held up pretty good, don’t wash with hot water, only warm. Aloha, Kokua