In the T-shirt printing business, there are a lot of methods to achieve custom T-shirt printing. Coming up with various T-shirt designs in different finishes that are of high quality is made possible by making use of different materials like silk screens and fabric paint, acrylic paint, spray paint or airbrushes, and even heat-transfer materials.
Heat transfer vinyl is one of the more commercialized methods used for custom T-shirt printing. Unlike silk screens and spray paints which can be bought at craft stores and used for DIY projects at home, heat transfer vinyl is a bit more special and requires special equipment as well.
This material comes in many different kinds including but not limited to:
- Matte finish
- Glow in the dark
They are usually sold in rolls which is why they are almost always used for commercial custom T-shirt printing purposes since the materials are available in bulk quantities.
Equipment Used with Heat Transfer Vinyl
This material for customized prints needs an even heat source for high-quality finishes. Some products are described as iron-ons which can be transferred using an iron as the main heat source, but for commercial purposes, a heat transfer machine is what is commonly used. This machine has a broad flat surface which will heat the shirt up with just the right amount of temperature. They have control panels for temperature and heat duration as well to avoid burning. For successfully cutting out designs, a special printer is used for transferring digital designs onto the vinyl sheet and this digitally printed design will then be cut using a cutting plotter. Together, these pieces of equipment can bring custom designs to life!
Benefits of Using Heat Transfer Vinyl
Despite being accessible only in bulk and commercial purposes, there are several benefits of using heat transfer vinyl especially when it comes to commercial T-shirt printing purposes. Here are some of the top benefits:
- A wide array of colors – Vinyl sheets come in a wide array of colors ranging from the basic ones which pop out against white, or more exciting neons and bright colors. Some may even have custom prints, patterns, or color variations.
- Special finishes – As previously mentioned, there are special finishes like matte, glossy, glittery, or even glow in the dark which make the custom-printed shirt even more special and eye catching.
- Durable quality – When properly transferred with the right amount of heat and pressing, the vinyl design will last a long time. The adhesive material bonds well with the shirt and even after several washings, it won’t be removed. It may crack over time, but this usually happens when the shirt is already very old.
- Promotes efficiency – Since the process is mostly digital, and with the modern equipment for cutting and pattern transfer, the process is ideal for commercial t-shirt printing purposes. They also have a highly professional appeal once the finished product has been completed.
These great benefits make vinyl a great material for t-shirt prints. Have you ever seen heat transfer vinyl on shirts? How do you like their overall look and quality?