Screen Printing vs. Heat Transfer

Updated: Jun 17

Great! You have a design in mind and you're ready to get started with the ordering process. Once you get on the phone or email to get the design approved, you'll most likely be asked this question: "Are you looking to do a Screen Print or Heat Transfer?" If you don't know the difference, the contact will go over the different options with you. However, knowing this information beforehand may help you feel more secure with your choices during the ordering stage.


Screen Printing

This method is dated back to 940 A.D. during the Song Dynasty. A technique that uses screens to transfer ink onto an item. Think of it like ink being pressed over a mesh stencil to produce a finished design on fabric material.


What makes it different from the other option is that it takes multiple screens to produce a multi-color design. If your design includes two or more colors, more screens are going to be needed and the production may become a little more pricey. Keep in mind that this process is cost effective when ordering in larger quantities.



Heat Transfer

This method combines both heat and pressure. Self explanatory, right? However, if this seems so simple, why are you confused on which process to choose from? Exactly, let's help you with that. Heat Transfers take the design you want from paper and presses it (with high heat) to the item usually using either solvent ink or a screen printed transfer.


Solvent ink adds protection from water and scratches, and can last pretty long. It tends to be used more for designs that have a lot of colors and details (such as pictures of complicated art). Screen printed transfers are often used to go on items that don't do well under high heat like the dryer, or garments that do not fit on a standard pallet. It is suggested that two-ply material such as jackets, mesh shorts, and most bags use a print transfer for the best picture outcome. There are also vinyl transfers, that are used for things like names and numbers on jerseys. Our screen printed transfers also last about as long as our screen printing design.

This option is best used for sportswear such as sport bras, running shorts, jerseys, etc.





#screenprinting #heattransfer

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Noblesville, IN  46060

317-773-8532

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