Nathan Newbury of TheMagicTouch demonstrates how T.One transfer paper offers decorators a new, speedy and cost-effective printing option
Earlier this year, TheMagicTouch (TMT) quietly introduced a new transfer paper, T.One, to its current TMT/Oki white-toner printer users. The customers were alerted to the new transfer paper when TMT sent them each a T-shirt decorated with a T.One print, and the response to this simple piece of marketing was phenomenal, reports the company’s head of technical, Nathan Newbury.
For the uninitiated, T.One is a ‘one-step’ coated paper that is used with the TMT/Oki white-toner printers to apply transfers to light coloured garments, with no residue, no cutting and no weeding. Until now, customers have been using the company’s best-selling paper, TTC; however, as well as transferring the design, this paper can also leave a faint residue where it has been in contact with the T-shirt. This residue may be hard to see – according to Nathan, many people don’t notice it at all – but for those creating T-shirts for premium end users, TTC doesn’t always quite cut it.
For customers aiming for top quality results, there is an alternative option – TMT’s WoW transfer system. This requires a few more steps than the “print it, heat press it, peel it off” TTC paper, and is more expensive, but it produces a first-class, residue-free image. While WoW is primarily aimed at those printing on dark and black garments because of its residue-free status, Nathan reports that many customers were telling the company that they were using WoW on light-coloured garments as well, specifically to avoid those unwanted residue marks.
T.One neatly fills this gap in the market by allowing decorators to simply print off the design, heat press it to the shirt then peel it off. “Because it only sticks where the toner is – that is, where the image is – there’s no residue around it,” explains Nathan. “It looks perfect. It’s like the holy grail. It’s what our customers wanted. When we speak to customers using WoW – which is brilliant and a better paper than T.One, no doubt about that, but also more expensive and with more work involved – 50% of the time they’re using it to print on to white and light-coloured shirts because they don’t want to see the residue around the outside. But all of a sudden we’ve given them a solution that’s cheaper, quicker and easier to use. It’s a no brainer.”
While the idea for T.One has been around for nearly ten years, says Nathan, it needed the combination of the right software, the right printer and the right paper for it to become a reality. “What makes it different is the white toner,” explains Nathan. “It only works where there’s toner present, so if you had a gradient, you might get areas where there is only 20% colour. For T.One to work, you need at least 60% coverage. The Space Control software that comes with the TMT/Oki printer adds white in those areas, so it’s not noticeable, but because there is toner in those areas it prints and works perfectly.”
T.One can be used to print on cotton, polyester, denim, polypongee and most performance fabrics. The heat press application temperature can be as low as 140°C, which is great for sensitive fabrics, and the transfer is then sealed using a silicon sheet.
Since the soft launch of T.One, TMT has noted that some treated cottons do not print as well as other fabrics – not just with T.One, but with most types of print, including DTG and screen: the company is working closely with the garment manufacturers on this to produce the ultimate, soft-feel printable garments that will allow printers to realise the full potential of the T.One system.
The perfect foil
Also new is T.Foil, which is applied direct to the printed T.One transfers. “T.Foil will really change the whole world of transfers,” says Nathan. “Again, the idea of foil has been around for a long time, whereby the toner is printed and heat applied to it, so the foil sticks to the toner. We could do that 15 years ago, but the problem was it would wash off because the only way we could do it was by sticking toner straight onto a shirt. When T.One was developed, we thought, ‘Hang on, foil will work on this’. And it does. You print an image in one colour, which our Space Control software does for you, turning it into the correct grey colour. You apply that with T.One to your shirt and then take our T.Foil and place it on top and heat press: it sticks only to the areas printed with T.One. Instead of taking an hour to cut and weed designs, I could take a highly complex design and in 30 seconds it’s done, on the shirt, in foil, finished.”
A key selling point of T.Foil is the fine detail that can be reproduced: this wouldn’t be possible when weeding a design, according to TMT.
The company introduced T.Foil to customers at the end of September in three colours, silver, gold and rainbow, with more shades to come soon, and an official launch scheduled for P&P Live! in February.