The importance of transfer printing in any personalising business

Printing with laser transfer paper gives you one of the most flexible additions to any business involved in designs or lettering to most garments and substrates. Managing director of Amaya Sales UK, Peter Wright, explains.

Whether you want to print on to T shirts, ceramics, metal, nylon, wood, paper etc. there is a transfer paper suitable for nearly any application.

The transfer paper is printed using either a white toner printer such as the OKI A3 Pro 8432WT or the OKI A4 Pro7411WT for full colour printing on to dark garments. A standard black laser printer can be used for single colour printing on to dark product or a CMYK laser printer for full colour printing on to light garments or products.

Amazing developments have been made in both application and the print quality over the last few years. It now gives excellent quality printing with fine detail and very good wash ability. For perfect results, a good heat press is essential, preferably a press that hovers with either a swing or drawer design.

In the industry, there are a few manufacturers of transfer paper, but in my opinion there are two main ones. These two companies offer a similar range of products but with different ways of application.

To give you an idea of which paper is used for, I have tried to outline below their uses:

  • Basic budget one paper system ideal for use on light coloured garments, mousepads, baseball caps, bags tec.
  • The next step up is again for white or light garments but suitable for more open weave products like polo shirts, jute bags etc.
  • There is a transparent paper that works with most laser CMYK printers and is self-weeding. Because it is self-weeding, it leaves no background on the unprinted areas. This is a premium paper used for company logos and high-end products.
  • One of my favourites is a one colour application but can be metallic, neon or standard colours. It comes in sheets of colours paper and gives a very soft feel. All you have to do is print the design in black on to the coloured paper. So whatever you print black will come out in the colour you have chosen. The beauty about this process is that there is no weeding and the design can be as complicated as you want.

All the above papers can be printed on a basic CMYK laser printer.

  • To print full colour on to dark products you will need to purchase one of the white toner OKI printers. This is a two paper system, the preferred A paper is transparent for ease of positioning. The design is printed on to the A paper and then positioned on the B paper to complete the print. This gives perfect colour quality and again with no weeding.
  • There is special paper for dark mugs and ceramics that again use the white toner principle and give full colour prints. There are also papers for metallic printing on dark mugs and full colour orienting on to paper and candles.
  • To finish off you can buy flock finishing sheets and stamping foils in many colours.

Some companies provide transfer RIPs to enhance the design quality and help cut down on toner costs. Try and find the RIP software with can rasterise an image. Rasterising an image gives your finished product a much softer feel, better wash ability and can drastically cut down your toner costs.

Transfer paper printing should be a vital part of your garment decoration business.

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