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Face To Face: Heat Transfer Paper Vs. Sublimation Printing


Face To Face: Heat Transfer Paper Vs. Sublimation Printing. The journey of entering the wonderful world of t-shirt making along with various personalized garments would be full of excitement. However, the start of any big thing is considered the toughest and when it comes to garment decoration you end up asking yourself which method should be considered more?

Heat transfer paper or dye sublimation Vancouver? The answer to this tricky question is that both would get their job done considerably well. The choice is eventually coming to what you are looking for in your product and how you want it to deliver to your customers.

Both the methods are great but nothing comes without having its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s find out more about these methods, how you can make the perfect decision and which one will be the for your business.

What are the basics involved in heat transfer paper?

It’s time to get more insight into heat transfer paper! Heat transfer paper is a specialty paper where printed designs are transferred on various garments such as shirts, scarves, jackets, and much more once the heat is applied.

In this process, multiple-step takes place where a design is printed onto a sheet of heat transfer paper with the help of an inkjet or laser printer. Then in the next step, you place the printed sheet on the chosen garment and press the same on it with the help of a heat press (in various cases, a simple home iron can get the job done as well, but the efficiency is achieved by heat presses only).

Once you have pressed it, you can peel away the paper, and the next thing you see is that the image has now appeared nicely onto the fabric. Congratulations! You have a beautiful custom T-shirt that was obtained in simple steps itself.

Let’s look at the Sublimation

Just like the methods of screen printing Vancouver or heat transfer paper, sublimation has its popularity and it is quite similar to the previous ones we have talked about. In this process, there is a design printing on a sheet of specialty paper and in this case, a sublimation paper is used.

With the help of a heat press, that design is pressed on the garment. The only difference that is there between the two is the science that is being followed, let’s know more about it. Herewith the sublimation process, once the ink is heated it turns from a solid to a gas that settles down in the polyester fabric.

Once the ink cools down, it turns back to solid and now what you see is a permanent design that is a part of the fabric. The permanent design tells you that the transfer has been made successfully on the fabric without bringing any additional layer on top.

By that, we mean that there is no difference in feeling when you swipe your hand from the printed image to the rest of the fabric. This implies that the design is now very durable, and until you take it out under extreme conditions, the image will stay there as long as the product does.

Face to face both the methods:

So let’s take a lot when we compare both of them in few factors and see who performs how.

Start-up costs and equipment requirements: Decorating a garment with the heat transfer paper method can be considered the least expensive method. To proceed with, you have to make $300, which will be counted as the biggest initial investment.

The package would include an inkjet or laser printer, a heat press, heat transfer paper, and the choice of garment you want to decorate. Whereas in the sublimation process, the start-up cost would be comparatively higher, but that will be worth it in the long run.

The starter package here includes a pack of products where you can sublimate, a sublimation printer, essential software, and sublimation paper. Apart from this, a heat press and a hobbyist heat press will get the job done.

Durable and texture: In the sublimation process, the ink submerges totally into the fabric as a part of it instead of being its top layer. This makes its sublimation more durable in the long run and perfect with its texture.

On the other hand, with the heat transfer method, you can physically there is a layer on top of the garment. This additional layer is easy to notice, appears as a top layer, and hence less durable.

Garment choice for decoration: With the sublimation method, your options are pretty limited when you want to decorate them compared to the heat transfer paper. You can try sublimation with some poly-cotton blends, but the end product might not feel as bright and vibrant as you can see with polyester.

Whereas, with the heat transfer paper, you have the option to decorate light or dark-colored cotton, cotton-poly blends, and polyester.

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