Transfer printing involves printing the image to a piece of transfer material, then applying high heat to this material to sublimate the dye and print the item. This process works best with highly detailed or highly colored graphics. It can be used for photographic images, though they tend to appear “washed out” since this method relies on the whiteness of the item’s material for reproducing white colors. This style of printing is used most often with lighter colored materials, though a special transfer material can be used for dark and black materials (it will typically have a small white border around the image, however). I can print up to a 11″x17″ continuous image, but can span sheets for a larger graphic provided it can be broken up into sections. In our experience, we’ve found that transfer images work best on items that are not frequently washed. For items that see a lot of washing, vinyl is the way to go.
Clothing and Soft Materials
Mouse pads are a great candidate for transfer printing. Clothing that is washed less frequently can also work well.