What is Vinyl Heat Transfer Printing?
Vinyl Heat Transfer is done with the custom design being printed onto a special vinyl paper. The design is then cut and weeded (and place atop the t-shirt). What happens next is then as the name suggests, heat is applied in order to transfer the image from the vinyl paper onto the t-shirt. This method is also mainly used by heat transfer printing method.
1) Process of Vinyl Heat Transfer
The process of vinyl heat transfer is a fairly straightforward one. As briefly mentioned earlier, it involves the pressing of a design onto a t-shirt using a special vinyl paper. This method allows for each names or numbers to be printed without the use of any blocks, such as those used in silkscreen printing. To simplify it for you, these are the steps in the process of vinyl heat transfer:
- Create your design.
- Printing the design onto vinyl paper.
- Do the necessary cutting and weeding for any bits of the design that you do not wish to have on the t-shirt.
- Place vinyl paper on top of the t-shirt.
- With the use of a heat press, apply heat and pressure to transfer the design from vinyl paper onto the t-shirt.
- Voila! You have your customized t-shirt!
Creating and printing your design
The first step to any t-shirt printing is without a doubt, creating your design. This can be done on programs like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Generally speaking, the artwork format produced using these programs is a vector format.
Vectors are designed in lines. Compared to pixels that you find in a jpeg image, vectors are much clearer and sharper. For example, if you zoomed in on a jpeg picture, it may appear pixelated. On the other hand, vectors remain clear and sharp!
An important part of creating the design is also plotting the areas that need to be cut by the cutter. The idea is that the design that is going to be printed on the vinyl needs to be cut out. This is to ensure that unnecessary background vinyl is not also printed on the t-shirt. Once the areas are carefully plotted, the design can be sent for printing.
For more specific designs, or for designs with finer details, excess vinyl may need to be weeded by hand. This can often be a time-consuming process. And of course, this is also a crucial reason why vinyl printing is more often than not, used for letting and simple designs.
Once the printing and weeding are done, peel the rest of the excess vinyl off and leaving only the design left.
Pressing the Design
Now that the design is ready, the next step is simply to use a heat press to transfer the design from the vinyl paper onto the t-shirt.
- First, make sure that the side you want printed is facing up.
- Next, the design should be placed face-down on top of the t-shirt.
- Cover the design with either a Teflon sheet or another comparable layer.
- This is so as to ensure that heat is evenly distributed throughout the design. More importantly, it is also used to avoid any vinyl sticking to the press.
- Put the necessary settings on for the heat press. Depending on the vinyl material, the time, temperature and pressure settings for the heat press will vary.
- Once the heat press is applied for the relevant time, open the heat press and the design should be done and beautifully transferred onto the t-shirt.
If you’d like to learn more or visualize how vinyl heat transfer printing works, check out the video below!
2) Advantages and Disadvantages
To help you make a better choice when deciding on the type of t-shirt printing services, we have also come up with some advantages and disadvantages of vinyl heat transfer printing.
- Allows customization of each apparel with individidual names and numbers.
- Comfortable and durable – when properly applied, heat transfer vinyl may outlast life of the t-shirt.
- Soft finish.
- Color gradients cannot be achieved. To do this, check out Digital heat transfer printing or DTG printing.
- This method of printing is only capable of printing individual names and numbers. For printing of custom designs onto your apparels, you can use silk screen printing or embroidery method.
3) Vinyl Heat Transfer Printing can be used on the following Products from our T-Shirt Printing catalogue.
4) Recommendations by MEOWPRINT
Vinyl Transfer printing is recommended for a group customization who are looking to print individual names or numbers on the apparels. For example, a sports team who needs individual players name and numbers at the back for their team jersey. You can create custom team jersey by using our custom-made services or sublimation printing.