What is a heat transfer label/sticker?

If you are new to HTV business, you must have had this question, what is heat transfer label? I had the same question but finding information at a single place was difficult when I started my research. Therefore, this article will tackle the basic questions what? Why? Where to buy? How to apply it? Then Let’s start to know what is a heat transfer label/sticker?

So, what is heat transfer label?

When we print or apply a design directly on to a garment using heat press, it is heat transfer. The design in question can be a heat transfer sticker or label. We press the label on to the garment now a days to achieve the scratch less labelling. Because the heat transfer process will lock the vinyl label into the very layers of the garment. Thus, ensuring that the label will last as long as the garment’s lifetime. It’s a traditionally technique for customizing t-shirts. 

Why it became such a huge hit?

Something that is unique about this method of labelling is that it helps to reduce the weight of the garment. Where before, scratchy, people use uncomfortable pieces of labels, now there’s practically nothing. The label is a part of the garment itself.

In sportwear, every gram of lost weight equals to increase in performance. Hence, this process became a huge hit in the sportswear industry. As these products usually came with a lot of instructions for the aftercare and wash. Poeple now use the heat transfer labels in intimate wear like underwear, swimwear, etc.

How to print these labels?

Printing a label is very similar to printing other heat vinyl designs. You need to have an .svg file of the design you are looking to print. Very simple to print this image onto special transfer paper or synthetic film. It comes with special coating known as a release layer. This aids the transfer of the image onto the garment. 

Similarly, the image is printed in reverse on one side with the coating, i.e. a mirror image is printed. Printing methods include Silk Screen, Flexo, Digital or sometimes a combination of two of these systems. 

We will discuss these techniques in detail in further blogs.

You can always get them custom made for you from businesses that exclusively make labels only. Or buy some readymade stickers for your DIY project.

 Heat pressing process

When pressing a heat transfer label, the process is very similar to heat pressing other garments. Get your label that is ready to be heat pressed on to the garment. 

Pre-heat the press. Turn the garment inside- out. Place the label onto the correct position and press.

Now, for the heat press temperature, pressure and time, you can find the instructions with your heat transfer label itself. Make sure to follow them correctly.

Carefully peel off the sheet and re-press the garment for 5-8 seconds to make the label bond stronger with the garment. Use a parchment paper for this step.

These labels are easy to work with and easy to procure as well. Make them in-house or outsource the designs to be made in bulk. Just cut a piece and use it.


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