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Heat press
Information architecture (IA)

Heat transfer

What is heat transfer?

Heat transfer refers to the process of applying heat and pressure to transfer a design or image onto a surface. It’s commonly used in various printing techniques, including screen printing and heat pressing. In screen printing, a mesh screen is used to transfer ink onto the desired material. Heat pressing involves using a heat press machine to apply heat and pressure to transfer paper or heat-transfer vinyl, resulting in the design adhering to the surface. It can also be achieved through digital heat transfer, which utilizes digital printing technology to create products.

What is the difference between screen printing, heat transfer, and sublimation?

The main difference between screen printing, heat transfer, and sublimation lies in the process and materials used.

Screen printing

This is a traditional printing process where ink is forced through a mesh screen onto a substrate, such as t-shirts or paper. It involves creating separate screens for each color in the design and applying the ink layer by layer. Screen printing is suitable for larger production runs and designs with multiple colors.

Heat transfer

This process involves transferring a design onto a substrate using heat and pressure. It typically involves using transfer paper or heat-transfer vinyl that has the design printed on it. The design is then applied to the substrate using a heat press machine. Heat transfer is versatile and allows for more intricate and detailed designs, including digital print heat transfer. It is commonly used for smaller production runs and personalized items.


This is a printing process where heat is used to transfer dye onto a substrate like a t-shirt. The design is first printed onto sublimation paper using special sublimation inks. Heat and pressure are then applied to the paper, causing the ink to turn into a gas and bond with the fabric. Sublimation allows for full-color, vibrant, and durable prints. It works best on polyester or polyester-coated substrates.

Screen printing involves pressing ink through a mesh screen, heat transfer uses heat and pressure to transfer a design onto a substrate, and sublimation transfers dye onto a substrate through heat-induced vaporization. Each method has its advantages and is suitable for different applications and materials.

Heat press
Information architecture (IA)

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