Decoration Glossary

Heat Transfer

Heat Transfer printing, is the process of applying heat-applied materials to various items with a heat press. Heat-applied materials contain a heat-sensitive adhesive on one side; when heat is applied by a heat press to the material, the material adheres to the substrate to which it is being applied. The end result is a decorated garment.
Heat Transfer printing is ideal for short runs in either full colour or single colour.

Sublimation

In sublimation printing, unique sublimation dyes are transferred to sheets of “transfer” paper via liquid gel ink. The ink is deposited on these high-release inkjet papers, which are used for the next step of the sublimation printing process. After the digital design is printed onto sublimation transfer sheets, it is placed on a heat press along with the garment to be sublimated.
In order to transfer the image from the paper to the garment, it requires a heat press process that is a combination of time, temperate and pressure. To be able to do sublimation printing you will need polyester mix garments to sublimate to. You can also sublimate onto a number of products and accessories including bags and caps.
The end result of the sublimation process is a high resolution, full colour print. Because the dyes are infused into the substrate at the molecular level, rather than applied at a topical level (such as with screen printing and direct to garment printing), the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the garment under normal conditions.

Direct to Garment printing (DTG)

Direct to garment printing is a process by which garments are printed directly from a computer using advanced inkjet technology. While the inks and hardware are different than a desktop printer, the method of printing from a PC is very similar. After adding all the colours and finishing the design, a heat press cures the ink.
DTG printing is perfect for any kind of design as it can provide the same level of detail that is produced from a PC inkjet printer, but onto a garment.

Screen Printing

The main advantage to screen printing is the unique visual result it creates. The inks used are very durable, the colours are extremely vivid, making this a unique printing technique. It is possible to screen print on a large variety of products with little or no limitation on the thickness and composition of the material being printed on.
For a larger volume of prints, screen printing continues to be the most effective and economical printing methodology around.

Embroidery

There are a number of fabrics and garments that are perfect for embroidery, and you are not always limited to the basics. Certain types of embroidery work better on certain materials, so check with an expert when you're planning your project.
It is the preferred way to decorate a shirt with a logo by many companies. Because thread has dimension, an embroidered logo ends up being three dimensional. In addition, embroidery thread is coated and therefore has a sheen that helps the colours pop to attention.
Logo embroidery is used most often for apparel that will be used for uniforms or promotions.