What Is the Heat-Transfer Printing Process and How Does It Work?

Whether you are trying to create a custom-designed baseball cap or an aesthetically appealing t-shirt, the heat-transfer printing process is a foolproof way to transfer messages, logos, images, and text onto fabrics to make them look more attractive. But what really goes on behind closed warehouse doors that makes heat-transfer printing one of the top choices for entrepreneurs, large enterprises, and custom apparel fanatics? You should continue reading to find out!

What Is Heat Transfer Printing?

Heat-transfer printing (also known as thermal printing and thermal-transfer printing) is a method that uses heat to transfer text, images, or designs from heat-applied materials to other objects known as “base materials” such as fabric. The text, images, or designs from the heat-applied materials are printed onto the base materials to decorate them. Base materials can include bags, t-shirts, caps, awards, plaques, and several other items that can withstand the heat from the transfer.

The heat-transfer printing process is one of the most affordable printing processes out there, especially for fabrics. The process can be completed with the help of heat transfer equipment such as a heat press or an iron. The heat-applied materials include an adhesive on one side that gets activated when the heat is applied. When you apply heat to the heat-applied material via the heat transfer equipment, it activates the adhesive and helps it stick to the base material you wish to transform.

When to Opt for Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer is a durable process and will work well when the printed base material is exposed to the elements. Heat transfer is commonly used to print names or numbers onto sports jerseys as it can be cost effective to create each name and number.

The Benefits of the Heat-Transfer Printing Process

High-Quality Prints

The heat-transfer printing process works quickly and economically without sacrificing the quality of the fabric. The equipment is capable of printing vivid, complex, and full-color images with an excellent image resolution.

Less Messy

One of the most significant advantages of using a heat-transfer printing machine is the fact that it does not require the use of any dyes or solvents, so it is not a messy process at all. Your products won’t get damaged by ink spills if you use a heat transfer machine.


For a small number of identical items, such as 6 to 10 pieces, the heat press technology cost is lower. Purchasing an iron or a heat press machine for the process is also relatively inexpensive. If you are looking for some t-shirts for your friend’s bachelor party or want custom caps for a family hockey game, you should opt for the heat-transfer printing process!

Heat Transfer Printing at ArtRageous Apparel

Have you found the answer to what is heat transfer printing? It’s time for you to give the process a shot! ArtRageous Apparel is a custom online store that offers heat-transfer printing services in Illinois. We use MultiCut™ heat transfer vinyl to print numbers, letters, logos, and other graphic images on various fabrics such as polyester, cotton, nylon, and dyed fabrics. Our superior and innovative technology guarantees prints that will never crack or fade! To place your order with ArtRageous Apparel, contact us at (847) 986-6212 or visit our services page to learn more about the services we provide.