HEAT TRANSFER 101: Frequently Asked Questions

We love printing beautiful images on our USA handmade totes. When customers send us artwork, we make it our personal mission to find the best printing method for the image! Many customers are unfamiliar with Heat Transfers and their benefits, so below are some of the more common questions we get about this versatile method of printing

Why choose a Heat Transfer? You have an image that is highly detailed and/or colorful–perhaps it’s a photograph, a drawing that you’ve done, or an intricate illustration done in Photoshop. Screen printing can only hold so much detail on cotton canvas (and if it’s more than 7 or 8 colors, it could get quite costly!), so Heat Transfers are a great way to keep the integrity of the original image without going over your budget.

How does it work? Once you have the image, we make sure that the colors are well-suited for a seamless transfer. Tip: having hard copies of the image you want to print is best for color matching and always encouraged! Once the image is prepped, it is printed inversely onto a specialized “glue” paper that is activated by the heat of the press. When the press is lifted, the image is transferred to the canvas!

Are there any size restraints? We can transfer images up to 10.5” x 16.5”. Image needs to be in a square or rectangle format or it may result in trimming for an additional fee.

Does the quality hold up? Yes! Industrial heat transfers are different than an iron-on adhesive or a press that you could buy in stores. You will not have to worry about cracking or peeling.

Does it matter what color material I print on? Yes—Heat Transfers on light colored material (such as natural or white colored cotton) will yield more vibrant results. On lighter material, they are also incapable of printing white since the film renders transparent, so if you have white elements in your image this is the best route to take! Transferring images to dark material requires a white border on the image so that the colors are visible and really pop!

Have more questions on Heat Transfers that weren’t mentioned here? Feel free to reach out to us at customerservice@enviro-tote.com.


Meagan Shackelford, Customer Service

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