Slogan and logo enhanced T-shirts have lately emerged as the most comfortable way of making a powerful statement without uttering a word. Though popular through generations, there has been a recent influx of slogan T-shirts, making them ‘a must have’ for the upcoming season. Owing to the easy production process, the art of heat transfer printing is gaining popularity too. With unlimited possibilities on offer, heat transfer printing process has become a T-shirt wearer’s favourite and a manufacturer’s essential. Being able to cater to consumers in every segment and age, transfer paper printing is here to stay and will only get better and more powerful in future…
In the quest of finding identity for themselves, people lately have been making much customized choices. Be it through going back to their traditional roots, seeking purpose in life or expressing their inner voice through T-shirt which speaks your mind. This has inadvertently resulted in one major trend hitting the fashion scene this season, and that’s the slogan T-shirt. Everywhere you look, from the high street shops to street style fashionistas and bloggers alike, T-shirts are emblazoned with attention grabbing statements. Some are good jokes, some are classics, and a large number are attractive solely for the technique used to create them. Heat transfer paper printing is one technique which is becoming a staple with every garment manufacturer. Heat press transfer comes in numerous paper types to suit the imprint method used, and the product the imprint is transferred to. Traditional heat transfers are screen printed, but modern transfers can be printed by inkjets and laser printers using special papers. The basic function of all heat transfer papers is to ‘transfer’ the printed image onto an item by use of heat and pressure.
Traditional heat transfers are screen printed, but modern transfers can be printed by inkjets and laser printers using special papers. The basic function of all heat transfer papers is to “transfer” the printed image onto an item by use of heat and pressure.
Transfer paper should be used only with polyester-based fabrics, for the sole reason of the heat and ink retention science that goes into it. The process of decorating fabric is simple and eco-sustainable: a heat press is used to transfer the design from the paper to the fabric and it can be carried out without effluent production or any need for washing-off. Furthermore, different coloured fabrics have different requirements in terms of transfer paper selections. If transferring to a fabric that is white, ash grey or eggshell coloured, a regular heat transfer paper works fine. For anything other than those colours, one needs to use a transfer paper for dark fabrics, generally referred to as opaque papers. Opaque transfer papers are covered with a white background in order to have your image show up on dark fabric.
INDUSTRY’S TAKE ON THE HEAT TRANSFER TREND
Tajendra Chhada, MD, JV Digital Printing
We work parallel to the innate property of the transfer papers. We make personalized T-shirts with special personal touches setting them apart. We work with CVC (65% cotton + 35% polyester), TC (35% cotton + 65% polyester), 100% polyester and many other fabrics. The best property of transfer papers is its multi-faceted quality of suiting commodities for every age group.
Kamlesh Patel, Proprietor, Basic Visual ID Technologies
More manufacturers are committing to producing self-weeding transfer papers that deliver ‘screen print’ quality; while these papers may have some limitations, more digital decorators are turning to self-weeding papers over traditional solid-film transfers. But heat-applied vinyl material will continue to grow, as long as clients demand more customization.
Ujjal Biswas, Proprietor, Galaaxy
Digital transfers enable garment decorators to print on demand. For instance, not only do today’s heat transfer printers possess the ability to print one graphic every two seconds, they also create cost-effective and quality products on demand. This means that in an ever-competitive market, traditional garment decorators do not have to turn away small quantities or unusual orders. They can commit to the order with the surety of a quick and profitable turnaround.
The womenswear segment being the most experimental, one witnessed a wide range of transfer paper effects. Transparent print, where only a transparent, glossy or matt surface is imprinted in shape of the design of logo, metal print which is mostly in the shades of powdered silver and gold and many others. The design choices in this segment are very brand and icon oriented. Batman, superman logos, anime graphics, brand logos are amongst some keen choices in this segment. Coated leather like effect is also seen being achieved through wet heat transfer printing process using transfer papers. With VersaCAMM from Apsom Infotex, it’s easy to create graphics in unique custom shapes that add value and attraction.
Due to the increased requirement and changing lifestyle, producers are offering several colours and designs that attract kids. Transfer paper printing process is not only economical but is also very attractive. Many designers are focusing on creating patterns inspired by cartoons, fantasy in metallic, and foam/puff heat transfer printing. To cater to the engaging need of the kids and to add the fun element, patterns are mostly printed in iridescent effects giving dual tonality in colour. Flock transfer papers are also quite popular in this segment. Companies like A.T.E. and Cheran Machines offer heat transfer presses and digital fusing machines designed for flocking through transfer paper techniques.
T-shirts are a wardrobe essential and the male equivalent of a dress. With a number of designers offering variety of designs, some transfer papers have also got popular amongst this masculine segment. Staying true to their identity, graphic icons, superheroes and definite eye catching one-liners are getting well accepted. Light colours like pastels and white are being printed on dark backgrounds.