Part I - What is Heat Transfer Printing?
In past few years, heat transfer printing were mainly used in the printing of novelty items, such as polyester tops and t-shirts. But today heat transfer printing has gained significant importance and favor in several industries especially in the personalised gift industry as an alternative for printing more unique personalised gifts with no MOQ.
If we take T-shirt printing as example, printing T-shirt with heat tranfer printing can be generally classified into three categories:
1. Sublimation Printing:
Applicable on dryfit, microfiber, jersey, polyester, quick dry T-Shirt and coated surface materials such as coated mugs, coated plates etc. Sublimation printing uses sublimation ink & sublimation paper in the printing process.
It transfers sublimation inks on the fabric through high temperature & pressure in 1 minute. Sublimation T-shirt normally will leave a permanent, vivid image with a soft-to-the-hand feel.
2. Transfer Printing:
Applicable on any fabrics such as cotton tee, polyester tee, cap etc in any colours. Transfer printing uses pigment ink and transfer paper in printing process.
There are two types of transfer papers which are light-based for white colour T-shirt and dark-based for colour T-shirt. We use original transfer paper (ATT brand) from USA for better printing quality.
3. Vinyl Printing:
Applicable on vinyl transfer films such as Flock, PU, Glitter, Glow in Dark, Reflective & Hologram materials. Vinyl printing is limited to one color printing.
The artwork is designed in software, then the outline is to be sent to a vinyl cutter or plotter to cut. After cutting, we remove the unwanted vinyl from original vinyl transfer film, then it is ready to be heaten to your fabric.