Digital Transfers are a decoration method where designs can be cad cut from vinyl or where full color, photo quality images are printed onto a specially coated transfer paper, film or printable vinyl and then heat applied to apparel or other items using a commercial heat press to create a permanent bond. As you will see below, when it comes to digital transfers there are numerous options for professional results.
Dye Sublimation This is a print method of applying an image to ceramics, metals and polyester fabric. Like most digital transfers, the image is printed onto a speacial transfer paper using sublimation inks and applied using a commercial heat press. Sublimation ink is unique in that it enters into the pores of the substrate and dyes it leaving a permanant image that will not crack, peel or fade.
This method produces photo quality results, but can only be used on white or very light pastel 100% polyester fabrics or hard items such as cermaics and metals that have a special coating applied.
Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV for short, is a specialty vinyl that can be used on certain fabrics and materials to create designs and promotional products. It comes in a roll or sheet form with an adhesive backing so it can be cut, weeded, and placed on a substrate for heat application. Heat transfer vinyl is made in single colors and also has special options such as patterned, glitter, flocked, holographic, glow-in-the-dark, reflective and 3D puff.
Heat transfer vinyl comes in single colors, in the specialty options listed above, in full-color pattern options, and in a printable version that must be used with solvent ink & a solvent printer. It is best used for simple designs with minimal colors since each individual color or pattern used in the design must be cut, weeded, and heat pressed. Certain heat transfer vinyl can be layered to form multi-colored designs. The more layers involved, the harder it is to match up each to achieve the end result.
Heat transfer vinyl is very durable and is used on products like sports jerseys, t-shirts, hats, koozies, tote bags and headbands.
Digital Heat Transfers use either eco-solv, inkjet or laser printers to print an image on specially coated transfer paper, transfer film or printable vinyl. Once printed, the image is applied to the substrate using a heat press. With the combination of heat and pressure the paper’s or vinyl's polymers attach the image to the substrate and creates a permanent bond. These types of transfers can be used on virtually any material or substrate and can also be used on any color, including black which may cause a problem for other printing methods.
Digital Heat Transfers produce beautiful, photo quality images with amazing detail that can't be matched using other methods and are a perfect choice for small orders or one of a kind designs because they can be produced quickly. With this print method, you can let your creative juices flow because the design posibilities are endless!
All of these different printing methods are a great choice and the perfect solution to a specific printing need. We use each of these printing methods daily to help bring our customers ideas to life. With so many choices the best method will usually be determined by the item you choose and artwork you provide.
No matter which method is needed or used to print, imPrint Genie has you coved!