Heat transfer printing method involves using a heat press machine to essentially melt a design onto a t-shirt. Heat transfer printing is a very popular choice for younger entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who may find the heat press and materials to be much more cost-effective than other methods.
First, a design is digitally printed on a special heat transfer paper, which is commonly known as a transfer vinyl. The heat transfer vinyl is then placed on top of the t-shirt and a heat press used to press or “melt” the design from the vinyl onto the t-shirt permanently.
One of the best advantages of the heat transfer t-shirt printing method is that it is very cost-efficient to use, regardless of order volume. It also requires very little maintenance unlike in screen printing, where the machinery requires a great deal of cleaning and upkeep.
Contrary to popular belief, heat transfer can result in high-quality t-shirt prints. This, of course, depends on the quality of the machine, ink, and method used. There are a few subcategories of heat transfer (such as dye sublimation and plastisol transfer), which each vary in implication and quality. Plastisol transfer, however, is the most popular of them all.