TRANSFER PRINTING

Transfer printing involves the process of using heat to press your design onto a garment. Each different type of transfer printing offers its own unique strengths meaning a wide range of your printing needs can be catered for.

PRO’S & CON’S OF TRANSFER PRINTING

PRO’S

  • Cost effective for even very small quantity runs.
  • Obscurely shaped and high plastic content garments can often be transfer printed more successfully than using other methods.
  • Artwork with intricate detail of very small text works can well with this method.
  • Individual names or orders including many different designs are often most cost effective using this method.

CON’S

  • Not advised for printing large surface areas with solid blocks of continuous imagery.
  • Artwork with edges that contains fine detail or that fade out may need a simpler cutline, so a solid background may need to be applied. This will be colour-matched to the garment but may still be noticeable, so it may be worth considering Direct to Garment for such designs instead.
  • Transfer print may prove not to be as durable as other methods.

TYPES OF TRANSFER PRINTING

Digital Transfer is the process of printing your design, in CMYK, onto a treated, transferrable vinyl via a specialist printer feed. This is then transferred onto the garment using a heat press. It is capable of printing full-colour complex artwork. To touch, the print feels a little like plastic, so it is not ideal for large continuous images (such as larger photographs), but still feels light and soft enough for text and smaller images. Larger images may work better when printed using Direct to Garment. As no screens are used in Digital Transfer, and therefore set-up costs are low, this method is ideal for printing small to medium quantity runs.
Litho Transfer printing is similar to Digital Transfer printing, in that it uses heat to press a full colour, CMYK image onto your garments, but it is initially printed onto a special paper rather than vinyl. This paper is removed once the transfer is complete, unlike digital printing, where the vinyl is actually part of the transfer itself. Litho transfers also produce richer colours than Digital Transfers. Set-up costs are higher for Litho Transfer, making it unsuitable for very short runs, but for long runs, Litho Transfer printing proves to be very cost-effective.
CAD-Cut transfer uses heat to apply an image or text of a single colour to your garments. It involves the use of pre-coloured material, so the process is cut-only, rather than actual printing. The colours available are of a limited range, so neither pantones nor CMYK specifications are possible. Different types of material are available, offering different levels of flexibilty and even texture or visual effect (e.g. flock, holographic etc.). This is a highly cost-effective method of decoration for small to medium quantity runs.
Screen Printed Transfer uses a powder version of pantone spot colour inks, which is then sandwiched between sheets of special paper, cut up and heat pressed onto the garment. It is capable of printing finer detail than screen printing, and has the benefit of using specified pantones, but is limited in the amount of colours that can be used per design. Ideally used for only single-colour prints, it is capable of more, but has the disadvantage of additional colours not lining up against one another in a 100% accurate position. Also, this method cannot be used to print any tonal variation or gradient. It is best suited to shorter runs.

At Direct Textiles we also offer a range of printed materials for promotional and practical use such a correx signs and banners. These products are very cost effective as temporary signage solutions as well as for longer term promotional use.

ARTWORK REQUIREMENTS & CONSTRAINTS

  • Vectored artwork is strongly advised, with all text outlined. For an explanation of what is meant by vectored artwork, please click HERE
  • Non-vector artwork needs to be provided in the highest resolution available, and saved at the required print size or larger.
  • Any linked images should be embedded into your artwork.
  • For Digital Transfer and CAD-Cut Transfer, all text must be a minimum of 6mm high in order to be able to cut around the letters.
  • Artwork ideally needs to be supplied pantoned for Screen Printed transfers. If this is not possible, our experienced art team will colour-match for you as closely as possible.