A high-quality printer for heat transfers is the first thing that you should buy before starting a business. One of the most common questions is, “Can I use my regular printer for printing t-shirts?” The answer is simple. No, you cannot. You can try but you will never get a great quality that people will know you for.
Provide a quality product and make your clients come back for more by buying the best printer for heat transfers that you can afford. No matter if you want to print t-shirts for a hobby or make money, a good dedicated printer is necessary. So, without further due, let’s review some of the best printers out there.
- What Kind of Printer do You Need for Heat Transfers?
- Which are Best Printer for Heat Transfers?
- 13 Best Printer for Heat Transfers Comparison Table 2021
- Best Printer for Heat Transfers Reviews 2021
- Expression Photo HD XP-15000
- Epson C88+ Bundled with Hotzone360
- Epson WorkForce 1100
- Epson Workforce WF-7210
- Brother HL-L2320D
- Silhouette Cameo Heat Transfer Starter Kit
- Canon MX492 BLACK
- Okidata 62439301 C711wt
- Epson Artisan 1430
- HP LaserJet Pro M452dw
- Epson Workforce WF-7710
- Epson Stylus C88+
- US Stock-Ving 3D Sublimation
- How to Print Heat Transfers?
- Can I Use Any Inkjet Printer for Heat Transfers?
- Can You Use Any Printer for Transfer Paper?
- Can I Print on Heat Transfer Vinyl?
- T-Shirt Heat Press vs Screen Printing
- Inkjet or Laser Printer for Heat Transfers?
- Final Thoughts
What Kind of Printer do You Need for Heat Transfers?
You cannot use just any printer for heat transfers. However, you can choose between three major types of printers for heat transfers on the market. No matter if you want to imprint mugs or t-shirts, they have your back. But keep in mind that they all have their pros and cons just like any other electronic machine.
- Inkjet printers
Inkjet printers have been favorite among users for a long time because of their affordability, versatility, and a wide selection of units. As I already mentioned, they offer versatility which customers love. Also, if you buy an inkjet printer, it will work excellent with a lot of different options for inks & specialty papers.
- Dye-sublimation printers
Dye-sublimation printers, on the other hand, use heat to transfer dye on the printing item directly. So, no matter if you need to print on fabric, paper, card or plastic, this unit has your back. It offers stunning results. Consumer units can print dye sublimation ink, however, you will need to ensure compatibility.
This type of printers comes in both professional and consumer models which can provide quality results on materials. Remember that dye-sublimation has limitations as well, such as direct printing on cotton. This can be executed by printing on an intermediate layer. Next, that layer can be transferred to cotton.
- Laser printers
If you need a printer for office use, I personally recommend laser printers. They are perfect for printing a high amount of documents. However, they are not ideally tailored for graphics and color photos which are most frequent in heat transfers. Laser printers do not offer the same photo quality as inkjet printers.
Their only benefit is the ability to print on self-weeding image clip transfers that will transfer the printed graphics to the fabric only. Let’s check the key features that you need to consider when buying a printer.
This is the first feature that you need to pay attention to. If you want to print designs on pillows, t-shirts or mugs and sell them to customers, you want to make sure that you are selling the best quality items in the market. This way, customers will recognize your hard work and spread the word about your product.
Experts recommend the best inkjet printer for high-quality heat transfers. However, it depends on your needs, standards, budget, and personal taste what unit for heat transfers you will choose and purchase.
Differences Between Pigment and Dye Inks
Pigment inks are weaker compared to dye-based inks. But dye-based inks are more water-soluble. They turn mobile in case of high humidity. Another disadvantage of dye-based inks is that they have poor UV stability. Pigment inks are water-resistant, do not fade easily, and offer greater durability than dye-inks.
Number of Ink Colors
This is another important feature that you should consider when buying a printer. Most printers have 4 colors (K, Y, M, and C). They stand for black, yellow, magenta and cyan. However, if you want a machine with a wide selection of colors like 6 or 8 colors, I suggest that you explore more options on the market.
Most printers print on transfer paper including heat transfers and sublimation transfers before moving design on the substrate. Make sure to check if the printer is compatible with different printing mediums including vinyl, cardstock, and fabric. Usually, this depends on the inks that are being used in the device.
Size of the Paper/Medium
If your business offers to print large images, you will need a machine with a large printing work table. It is important to buy a printer with printing-field specs that are easily changeable. This allows you to print on various size transfer papers and different media while eliminating wastage. System compatibility is a crucial feature as well. Make sure that your printer supports both Mac and Windows operating systems.
Which are Best Printer for Heat Transfers?
In order to help you choose the best printer that meets your needs, I have pointed out a few of the best. Make sure to compare their best features and read their detailed reviews before you purchase THE ONE.
- Best Overall: Expression Photo HD XP-15000
“If you want a lightweight, portable and easy to set up printer with great photo quality, this is the one.”
- Runner Up: Epson C88+ Bundled with Hotzone360
“Quiet operation, very economical, affordable, border-free photo printing, this is the best Epson printer.”
- Best Laser Printer for Heat Transfers: Epson WorkForce 1100
“If you want to print large pictures and have a laser printer that is easy to use and set up, order this one.”
- Best Digital Printer for Heat Transfers: Brother HL-L2320D
“Looking for the best digital printer for heat transfers? Look no further than this modern Brother model.”
- Best Canon Printer for Heat Transfers: Canon MX492 BLACK
“Do you want a printer that is compact, cheap and easy to use? If yes, Canon is the right model for you.”
- Best HP Printer for Heat Transfers: HP LaserJet Pro M452dw
“Wireless printing, great speed, and big sheet capacity are just a few of the features that this unit has.”
- Best Home Printer for Heat Transfers: Epson Workforce WF-7710
“125 output tray, 250-sheet tray, excellent performance, scanning ability, very economical machine.”
- Best Pigment Ink Printer for Heat Transfers: Epson Stylus C88+
“Perfect for beginners, borderless printing, four individual cartridges, pigment-based inks included.”
- Best Sublimation Printer for Mugs: US Stock-Ving 3D Sublimation
“Automatic heat and pressure processes, heat-resistant strips, vacuum absorption technology, stylish.”
- Best Budget: Silhouette Cameo Heat Transfer Starter Kit
“User-friendly touchscreen, 100 free designs included, cheap, able to cut and sketch at once, elegant.”
13 Best Printer for Heat Transfers Comparison Table 2021
Using a regular printer to print t-shirts is not a good idea. Luckily for you, there are dedicated printers in the market that you can choose from. I have taken the responsibility to review and compare best-selling units in order to help you choose the right printer, so, let’s dive into the most detailed comparison chart.
|BEST PRINTER FOR HEAT TRANSFERS||DIMENSIONS||WEIGHT||OPERATING SYSTEM||COLOR||WARRANTY|
|Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Best Overall||30.9 x 18.7 x 16.2||18.7 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black||90-day Amazon Renewed warranty|
|Epson C88+ Bundled with Hotzone360 – Runner Up||20 x 12 x 10||15 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black, Silver||1-year limited warranty|
|Epson WorkForce 1100 – Best Laser Printer for Heat Transfers||18.2 x 27.8 x 12.5||26.3 pounds||Windows, Mac||Grey||1-year limited warranty|
|Epson Workforce WF-7210||12.7 x 22.3 x 31.8||Not specified||Windows, Mac||Black||1-year limited warranty|
|Brother HL-L2320D – Best Digital Printer for Heat Transfers||14.2 x 7.2 x 14||1.5 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black||1-year limited warranty|
|Silhouette Cameo Heat Transfer Starter Kit – Best Budget||22.5 x 8.5 x 6||6 pounds||Windows, Mac||White||1-year limited warranty|
|Canon MX492 BLACK – Best Canon Printer for Heat Transfer||11.7 x 17.2 x 7.5||13 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black||1-year limited warranty|
|Okidata 62439301 C711wt||17.1 x 21.5 x 15.3||60.9 pounds||Not specified||White, grey||1-year limited warranty|
|Epson Artisan 1430||27.8 x 17.3 x 12.5||26 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black||1-year limited warranty|
|HP LaserJet Pro M452dw – Best HP Printer for Heat Transfers||18.5 x 16.2 x 11.6||41.7 pounds||Windows, Mac||White||1-year limited warranty|
|Epson Workforce WF-7710 – Best Home Printer for Heat Transfers||32.2 x 22.3 x 13.4||40.8 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black||1-year limited warranty|
|Epson Stylus C88+ – Best Pigment Ink Printer for Heat Transfers||18.1 x 9.5 x 7.6||10.14 pounds||Windows, Mac||Black, Silver||3-year limited warranty|
|US Stock-Ving 3D Sublimation – Best Sublimation Printer for Mugs||26.9 x 23.8 x 15||47.8 pounds||Not specified||Dark red||Not specified|
Best Printer for Heat Transfers Reviews 2021
In order to select the right printer for your needs, you need to pay attention to the features listed in the comparison chart above. But you also need to know their pros and cons, so let’s unravel them together.
Expression Photo HD XP-15000
First, I have the Expression Photo HD XO-1500 wireless wide-format printer. It will take your business or skills to new levels and deliver pro-quality, brilliant borderless prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches. It uses red and gray individual inks that deliver a wide color gamut and boosted black and white photo printing.
The 50-sheet rear specialty tray makes printing professional tasks easier than before, even on cardstock. Also, with 2-sided auto printing, 200-sheet front tray, and wireless connectivity, printing documents is a piece of cake. The best part? It is compact and over 30% smaller than the previous printer by this brand.
- Print through wireless
- Best wide format printer for heat transfers
- Prints borderless images
- Very good photo quality
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to set up
- Costs a bit high
- Print a little slower than others
- No memory card slots
- The cost of ink is a bit high
Epson C88+ Bundled with Hotzone360
(Best Epson Printer for Heat Transfers)
Epson makes some of the best units and their C88+ Bundled with Hotzone 360 is one of them. It has a hot zone 360 C88+ empty ciss for pigment ink or sublimation ink. It is a regular size printer with a ciss ink system created by quality material. Meaning, you can fill it with any type of ink for heat transfer usage.
However, not all systems are the same. This particular one is made with good fluidity to match the C88+ printer. It is a clog-free system suitable for many types of ink. Keep in mind that Epson cartridges are not included. Buyers destroy their transfer job by unknown used Epson cartridges for their heat transfer job.
- Very economical
- Best Epson printer for heat transfers
- No need original cartridges for configuration
- Produce low noise while working
- Very good and affordable price
- Border-Free photo printing
- Does not contain a lot of the printing technologies
- Hard to define the ideal color profile
- Not suitable for beginners
- Issues with color cartridges
Epson WorkForce 1100
(Best Laser Printer for Heat Transfers)
Next, I have the Epson workforce 1100, another high-quality printer by this brand that can be used for printing index cards, standard-size documents and large or stationary spreadsheets with prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches. It will protect your important documents with instant-dry ink for fade and smudge.
It is water-resistant and highlighter-friendly as well. The maximum printing speed of this printer goes 30 ppm black/17 ppm color and laser speeds of 13 ppm black/5.5 ppm color. If you buy this printer, you can save up to 50% of your paper supply with two-sided, manual printing. Dual black ink cartridges included.
If you want a regular printer for large-size prints & everyday use that protect your sensitive documents and speeds through critical, this is the right machine for you. It has high-capacity black, yellow, magenta, and cyan ink cartridges available. However, review the main pros and cons before you make a purchase.
- This printer delivers high-quality prints
- Easy to use and setup
- Operating quietly
- Full ink cartridges included
- Can print huge pictures
- This device has no exceptional features
- Paper handling Is limited on less than 100 sheets
- Not supported WiFi or Ethernet connection
Epson Workforce WF-7210
You will notice throughout this list of products that Epson has some of the best printers in the world. It is safe to say that their Workforce WF-7210 powered by PrecisionCore is one of them. It offers amazing performance that is better than a laser and it will save you time and money but still deliver great results.
It provides professional-quality prints with a max print speed of 18 ISO ppm black and 10 ISO ppm color. It saves you around 40% money thank color laser. The best part? It will take good care of your important documentation with a fade, smudge, and water-resistant ink. It has convenient individual ink cartridges.
- Prints larger than 13 by 19 inches
- Contain two paper trays as well as a manual feed
- Has 2,200 sheet cartridge option
- Support WiFi and Ethernet connection
- Able to print two-sided
- Best printer to use with Cricut
- Problems with paper size recognition
- Small LCD screen
- It’s a bit tall for a twin-tray printer
(Best Digital Printer for Heat Transfers)
If you like Brother, you will love their HL-L2320D high-quality printer. It lowers your operating cost with a high-yield 2,600-page replacement toner cartridge. It makes two-sided documents, so you will save on paper with auto duplex printing. It has a 250-sheet capacity tray adjustable for legal size & letter paper.
It also has a manual feed slot for envelopes. You can print spreadsheets, professional reports and other important documents up to 2400 x 600 dpi resolution. The maximum print speed of this baby is up to 30 ppm. It has a hi-speed USB 2.0 interface for local connectivity. Now, let’s summarize the pros and cons.
- Very compact printer
- High printing quality
- Economical and long-lasting
- Easy to set up
- Can do only black and white prints
- Not support modern features
- Not compatible with USB 3.0
Silhouette Cameo Heat Transfer Starter Kit
I am sure that you have already heard of the Silhouette brand and its products. They make some of the best units. Their Silhouette Cameo Heat Transfer Starter Kit is one of them. It is the perfect machine for DIY enthusiasts and crafters. It comes with a small, sharp blade and cuts beyond 100 different materials.
Some of them include cardstock, paper, fabric, and vinyl up to 12-inch wide. This unit has the ability to register and cut printed materials. It is PixScan compatible. If you order this baby, you will get a versatile machine with a larger cutting space. You can make designs using your tablet, smartphone or computer.
It also has dual-carriage for multi-tool use, Bluetooth for wireless cutting, storage compartments, access to Silhouette design store online (a marketplace with over 100,000 available designs) and more. It allows you to cut heat transfer and vinyl without a cutting mat as well. Now, let’s summarize the pros and cons.
- Operating quietly
- Best printer for heat transfer vinyl
- Easy cutting through thick materials
- Able to cut & sketch at the same time
- Includes touchscreen which is easy to use
- Great design that provides extra storage
- Screen printer for heat transfers
- Comes with 100 free designs
- Weak cutting power
- A little bit overweight
- Does not cut quick enough as others
Canon MX492 BLACK
(Best Canon Printer for Heat Transfer)
Have you ever heard of Canon? They produce some of the best cameras on the market. However, that is not all they make. They also have great printers to offer such as their MX492. It allows you to print from more locations thanks to the impressive connectivity options and portability. It is compact & lightweight.
This model is 30% smaller than their previous MX units. Thanks to AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, you can print wirelessly from your tablet or smartphone. It comes with time-saving features.
However, that is not all that this unit has to offer. It also has a fully-integrated, auto document feeder for 20 sheets.
Another plus is the optional xl cartridges. You can print longer before you replace your cartridges. Make sure to review the advantages and disadvantages of this impressive printer before you make a purchase.
- Small size
- Ability to work as a scanner and fax
- Good price
- Easy to set up
- Work perfectly through WiFi
- High print cost
- Images quality is not good enough
- Support only one side printing
- Slow scanning
Okidata 62439301 C711wt
(Best Printer for Heat Transfer Paper)
Okidata offers an HD color printing technology for precision and dramatic, rich colors. The white toner cartridge allows printing color plus white on transfer media while a multi-purpose tray can handle up to 100 transfer media sheets. The 530-sheet internal paper cassette is perfect for everyday printing needs.
The color print speed of this unit is up to 8 ppm on transfer media and up to 34 ppm on standard media. It has eco-friendly features and other advanced features like USB connectivity that make this unit better than other printers and appealing to customers. Now, let’s review the main pros and cons of this printer.
- High color printing
- It supports a wide range of best heat transfer paper
- Can print different sizes
- Has Multi-Purpose Tray handles
- Supports network and USB connection
- Does not provide good resolution
- Not include a USB cable
- Not supports many modern features
Epson Artisan 1430
Epson Artisan 1430 is one of the most popular printers by this brand. It will take your business and skills to the next level while delivering professional and impressive results. You can create ultra hi-definition prints as large as 13 inches x 19 inches with this great printer. It offers convenient wireless networking.
Meaning, you can share your printer with others. You can create gallery-worthy prints and professional-looking DVDs & CDs. It includes lighting correction and advanced color for impressive photos. If you buy it, you will get a smudge, water, scratch, and fade-resistant photos thanks to the Claria hi-definition ink.
But here is the kicker. Prints made with this workhorse last up to 4 times longer than photo lab prints. If you want to take your creativity to the next level and become a professional at what you do, this printer is right for you. It comes with setup and instruction manuals, meaning it is suitable for beginners as well.
- Very good printing quality
- HD color prints up to 13” x 19”
- WiFi connectivity supported
- Contain 6 separate cartridges
- Compact design
- Only work with paper with less than 10mm thickness
- Does not come with a USB cable
- Slow processing speed
HP LaserJet Pro M452dw
(Best HP Printer for Heat Transfers)
HP LaserJet Pro M452dw is a color laser printer loaded with features designed for your business like a color touchscreen, 2-sided printing, and wireless printing. The printing speed of this unit is 28 pages per minute. It is a wireless unit that releases the first page in 8.9 seconds for black and 9.5 seconds for color.
It will protect your documents and boost compliance with a document, device or data security solutions for your print fleet. You will get 33% more prints and 40% faster results. It is perfect for small businesses with a 300-sheet paper input capacity, 4,000-page monthly volume capacity, 10 people and much more.
It supports different paper sizes including executive, legal, letter, Oficio, and envelopes. Also, you should use original HP 410A & HP 410X toner cartridges specially made to suit your printer and prevent wasted supplies, frustrating reprints and delays. Make sure to review the main pros and cons before your order.
- Great printing speed
- Works pretty quiet
- Allows you to print wirelessly
- Supports automatic 2 sided printing
- Big sheet capacity
- Issues running on Mac
- USB cord not included
- Provides low resolution
Epson Workforce WF-7710
(Best Home Printer for Heat Transfers)
Another printer by Epson that is worth your money is workforce WF 7710 powered by Precision Core and has booming performance. You can print shop quality borderless prints up to 13 inches x 19 inches. If you want to save 80% power or increase your profits, I advise you to purchase this color laser printer.
It includes versatile paper handling 250 sheet tray and a rear feed for specialty paper. However, keep in mind that this unit is made for use with Epson cartridges only. It has a 2-sided auto print, copy, scan, and fax plus 35 pages auto document feeder. Also, you can work from your Android, iPhone or iPad machine.
You can make big scans up to 11 inches x 17 inches with a two-sided auto document feeder. It is perfect for small business or home office. The max printing speed is 18 ISO ppm black & 10 ISO ppm color. But, let’s summarize the most important pros and cons of this machine before you make your final purchase.
- Ability to print, copy, scan, and fax
- Comes with 125 output tray and 250-sheet tray
- Great performance printing and scanning ability
- Very economical machine
- Support WiFi and Ethernet connection
- Sometimes there are issues with a roller that causing bad quality print
- Does not work well while huge printing is performed
- No auto-sizing on the pictures
Epson Stylus C88+
(Best Pigment Ink Printer for Heat Transfers)
The last product on this list by Epson is their Stylus C88+ that speeds through critical reports & projects. It offers impressive and durable results with revolutionary DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. This exceptional printer will protect your important documents with a fast-drying, water, fade, and smudge-resistant ink.
It has 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi and ink droplets as small as 3 picoliters that will make sure your results have a lasting impression. You can print frame-ready prints in many borderless sizes. You can also utilize the high-capacity tray to make great handouts and charts quickly. It has convenient individual cartridges.
This unit provides parallel and USB connectivity and easy networking settings and is the perfect solution for both Mac and Windows computers. The maximum printing speed is 23 ppm black and 14 ppm color. Now, let’s take a look at the most important pros and cons of this device before you make your decision.
- Pigment-based inks included
- Contains 4 individual cartridges
- Borderless printing
- Good Printing quality
- Easy to set up even for beginners
- Lack of connectivity options
- Not work well with Mac
- Expensive cartridges
- Not economical printer
US Stock-Ving 3D Sublimation
(Best Sublimation Printer for Mugs)
Last but not least is the US Stock-Ving 3D Sublimation is a vacuum press based on the latest sublimation technology. It is made of aluminum and iron metal that is thermal-insulated and flame-retardant. It uses hot rollers with vacuum sucking molding in order to move items of 3D-surface with a nice imprint effect.
It is created with asperities dots on the surface of the working table in order to boost the heating area. The more dots, the better the transfer image is. You can use this machine for both flat and curved items like mugs, phone protection cover, ceramic times, metal sheets and more. It is a highly-efficient printer.
But here is the kicker. You can imprint 12 mugs at once with this workhorse. The best part? The machine will automatically turn off after 15 minutes of unattended use. It has a safe, dual temperature control on hardware and software which makes it more appealing than any other unit that I have reviewed before.
- Compact and stylish design
- Easy to use and setup
- Best sublimation printer for beginners
- Automatic heat and pressure processes
- Contains heat-resistant strips
- Aided with vacuum absorption technology
- Overheat very fast
- Instruction manual not included
- The bladder is not durable
How to Print Heat Transfers?
Printing heat transfers is not as hard as you imagine. On the contrary, it is a simple process that you can learn if you want. You will need an inkjet printer or a heat press machine and a transfer paper. First, you should choose the design or artwork. Next, you will have to print your artwork or design on your printer.
Trim your transfer paper in order to prevent blank parts of the transfer paper from being transferred to your item. Prepare your heat press machine and select the temperature depending on the carrier paper that you use. Adjust your timer. Place your item. Close the press. Wait. Peel the paper while it is still hot.
If you want to be guided throughout the whole process, please check this step-by-step tutorial on how to make heat transfers. Also, you can watch this video if visualization guideline is what suits you better.
Can I Use Any Inkjet Printer for Heat Transfers?
You can try it. However, it will never deliver a top-quality result that you will be proud of. Also, using any inkjet printer for heat transfers is not going to make your business more profitable or boost your skills. If you want to develop a business, you will have to purchase a quality, dedicated printer for heat transfers.
However, after hours of research, I have come to the conclusion that any inkjet printer using the regular ink can print the heat-transfer paper. So, if you want to use your regular inkjet printer for heat transfers, make sure that you are using the best heat transfer paper. However, it will still not offer quality results.
Can You Use Any Printer for Transfer Paper?
Most inks and inkjet printers work with transfer paper. Meaning, you do not have to modify your printer in any way. Any inkjet printer and ink will allow you to move a custom design on a t-shirt using your own equipment at home. However, if you want top-quality results, you need a heat transfer printer machine.
Can I Print on Heat Transfer Vinyl?
Yes, you can print on a printable heat transfer vinyl, however, first, let’s make something very clear. It is one of the biggest misconceptions that printable heat transfer vinyl works in desktop printers like a laser or an inkjet. Transfer paper is what will work for this type of printer, no matter the ink or type of printer.
Printable heat transfer vinyl is vinyl while transfer paper is paper. Therefore, heat transfer vinyl requires a wide-format printer. If you have a business or want to create a professional-looking vinyl print, you will need a large format inkjet printer. This type of printers run on roll-reed media and come with LED lamps.
All you have to do is put your design on the surface of your item and apply it with gentle pressure at 295 for about 20 seconds. But the technique changes depending on the material. So, you should follow the provided instructions in your vinyl. Once you are fully finished, you can peel it cold or while it is still hot.
T-Shirt Heat Press vs Screen Printing
A heat press is the latest technology in the shirt printing industry. If you are new to heat-press, you may be wondering how it operates. It includes pressing your artwork into the garment using a heat transfer.
After, you can apply a temperature of around 400 degrees F and pressure of around 40 to 80psl in order to embed the artwork into the item. Before you use a heat press unit, you will have to make your design on a piece of paper. Next, you transfer that piece of paper to your garment with a heat press unit that is created to create personal designs. You can choose between different types of heat transfers including:
Vinyl Heat Transfer
Vinyl heat transfer includes cutting small pieces of designs or shapes.
After, you transfer those shapes or designs into a garment. For this transfer, you will need a heat press machine that allows you to print on-off designs. Unlike screen printing, vinyl heat transfer allows you to print various colors. It is suggested that you choose sportswear, small multi-color graphics, and slogans.
Digital Print Heat Transfer
First and foremost, you need to make your artwork on a computer. After, the company turns your piece into a special paper using a solvent ink. If you plan to mass-produce garments of similar artwork, picking digital print heat transfer is a smart idea because it does not cost much. That is why digital heat transfer is so popular these days. Pieces of clothing printed through heat transfer methods deliver quality results.
They have better resolution and take only a few minutes of your time to realize. Meaning, if you want to mass-produce things, a heat press is ideal for you. It is a better option than screen printing.
Another con of heat press is that the process is environmentally friendly and simple, unlike screen printing methods.
Did you know that screen printing includes many chemical combinations that could be bad for health?
Using a heat press guarantees high-quality results. This easy method uses ink with graphically advanced software packages which makes your work flexible and much easier. And you can play with many colors.
However, heat press can be time-consuming if you need mass production of a shirt. Most of the things produced will not last long and you will not be able to lay different colors because your t-shirt will feel heavy. Screen printing, on the other hand, includes the application of the ink-blocking stencil to screens.
The stencil has ink in liquid form. After, you take the stencil and move it to the fabric and you are done. However, this method does not work in every design. It requires more equipment and chemicals, unlike heat press. It works best for apparel firms. You need printers, screens, scrubbers, films, tape and so on.
If you have larger projects (around 1000 units), I personally recommend screen printing. It is affordable. You are not limited in size like with other methods. Another benefit is that screen printing makes bright garments with a better soft-feel on the hand. It produces highly-durable pieces that last for many years.
Screen printing is not good for small orders. Another disadvantage of screen printing is that you cannot take on complex multi-colored projects because it operates with one or two colors. Each color requires a different screen. If your artwork has multiple colors, you will need around twenty screens to compete.
Inkjet or Laser Printer for Heat Transfers?
Honestly, inkjet units offer a higher quality print than laser units for heat transfers. And they have a wide selection of papers to pick from. The options vary from papers that excel in soft hand, amazing color and less border. Inkjet units are easy to use and set up. Also, they use versatile and universal transfer papers.
You can choose between pigment and dye ink. Dye ink is water-based ink. It is more likely that this ink is going to bleed in the wash. Pigment ink, on the other hand, is water-resistant. It works great for transfer printing. However, inkjet printers are more expensive than laser printers when it comes to buying ink.
Laser inks cost less and offer to print at a high-speed, especially when working with lots of transfers at a time. Laser units are also capable of printing self-weeding transfers. Inkjet printers cannot do that yet. It is hard to select between inkjet printers and laser printers because they offer the same quality & speed.
Buying the best printer for heat transfers is hard if you do not know where to look. However, that is why I reviewed some of the best-selling printers loved by hundreds of crafters. I hope that this guide will help you choose the right printer for you. If you want a quality unit, order the Expression Photo HD XP-15000.
However, if you are on a budget but still want a high-quality printer, I recommend Epson C88+ Bundled with Hotzone360. In general, Epson has some of the best printers for heat transfers out there. However, it is up to you to choose which one you like best. Always buy the best electronic unit that you can afford.
If you have any questions associated with heat transfers and printers, drop it in the comments. I am also interested in your personal experience with these printers. Which one would you recommend and why?