How To Print Neon Shirts With Fluorescent Toner Transfers

How to make Neon Shirts in Fluorescent with White Toner Printers

Customers are always looking for new styles and hot trends.  One of the trends that are topping the charts is the new white toner printers making super bright neon looking t-shirts.

Making neon shirts is a unique way to set your business apart. Many apparel decorators do not have the technology to produce neon (fluorescent) shirts, or the traditional ways to print these garments require too much cost and work upfront. Enter the DigitalHeat FX i550.

This fascinating little printer is the best way to make neon shirts that glow under a black light with fluorescent colors that pop.

What is the different between Fluorescent and Neon?

These words are often interchanged in the apparel world. When you make a “fluorescent shirt” or “neon shirt” it is more about producing a super bright effect, rather than using actual fluorescent or neon.

The difference is that neon and fluorescent lights are created by electrifying at high voltage specially formulated elemental gases like Neon and Argon, etc.  The colors that are emitted are amazingly bright and extremely eye-catching.

However, it’s not exactly practical to go around with high-voltage wires woven into your t-shirts, so we’ve had to develop something truly unique.  When it comes to making a shirt, we are talking about producing colors that reflect light it to appear like neon or fluorescent. This is typically done with white toner printers.  Let’s talk about how we do that.

What is the process of DigitalHeat FX?

We are talking about making t-shirt transfers here.  It’s where we print a graphic on a specific type of paper. The paper (Laser EX Peel), is designed to transfer the graphic from the paper onto the shirt.  It’s commercial grade quality, specifically designed for apparel shops.

The DigitalHeat FX i550 (one of the newest white toner printers) comes with a traditional toner set. This toner is designed for printing a large spectrum of traditional colors. The i550 uses CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) and White to create transfers that can go on light and dark colored garments. These transfers can be applied to cotton, polyester, and blended shirts. People also use these transfers for hats, bags, hoodies and hard surfaces.

How do You Print Neon (Fluorescent) Shirt Transfers?

The DigitalHeat FX i550 comes with toner cartridges that can be changed out. Out of the box, the system comes with traditional CMY&W toners. These produce a large color spectrum and use CMY to create a composite (combined) black.

When you’re ready to print Fluorescent, you simply swap over to a fluorescent toner set. This replaces the CMY with Fluorescent CMY. You can print neon shirts (fluorescent shirts) with the same EZ Peel Transfer Paper.  Other white toner printers don’t offer this option.

The process for creating the transfers to press on your plain blank t-shirts is the same; you are just using a different set of toners. Once you are done printing with the fluorescent, you swap the toners back. It takes only about a minute to swap from one toner set to another.

What are the steps to print neon shirts?

  1. Swap from standard toners to fluorescent toners
  2. Print on the transparent EZ peel paper (A) with your DigitalHeat FX i550, or other white toner printers we carry.
  3. Add the (B) adhesive paper with applying heat for 2 minutes on a heat press.
  4. Peel away the B paper from the A to have a completed transfer.
  5. Trim away the edges or cut out your designs to prepare for shirt adhesion.
  6. Place your shirt and transfer on your heat press.
  7. Heat press for 30 seconds.
  8. Let the shirt and transfer cool for a ‘cold ’
  9. Do one final press to ‘finish’ the shirt

Now your Neon Shirts are done. The next step is to take them over to a black light and watch the shirt transform colors.

Tips and Tricks

  • Run test prints to achieve the right color of neon desired.
  • Light colors appear more bright under a black light; dark colors become more subdued in the black light.
  • Play with contrasting colors in your designs; this can almost provide a look that makes the design seem to pop right off the shirt.
  • Leave negative space in your designs. Have places where the shirt and design mix together. The contrast makes the design look at one with the shirt.
  • Set up a “Blacklight Box” in your shop. This is a five-sided box painted black inside, with a good quality black light inside. You can use this to test and display your neon shirts.
  • Have fun with this stuff and offer it to your customers. You might be the only person in your area selling Neon Shirts or Fluorescent shirts.
  • Talk to a pro today about how to print neon shirts and all of the amazing things the DigitalHeat FX system can produce.

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