Heat Transfer: How, What and Why
Brad Nichols, Art Director for Insta Graphic Systems (Booth 3172) reviewed the advantages and applications of heat transfer printing in a well attended workshop on October 11.
Nichols described the main advantages of the process as follows:
- Heat transfer is an “on demand” method in that the transfer sheets can be stored so that the substrates may be ordered and printed as needed.
- Inks, applied one color at a time, can be spot or process. Special-effects transfer papers can create gloss, matte and textured appearances.
- Gang-running multiple images on sheet saves setup time and cost.
- Gang-running can be especially cost-effective when the images have colors in common.
- Heat-transferred images can be applied over zippers, seams and other irregular garment surfaces that are difficult for screen printing to cover.
- The process is VOC-free. Nichols also offered tips for working successfully with heat transfer:
- The heat press should apply heat and pressure evenly.
- Minimize scorching by masking sensitive image areas with a protective material or by switching to a smaller heat platen in the press.
- It’s important for customers to supply correctly sized artwork that will fit the dimensions of the transfer sheet.
- Because heat transfer is not a direct-impression method, customers should avoid designing with tiny type that the process may have trouble holding.
- When gang running, images shouldn’t be so closely “nested” that the individual sections will be difficult to separate after the sheet is printed.