Custom Heat Transfer Capabilities & Applications

Heat Transfer printing, also known as thermal printing, is a newer decoration method that uses heat to transfer a pre-printed image from a wax-based ink ribbon to an object. If you want to know how the heat transfer printing process works, check out our complete Guide to Heat Transfer Printing. At Merchology we use heat transfer to apply custom logos and designs to a variety of custom apparel and accessories.

Custom Heat Transfer Apparel Options Include…

Custom Heat Transfer Accessories Include...

Heat Transfer Applications

When to use Heat Transfer as a Decoration Method

Like all decoration methods, custom heat transfer has some pros and cons. Heat transfer is probably the best option if…

  • You are placing a smaller order – low set up time and costs make heat transfer an ideal decoration technique for smaller order sizes
  • Your design contains small text or fine details – heat transfer is more capable of representing smaller details in a design than methods like embroidery or screen printing.
  • Your design has a lot of colors – there is no limit to the number of colors in a heat transfer design! This is not the case for methods like embroidery and screen printing.
  • You are ordering individually personalized apparel – heat transfer can save money and time for individually customized clothing like sports jerseys with unique names and numbers.
  • You want a decoration method that is eco-friendly – there is very little waste associated with the heat transfer process, making it one of the most environmentally friendly custom decoration types.
  • You want a metallic or glossy finish – heat transfer can be done in a wide variety of finishes, but it achieves a shiny finish better than most decoration types.

Heat Transfer for Corporate Apparel

When Should I Consider a Different Decoration Method?

  • You are decorating fabric made of heat sensitive material – many fabrics don’t do well when exposed to high temperatures and have “Do Not Iron” tags. Materials like nylon, leather, and rayon can discolor from the heat of the press.
  • Your design features a large logo – when a logo applied via heat transfer is too large the texture of the design can be thrown off. Heat transfer logos larger than 15 inches also get a bit pricier than decoration methods like silk screen printing or digital printing.

Check out our guides on the differences and pros & cons of Heat Transfer vs. Screen Printing and Heat Transfer vs. Dye Sublimation to better understand when to use each decoration method.

What Materials & Fabrics Can I Use Heat Transfer On?

While heat transfer can be done on most materials if done carefully, it is most compatible with cotton, cotton blends, and acrylic fabrics. Heat transfer is also commonly done on polyester and polyester blend fabrics, but polyester is typically temperature sensitive, so low-temperature heat transfer films are necessary to prevent scorching or discoloring. That being said, our decoration experts at Merchology have mastered this process, so don’t worry if heat transfer is a recommended decoration method on certain polyester products! Other sensitive materials include synthetic fabrics, leather, nylon, and rayon. Always make sure to check the tags on your garment to see if the fabric is heat sensitive.

Next Steps

Now that you know what products we can apply a heat transfer design so you can move forward with ordering custom heat transfer apparel and accessories! Be sure to contact us if you have any custom decoration questions or check out our comprehensive heat transfer guide. If you are still not sure if heat transfer is the right decoration method for your order check out our complete Custom Decoration Methods Guide to find the perfect decoration type for any application.