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NeW to ScREen PrINtinG....PleASe HeLP!!

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Old April 22nd, 2010, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
apparelprincess apparelprincess is offline
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Question NeW to ScREen PrINtinG....PleASe HeLP!!

HEY YA'LL!!

I am starting a screen printing business. I know there are daily post pleading for advice and suggestions but PlEAse pLEasE help out a SoUTherN BEllE!! lol

I have been researching this industry for months and months. I'm at a stand still struggling with several important questions such as:

1-What is the best manual machine for the money? Im by no means trying to start out big but I also do not want to waste good money on shotty equipment that will only hender my work flow and quality.

2-What all do I absolutely NeEd to get started? I know there are "packages" out there for start-ups but some I think contain unnecessary items.

3-Is used equipment ever a good idea? I've talked to a few people that have had really bad experiences. However, I do know you can get high priced equipment at good price if its used. Is it worth the risk?

4-I have not been to a trade show yet. Is is a good idea to attend one before I purchase equipment?


My plan is to print my own designs and offer printing services to local schools, organizations, etc...so I need good equipment. This isnt for hobby printing. (Eventhough I will really enjoy it

I ask tons of questions I know but my DaD always told me asking questions makes you smart! hAhA! But seriously the more information I have the better decision I can make obviously. I have received conflicting information from different sales reps and different screen printers. I need unbiased opinions. I would like all aspects of advice and am open to listen.

Thanks for your time!!
ApPaREl PRinCess
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 06:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
wickedcool wickedcool is offline
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Default Re: NeW to ScREen PrINtinG....PleASe HeLP!!

Let me tell you real quick about our experience. My brother and I decided to start a clothing line last year. The best thing we did was go to the Long Beach Screen Printing trade show. There, we met a local screen printer that offered lessons. And our first lesson was for him to help make suggestions for us to buy equipment that was in our budget, but also good quality. We started by buying used equipment on Craigslist and Ebay. He even went to some of the places with us to check out equipment to make sure we weren't getting taken.

Then, when we had assembled our shop, as part of our lessons with him, he came over and showed us how to use all of our own equipment. That way, we didn't buy stuff we didn't need. We told him what we wanted to do, and he helped us get all the right stuff to get the job done.

We started out with hand presses and things that we could afford at first, and now we've grown that into 3 automatics and a fully furnished shop.

The absolute must haves include an exposure table, a film positive, a screen, a scoop coater, emulsion, a squeegee and some ink.

DO NOT buy a home made exposure table from someone that made one. While it may work for them, there's a lot of really technical things that go into burning a good screen, and the exposure table is the best place to start. Plan to spend $300-$600 for a good starter one. People will say you can use the sun, but someone just starting doesn't want to use the sun. That's something that an experienced printer could do as a last resort in a pinch.

Screen printing is rough the first few months. There are 500 steps to making a good screen print. Get a good local teacher is the best advice I can give. You will save yourself a lot of $$$ and a lot of headaches.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
JuBilee JuBilee is offline
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Default Re: NeW to ScREen PrINtinG....PleASe HeLP!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by apparelprincess
HEY YA'LL!!

I am starting a screen printing business. I know there are daily post pleading for advice and suggestions but PlEAse pLEasE help out a SoUTherN BEllE!! lol

I have been researching this industry for months and months. I'm at a stand still struggling with several important questions such as:

1-What is the best manual machine for the money? Im by no means trying to start out big but I also do not want to waste good money on shotty equipment that will only hender my work flow and quality.

2-What all do I absolutely NeEd to get started? I know there are "packages" out there for start-ups but some I think contain unnecessary items.

3-Is used equipment ever a good idea? I've talked to a few people that have had really bad experiences. However, I do know you can get high priced equipment at good price if its used. Is it worth the risk?

4-I have not been to a trade show yet. Is is a good idea to attend one before I purchase equipment?


My plan is to print my own designs and offer printing services to local schools, organizations, etc...so I need good equipment. This isnt for hobby printing. (Eventhough I will really enjoy it

I ask tons of questions I know but my DaD always told me asking questions makes you smart! hAhA! But seriously the more information I have the better decision I can make obviously. I have received conflicting information from different sales reps and different screen printers. I need unbiased opinions. I would like all aspects of advice and am open to listen.

Thanks for your time!!
ApPaREl PRinCess
I would recommend starting with #4. Go to a show. You can see all the equipment manufacturers and all the stuff they have and see which equipment might suit you better than another. I would also recommend finding a distributor near you and asking them if they have used equipment. I have purchased used equipment before and it turned out well for me. My first embroidery machine was a factory refurb and it still works like it did when I got it. If you buy used from an individual, you get what you get. If you buy used from a distributor or manufacturer, you will get better service in the long run because they want you to come back and buy new stuff later.

A lot of the other questions you have can be answered at a trade show. As well as the many more you will think of when you get there.

I'm not sure when the Atlanta show is, but I've been there a couple of times. Would be a good one to hit or the Orlando show in the winter.

I would also like to say that the exposure unit is a VERY important part of the process. That being said, my shop is in it's 20th year and we still use the same exposure unit that my grandfather made us before we opened. Homemade can work (and does) if it's done right.
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Celebrating 20+ years in business!!!!!

If you have any questions, feel free to pm, email, or call me.
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