Jesse J Heap & Son, Inc. Located in Irvington, NJ
 
 
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  Top Products Heat Transfer Press Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO HEAT TRANSFER PRINTING

Use our heat transfer press finder to help narrow your choices based on your printing requirements.

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The process of transferring images to a large variety of products without messy inks by-products or screens is possible with Heat Transfer Technology. The process is fast, it lasts and it is profitable.

In the early days, Heat transfer printing were principally used in the printing of novelty items, such as polyester tops and t-shirts. Today heat transfer printing has gained significant importance and favor in several industries - especially in the apparel industry as an alternative for printing fabric in an agile manufacturing environment.

Heat transfer printing is clean and environmentally safe, which makes it appealing in today's health and safety conscience work environments. There are no suspect liquid by-products. The only by product is paper. Heat Transfer printing is the primary element in apparel manufacturing operations utilizing the increasingly popular agile manufacturing. It is the perfect medium for the demands of today's marketplace - short run and sample production.

This use in agile manufacturing has been made possible through development and refinement of dye-sublimation printing. With the help of specially formulated dye-sublimation inks and advances in graphics and RIP software packages, operators now have greater control and flexibility which results in a better quality end product. Now short runs of fabrics or even individual cut parts can be printed efficiently, quickly, and cost-effectively in response to real market demand.

HEAT TRANSFER PRODUCT APPLICATIONS

  • Point of purchase banners, signage, displays, skirting, carpeting, etc.
  • Advertising specialties - mouse pads, wrist pads, beverage insulators, clip boards, etc.
  • Ceramic tiles, wall murals and interior design
  • Snow skis, snow boards, cycling helmets, in-line skates, water sports equipment
  • Gaming tables , chips
  • Lettering, Rhinestones/crystals
  • Uni-sub wood, clipboards, plaques, signage, vending machines message boards, table tops, counter tops, flooring, etc.
  • Microfiber based sports apparel, T-shirts, caps, swimsuits, jackets, tote bags, cut apparel parts, large format textiles, etc.

HEAT TRANSFER PRINTING MACHINERY

Heat Transfer machinery is of two types:

A. Platen Type Transfer Presses i.e. Astex model #162/354, 1550PA #1350, 1600 etc.

B. Rotary Drum Transfer Presses #7500, #7616, 7900T, 7300IJ, etc

Platen presses are often used for printing on individual pieces such as cut apparel parts, T-shirts, sports apparel, tote bags, etc. Platen presses are also used to print on rigid substrates such as wood, metals and ceramic tiles.

ROTARY DRUM MACHINES

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This video demonstrates heat transfer printing using the roll to roll method

These machines are often used to print fabric continuously (roll to roll) and to print large fabric parts such as signs and banners which may be too large for a standard platen press. Drum machines can also be used to print sports apparel and other cut apparel parts. Drum machines are more productive than platen machines for sublimation printing on cut apparel parts and are therefore used when production volume is high. Drum machines are not used however to print onto rigid substrates such as wood, metal or ceramic tile.

CHOOSING A MACHINE

The right machine depends on the type of product to be printed, the print size and the production requirements. If you wish to print full coverage on 60" wide goods, you would need to use a Rotary Drum machine. T-shirts, mugs, wood or tile are best printed on a platen machine. Cut apparel parts can be printed on either a platen press or a rotary drum machine. Production requirements often dictate which type of machine is used. Banners and soft signage are often printed on a rotary drum machine.

Our exclusive heat transfer press finder will help you find a heat transfer press to suit your needs. Simply choose the type of heat transfer machine and enter your printing size requirements and the finder will return a list of best fit heat presses.

Let us know your application and we will be happy to recommend the right machine for your particular needs.

SOURCES AND TYPES OF TRANSFERS

There are many different types and sources of transfers. Generally speaking a transfer is made up of a carrier paper and inks. When heat and pressure are applied to this paper the inks are transferred to the substrate you wish to print onto. Some transfers are topical. The image is applied to the surface of the substrate. Other transfers are absorbed into the fibers of the material. The types of transfers, which permeate the material, are called sublimation transfers. Jesse J. Heap & Son offers a full dye-sublimation package in partnership with some of the leading vendors in this field - Sawgrass, AIT & Wasatch.

Heat transfers can also be printed onto mugs, ceramic tile, mouspads, metals, glass and wood (sublimation process). The above substrates must have a polyester coating so that the transfer will adhere. These substrates can be purchased with the coating from a supplier. Check our sublimation FAQ for more information.

TRANSFER SOURCES

The three most common types of image transfers produced are: Computer transfers, Color Copier transfers and what are referred to as "Supplier" transfers.


"Supplier" transfers can be purchased from commercial suppliers. These transfers are screen printed onto carrier paper or on offset presses using sublimation inks. Their designs are shown in catalogues or can be special ordered. The plastisol/hot peal transfers from these companies are generally opaque and therefore good for heat transferring onto dark items.

Computer Transfers are transfers that can be created in-house using a computer graphics package, which is integrated with an ink-jet or electrostatic printer. Contact us and we can advise you about an in-house paper printing system.

Color copier transfers are produced using a special color copier transfer paper. The image is copied onto the special paper and then heat pressed on the material.

MISCELLANEOUS TRANSFERS

Other types of transfers include embroidered appliques, die cut lettering and flock transfers. Embroidered appliques come as an embroidered patch with heat activated adhesive on the underside.

Dye cut lettering is a vinyl or other type of material that is pre cut in various numbers, letters and custom shapes. The user lays the letters and numbers down on the garment and heat-seals them on. Sports apparel is printed with numbers and letters in this manner.

IN-HOUSE OR OUT-SOURCE??

The decision to make transfers in-house or to out source them from a supplier depends on your target market and your production requirements. If you plan to do small runs of special designs it would be cost effective to set up an in-house system to generate paper. Large bulk jobs would be best served by purchasing sublimation paper or other transfers from a commercial supplier.

The three main ingredients in Heat Transfer Technology are the heat press, the transfer and the substrate to be printed. Information on the Astex line of Heat Transfer Printing Equipment can be found in our AIT/Astex Heat Transfer Section. Please feel free to email us or fill out the catalogue request form. You may also call or fax us at the numbers listed.