Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with  your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss some the benefits of creating transfers for garments instead of printing directly on the garment.

Before I discuss why you should use transfers, let me tell you the options that are available to you. Traditionally transfers were screen printed on paper, then heat pressed onto the garment. Now with the versatility of inkjet printers, laser printers, cutters and specialty papers, transfers can now be created multiple ways.

There are 2 kinds of screen printed transfers, hot split and cold peel. Hot split transfers are peel off the garment as soon as the pressing is done. Cold peel are heat pressed, set aside until cooled, then the transfer peeled off the garment. The hot split transfer tends to have a softer feel than the cold peel transfer. Some of the ink will stay on the hot split transfer, while the ink comes completely off from the cold peel paper. Cold peel tends to be more opaque and stiffer than the otherThere are several options when it comes to digitally printed transfers.

There are sublimated transfers (ink turns to gas when press onto the garment), inkjet inks printed on paper for light or dark shirts and laser printers toner printed on special papers. Cost of equipment, supplies and substrates you want to print on will steer you to the proper type of printer.

And then there is cut material like vinyl and flocking that can be heat applied. Companies are coming out with new materials every year.

Reasons why you should consider doing transfers are as follows;

1- If you already have the screen print equipment, there is very little additional investment.

2- If the customer is going to order the same design in increments over a period of time, you can do all the printing at once. Then heat press onto garments as needed.

3-Special effects like glitter, puff or glow-in-the- dark may be easier to apply.

4-Names and numbers easier to apply.

5-Shorter runs can be more economical depending on which method used.

Great for test prints.

6-Depending on method and equipment used, they can be more space efficient.

7-Can control the heat while applying to garment. This is especially helpful when decorating heat sensitive garments.

There are several things you have to remember when creating artwork for transfers. Reverse the image. If more than one color, reverse the print or applying order. Beware of how fine a detail you can produce. Also beware that a large area of one or more color can be uncomfortable to wear. Use the right transfer for the right garment material.

There is much more information out there on each of these methods. Do your research. This information here is just to get you thinking about the possibilities. Get your creative juices going and have fun.

Until next month.

Cora Kromer

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