How to Make Screen Print Transfers

by Anthony Clark

Nowadays, people print their names or words on the shirt to improve its aesthetic value and make it look attractive to friends, family, and colleagues. You can also screen print on shirts to customize and make them look unique. Groups of people also print on their shirts as a form of identification on special occasions. If you love to screenprint on your shirt but are not interested in spending your hard-earned dollar to get it done, you need to learn the simple steps to make screenprint transfers on shirts. That said, people that desire screen printing on their shirts lack the expertise to do so. However, you can make excellent screen print transfer on your garment easily. The process of making heat transfers with a screen printing press involves the simple application of artwork on your favorite garments. There is no limit to the kind of garment you can make your heat transfer with the screen printing press. When you learn how to screenprint on your shirt, you save a substantial amount of dollars and spend it on other financial needs. For people that have inadequate knowledge of the process to screen print on shirts, this stepwise guide will give them a breakthrough to producing excellent screen prints. Therefore, today, I will be telling you the steps through which you can make heat transfer with the screen printing press.

Materials Needed for Making Heat Transfer with Screen Printing Press

Materials Needed for Making Heat Transfer with Screen Printing Press
Materials Needed for Making Heat Transfer with Screen Printing Press

To make heat transfer with the screen printing press, you need to know the materials that are suitable to complete the task. The materials are important and must be available before you can commence the successful making of heat transfer with the screen printing press. In this section, I will be telling you the materials needed for making heat transfer with the screen printing press.

1. Heat Transfer Film or Paper

Heat transfer paper is an important material needed to make a fantastic heat transfer with the screen printing press. The heat transfer paper can be used for creating customized garments that are of high quality. It is straightforward to use for both beginners and professionals.

2. Plastisol Powder Adhesive

Plastisol powder adhesive is a material that enables the design created for the heat transfer purpose to stick to any of the canvas you select. It works perfectly for single and multicolor designs. However, you must consider adding the powder to the upper layer when using multi-color designs. This is necessary so that final curing can take place when you don't wish to use adhesive on each ink layer.

3. Plastisol Ink

Rapid Cure Standard Plastisol Ink Kit for Screen Printing Low Temp Cure 6 - 8oz Ink Bottles by Screen Print Direct
Rapid Cure Standard Plastisol Ink Kit for Screen Printing Low Temp Cure 6 - 8oz Ink Bottles by Screen Print Direct

Plastisol ink is a PVC suspension found in a plasticizer. The suspension causes the ink to liquefy when heated. Plastisol ink is not soluble in water. However, it produces a durable heat transfer product with the screen printing press.

4. 110-156 Mesh Screens

Mesh screens are materials that are necessary when making heat transfer with the screen printing press. The mesh screen serves as a platform through which the ink is placed when performing the heat transfer task.

5. Standard Screen Printing Items

Check out the best screen printing kits here.

Before making heat transfer with the screen printing press, you need equipment like the screen printing press, squeegees, and heat press. These apparatus are important to facilitate the production of elegant heat transfer with the screen printing press.

If you desire to make an attractive heat transfer with the screen printing press, you can adopt the use of a screen printing frame, plastisol ink, plastisol powder adhesive, and a dryer. When you use these materials, any design you make will be transferred to a frame treated with emulsion through the use of UV light. Once the design is transferred to the frame, you can take it to the heat transfer film with the aid of plastisol ink and a squeegee.

Most people have mixed up traditional screen printing with heat transfer film. However, there are variations between them. One of these variations is that the pictures you design are screen imprinted in a mirror mode. When this is done, the final design obtained will be the reflected image of your original design.

Steps to Make Heat Transfer on Your Garment

The process of making heat transfer on T-shirts is simple and easy to follow. To make durable heat transfer on your shirt, you need to follow the process discussed below.

  • Place your heat press on a flat surface. Then lay a plain t-shirt you want to screen print on the heat press.
  • Place the design you want to transfer on the t-shirt. Ensure the ink is place side down. Then press down the heat press machine.
  • Wait patiently for 6-15 seconds. Next, open the press. Then peel the release paperback. You can use hot-peel or hot split for this purpose.

The procedure through which you can make durable heat transfer on-screen printing press takes few seconds. Once completed, the product of the screen transfer looks like a fantastic screen-printed product. However, it should be noted that the flexibility of the film used makes the heat transfer process perfect.

When you make a design for heat transfer purposes, the screen-printed design placed on your release paper will last for about two years. With this, you can conveniently build a library of designs that can be suitable for future heat transfer tasks. This saves you time and money for design tasks. Furthermore, storing your release papers is easier than frames, inks, and other screen printing materials.

How You Can Prepare Your Design for Screen Printing Task

Before you make an elegant heat transfer with the screen printing press, you must come up with an amazing design that will enhance the productivity of your heat transfer. The rules below will give you a detailed guide on how you can prepare a suitable design.

1. The design must be screen imprinted on your heat transfer paper in the mirror mode. This method is not the same as the direct-to-garment printing method which is conventional and widely practiced.

2. When working with a mixture of color or multiple color designs, you must note that the original layer where the application will be done is closer to your piece. Immediately the multiple color design is pressed on the garment, the top layer on the heat transfer paper or film will automatically become the bottom layer of the design. This process does not affect any of your single-color designs. When working on complex designs, you must ensure that the colors are set up as appropriate.

3. The details and huge areas of colors may not translate well - when making your heat transfer with the screen printing press. Also, it should be noted that not all your designs can work perfectly with heat transfer. Hence, you must examine the design you want to use for heat transfer. You must note that any large area or fine lines of color may not translate well. Fine lines may break when performing the peeling process. The large areas on the design may have a varied thickness that can make the transfer and curing process difficult.

4. Keep off trapping or layering of all your color. Ensure you maintain the ink thickness as much as possible. When making heat transfer with the screen printing press, it is most preferable for the ink to cure immediately after the process is completed. When you do trapping or layering of color, it means you would have variation in your ink thickness. This can cause the inability of your design to cure evenly.

5. When making a design for your heat transfer task, you must consider the shrinkage of your paper. Prepare yourself for any form of paper reduction. The heat from the curing process can cause your transfer paper to shrink up to a quarter inch for each run with the dryer. However, you can prevent the paper shrinkage scenario by creating space for shrinkage when printing your design on the heat transfer paper or film. Do not fill up your paper with the design because the edge might become unusable or warped. You can also choose a heat transfer paper that is durable and stable if you are not willing to make efforts to stress yourself when printing on your garment.

Summary of Heat Transfer Guide

The table below summarizes the list of materials needed for making heat transfer with the screen printing press.

Heat transfer materials Roles
Heat transfer paper or film It is used for creating durable heat transfer on garments.
Plastisol Powder Adhesive It facilitates speedy curing during the heat transfer process.
Plastisol Ink It is used for printing designs of choice on garments.
110-156 Mesh Screens The mesh screen serves as a platform for the heat transfer process.

Conclusion on ScreenPrint Transfers

The heat transfer task is fast gaining widespread relevance among people that desire to customize their shirt with their favorite words. However, the methods through which durable heat transfer task can be done are alien to many people. Today, I have discussed the most effective methods of making long-lasting heat transfer on garments. I hope the guide will be useful and help you make a fantastic heat transfer on your garment by using the screen printing process. Enjoy reading!

About Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark has always had that wierd passion for digital drawing and printing since he was little. He would just wander around in his parents' house in Phoenix, Arizona; drawing various things with his older digital tablet. Be it just a memory collection or a portay of just about anything: object, parents, school, events, etc. He received his BA in Graphic Design at San Jose State Universiry at the heart of Silicon Valley. Now Mr. Clark is really excited to present his expeirence coupling with some colorful dips to help shape it the future of printing.

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