A quick guide to vinyl heat transfer
Vinyl transfer film is perfect for printing onto light or dark colour garments including t-shirts, waterproof jackets, caps, bags and safety wear. If you require individual names, initials or numbers applied to your clothing, vinyl heat transfer is the ideal choice for printing single or two colour designs.
Vinyl film is incredibly versatile, easy to apply and is available in a wide range of colours and a number of finishes including flock, fluorescent, metallic and glitter effects which are also suited for other applications.
Plotting the artwork
The heat transfer printing process starts by connecting a computer to a plotter used to cut vinyl via special software. A small rotating blade in the plotter traces the design and cuts to the depth of the clear backing, not all the way through the film.
Cutting out the design
Once the plotter has finished its job of cutting the design into the vinyl transfer film the cut-out has to have any unwanted sections removed, usually manually using tweezers and a fine tipped blade to pick or 'weed' out the superfluous sections of vinyl leaving behind the material to be fixed as the design.
Heat pressing the transfer
The cut-outs are then placed on top of the textile or garment, a backing material is placed over the top of this to prevent overheating and then a heat press is used to bond the vinyl design onto the fabric underneath with a combination of fairly high pressure and heated pads. The result is the vinyl design remains on the garment.
The finished article
The end product has some desirable traits which can make it a good choice for your garment decoration: Clean and sharp edges make the design stand out. Colours can be very bright and vibrant and the variety of visual and textural effects available can make your finished clothing look truly unique.
If you require individual names, initials or numbers printed onto your clothing see the chart below for pricing. There are no setup costs involved, however vinyl transfer printing is more suited to short runs as the price per garment can be more expensive due to the production process.
Custom thermal transfer garment prices are based on:
- Type of garment to be printed
- Total quantity of garments
- The number of print locations
|Vinyl transfer pricing table |
|Type of Transfer ||Cost (£) |
|Individual initials ||£1.60 |
|Individual small names ||£1.85 |
|Small numbers ||£1.95 |
|Name on back of shirt ||£2.50 |
|Number on back of shirt ||£2.85 |
|Name & number on back of shirt ||£5.00 |
|Price shown per garment. |
Printing in white on dark garments (WoW 7.7)
WoW transfer paper provides a way of transfer printing white graphics and text, alongside vibrant colours onto darker garments and textiles. It has a softer finish, more akin to the screen printing process and is capable of producing complex designs with outstanding graphics quality.
It is not restricted to particular fabric types such as cotton or polyester and can be applied to more exotic materials such as phone cases, wood and leather, expanding the mediums that you can have customised with your own designs!
Textile transfer paper (TTC 3.1)
Textile transfer paper is perfect for printing short-run full colour transfers onto white or pastel coloured fabrics including sweatshirts, pique fabrics, canvas even other materials such as mouse mats and umbrellas. The design is printed onto a special A4+ paper using a high quality laser printer then bonded straight to the garment using a standard heat press.
TTC transfers are easy to apply and produce a durable finished product with a soft feel. The manufacturers recommend washing at 60 degrees centigrade although we suggest an inside-out wash at 40 degrees centigrade to improve the durability of the decoration and for an extended lifetime of the finished garment.
What are plastisol heat transfers?
Plastisol transfers are created by screen printing your designs onto heat transfer (release) paper instead of printing directly onto your garments. These sheets of prepared films can then be stored and transferred onto your clothing on demand using a standard heat press.
Plastisol heat transfers, as general rule have a shelf life of a minimum of twelve months (one year) and usually far longer than this provided the stock is stored in a stable temperature with a low humidity level. This makes them suitable for jobs where quantities may depend on sales or where the total quantity of prints required is unknown.
Benefits of plastisol transfers
If you need to frequently reprint your designs in small quantities, then plastisol heat transfers can be one of the cost effective decoration methods. There are other benefits to using this method of clothing printing, including:
- Versatile application onto almost any garment
- Durable, professional quality finish
- Speciality printing techniques can be implemented
- Fast turn around times