Where & Why To Use Custom Heat Transfers

Custom Heat Transfers is a somewhat meaningless phrase; especially if viewed out of context; so let’s try to clarify what is meant here. The transfer is the act of transferring artwork; that has been reverse printed (mirror image), in special inks, onto a specially processed material that will allow the inks to be released from the backing material under the effects of simultaneous heat and pressure; the aim being to transfer the inks onto another material’s surface (where the design will appear the correct way around and will be fixed, as permanently as possible, in its new position on the other material). The use of the word “custom” at the beginning of the phrase implies that the design on these Custom Heat Transfers is unique to the person who has commissioned the work and probably relates to something of particular importance to that person.

In Other Words, We Are Talking About Printing

But, not the printing of books, newspapers, magazines, etc; in fact, Custom Heat Transfers will rarely, if ever, be printed on paper. The main advantage is that the transfers are not all that expensive to produce and applying a unique design by transfer avoids the high setting up costs associated with other printing methods– note: each transfer can only be used once. While the technique itself could be used for placing (say) your photograph on things like coffee mugs; most Custom Heat Transfers are specifically produced for people wanting to place unique designs onto textile materials.

Specifically Printing On To Fabrics

Since the dimensions of these transfers is, usually, restricted to images that are no larger than 18 inches x 24 inches; the method would be fine for flags, pennants; but probably not awnings. Additionally, this printing method works best on cotton textiles; although it can be modified to suit mixed cotton/polyester fabrics down to 50% cotton; other materials are very much on a try it and see basis (or require different printing techniques).

Cotton T-Shirts In Particular

Because there is a high total demand (in small individual quantities) for custom designs on both T and polo shirts; this is where most of the Custom Heat Transfers are applied. More often than not; people desiring individual shirts that are unique to themselves will purchase transfers and do the application at home; however, this does require a once-off, small investment in a heat transfer press.

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