All posts in Heat Transfer

Heat Transfer for T-Shirts

Materials

With the aid of modern technology, it is now very easy and simple to design your own t-shirt or other clothing. There are various methods you can use like screen printing, custom embroidery, and heat transfer. However wanting personalized design for your garments does not have to be expensive. There are companies who can to just what you want! But anyway, it would be nice to know more about the processes before trying one of the methods. Heat transfer is the subject for now.
Heat transfer is such a time saver and a much cheaper process. Companies and businessmen are opting for this as a way to make more profits in the long run. Here are the materials being used in heat transfer printing and how they work.

Inkjet

This is often used by giant industries. It works for light and dark colored fabric. For the light ones, inkjet heat transfer paper is transparent where white cannot be printed. For dark color designs, the image is being placed on the background before being printed. The paper is white in color and you don’t need to flip it horizontally.

Dye Sublimation

This method of heat transfer printing is slowly gaining popularity in the industry. A dye sublimation printer is being used on polymer coated substrates. The substrate can be some light colored material or it can just simply be white. The dye sublimation process is highly suggested for polymer and cotton mixed fabric. The polymer percentage must not be lower than 50%. This also works on microfiber fabric and nylon. Dye sublimation often gives the most amazing printing result. The finished design is very smooth and polished. You can’t even feel the print if you run your hands upon it. The ink being used is translucent and white fabric is the perfect compliment. Grey or ash fabric comes second best.

Heat transfer printing can be used on a variety of fabric on other surfaces where ordinary printing methods do not work. The only secret is to find the perfect compliments when it comes to substrate and colors. After that, you can expect the best printing result. This is very eco friendly and has a wide range of convenience.

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The Ins and Outs of Heat Press for T-Shirts

t shirt printing heat press machinePeople often choose heat press designs for T-shirts because they are quite cost-effective. They also tend to look good and last for relatively long periods of time. Yet, few people are familiar with what is actually involved when it comes to T-shirts and heat press designs. Let’s take a look at the process and give a little insight into what happens when you place your T-shirt order.

For starters, the end design depends on what type of heat press method is used, but if you just order a standard, one color T-shirt, for say a Little League team including a number and team logo or sponsor on the back, then the process is pretty straightforward.

Once your order is placed, the design team gets to work sizing and prepping the logo for printing. They will typically print them out on some sort of transfer paper, and more often than not, the transfers are then hand applied. This is simply due to the fact that with different team jerseys, the players have different numbers, as a result, they need to be hand applied in order to ensure they are sized properly, and centered correctly on the uniform.

Other things such as logo and sponsor placement can be placed automatically depending on the type of machine, however, sometimes it is easier to just hand apply the logo and sponsor information if the order is lower in number such as 20 or 30 shirts.

Once the transfers have been printed, they are placed on the shirt which is then placed on a machine that looks similar to an ironing board sometimes. This is not always the case as there are different forms of heat press machines, but more often than not, the shirt will be placed on the bottom part of the heat transfer or heat press machine, while the top plate will be applied to sandwich the transfer between the heat press and the fabric.

Typically, the transfer process occurs at about 350°, and the top plate is applied for about 10 to 15 seconds per transfer. Once the press is removed, the ink is permanently attached to the fabric and you have your T-shirt design.

Other forms of heat press techniques use different types of material to achieve textured looks. Different types of paper may be applied to the existing heat transfer and peeled off after the heat press is applied to achieve a distressed look. You can also use different types of ink to create different color tones at certain discharge points in the heat transfer process. These types of shirts will look quite vintage and are really neat. However, for Little League and other team uniforms, this is usually not necessary.

In the end, you can even add other sorts of things to heat press designs such as flocking, and other sorts of textured inks to increase the thickness and overall feel of the shirt. Due to their versatility, and efficiency, heat press machines have become a mainstay in the industry and a necessity in the marketplace. They are a great tool and quite useful during sports season. Thankfully, because of sports, it looks like they are here to stay.

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Heat Transfer vs. Screen Printing

So you have a corporate event coming up and you are getting T-shirts printed up to use as giveaways. There is always that nagging question in the back of your head when it comes to this part of the project, “Should I go with shirts that use heat transfer or should I opt for screen printed ones instead?”

T shirt printingBefore you decide on going with one versus the other, there are a couple of other things you should keep in mind.

 Things to Consider

Durability

Overall, screen printed shirts tend to last longer than shirts that were created with heat transfer. This is simply because of how the screen printing process works. Heat transfer designs are actually preprinted on a very specific paper and then transferred to the shirt via a heat press. Over time, the colors tend to fade and will wash out in the laundry.

The silkscreen process is completely different. This method applies different colors of ink directly to the material in layers. Each layer is screened onto the shirt. The ink sticks, or bonds, to the shirt fibers. This stands up to washing a lot better than shirts that are made utilizing heat transfers. It will still degrade over time, all shirts do, but you will certainly notice that you get longer use out of your screen printed t-shirt than you do from one that was made using a heat transfer press.

Yet in the end, the decision is totally up to you. If your event does not require a spectacularly formal presentation then heat transfer might be your best option. Your embroidery shop will be able to point you toward the best option. Consult with them, they are your best resource.

Shirt Color

This is something you might not have even considered, but shirt color is a factor, particularly when it comes to heat transfer designs. If you’re using a light-colored T-shirt, then your heat transferred design probably will not be too noticeable. Yet, if you are using a dark shirt then the edges of your heat transfer design may be more noticeable. This might not be a factor for you but is definitely information you need to be aware of. Your print shop can give you color suggestions if you decide to go the heat transfer route.

Quantity

Finally, you need to decide on a quantity before you make your purchase. Often times, companies will only do a run of screen printed shirts if you commit to order 25 or more. Just ask your printer what the requirements are before you place your order. Heat transfer shirts are able to be printed in limited quantities because each transfer is printed individually. With the screen printing process, the screens are set up with your design and your color choices for ink. Therefore, the printer wants to make sure that setting up a screen print will be worth their while before they commit to your order.

Those are just a few things to keep in mind before placing your order. Again, talk with your embroidery/print shop and they will guide you towards the product choices and processes that best suit your needs. In the end, they will be able to provide a product to you that is economical, efficient, and looks great.

Contact us today for questions on your next order and we’ll be happy to provide a free quote at no obligation.

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Choosing Between Heat Transfer and Screen Printing

If you have ever considered having a design added to a t-shirt or sweatshirt, you probably had to come up with an answer to the question of which type of process to use. Believe it or not, there is more than one way to create custom t-shirts that look great, and will last for longer than one wash. Two popular methods are heat transfer and screen printing- both of which we provide at our shop in Lake Forest, CA.

Heat Transfer

The heat transfer process is a high quality method of applying multi-color designs to a variety of fabrics. Heat transferring uses a specialized printer combined with a heat press to apply almost any image. This is not a new process by any means; you may have remembered the iron-on transfers of the past. Professional heat transferring uses a similar process to transfer images that won’t fade or crack off after a few washes.

Heat transferring can be used on a wide selection of fabrics, including cotton, spandex, polyester and lycra. We use this type of application to apply sports lettering to jerseys, but it can also be used to add your personal photos to an apparel item of your choice. The heat transfer process is very quick and can be done on a piece by piece basis.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is an ancient art that has only gotten better with time. Screen printing is used to apply a standard image to multiple items. It used to be known as silk screening, because it involved using a special screen (made of silk) to apply the design. Nowadays, the design is created on computers and transmitted via lasers to a distinctly designed screen. It is no longer referred to as silk-screening because the screens are no longer made out of silk.

Technical advances in screen printing have made it easy and affordable for more people to use this type of process. To create your customized apparel, simply create a computerized vector image that will be transferred to a screen. Don’t have the software for that? It’s okay our graphic design services can create a unique design for you; or if you have existing images that need to be converted to the proper format we can do that too! Once the screen has been created, it can be used indefinitely to transfer the image to the necessary fabrics.

Because the process is so involved, screen printing is best suited for customizing large amounts of apparel. It also means that it is not the quickest way to purchase custom t-shirts. For that reason, many people decide to use heat transferring. However, if you know that you may need additional applications in the future, creating a custom screen through screen printing ensures that your items all have the exact same design.

Regardless of whether you choose to use heat transfer or screen printing, you will receive the best quality and service by working with Name of the Game Embroidery. We provide custom embroidery, screen printing and heat transferring for Lake Forest and surrounding areas of Orange County.
Contact us today for a quote on your custom apparel needs.

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