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Screen Printed Transfer

One of the most common printing techniques is screen printing. It is one of the oldest printing techniques and has not changed too much over the years. Technology has helped improve processes and increase quality but the process hasn’t been modified much over the decades.

The technique can be used in multiple forms and one of the benefits is that it can also be used to produce transfers.

Machine doing screen printed transfers

What is Screen Printed Transfer

The process for producing the transfers is very similar to the process of screen printing whereby the design is broken down into spot colours. Each colour is then printed onto a plastic film which is used to transfer the design by exposing the mesh screen under UV light.

Once all of the screens are prepared for each of the different colours, ink is mixed and then added to the screens. The ink is pushed through the screen using a squeegee and the final transfers are produced by printing all of the colours onto a special paper or plastic. The last layer is an adhesive layer which is used to make the transfer stick to the product.

Once the screen printed transfers are prepared, they can then be applied to t shirts, hoodies, caps, bags, gloves or any other product that might prove too difficult to apply a direct screen print.

The application process is done by using an industrial heat-press which is similar to a large iron and with heat and pressure, the adhesive makes the transfer stick to the product.

The screen printed transfers give the printers more flexibility with the position and more control over the product meaning you can have your design in virtually any position and on virtually any product.

When to Choose Screen Printed Transfer?

When there are a large number of products to be printed then standard transfer techniques, for example, cad-cut vinyl or colour-cut-out transfer can prove too manual and laborious. This is where screen printed transfers would be the preferred option.

Given the set-up process is the same as screen-printing, for lower quantity orders, the cost can be relatively high but it offers excellent economies of scale: the more you order the better the price.

Another factor to take into consideration is the colour matching process. Other transfer techniques use a CMYK printing process, however, the colours for screen printed transfers, are Pantone matched so exact Pantone colours can be achieved which is essential if you are trying to follow brand guidelines and need to produce an accurate Pantone colour.

Screen printed transfers on black t-shirt