Silk screened transfers are made from plastisol ink. This ink is used in direct printing on garments by most screen printers and is widely known for its brightness and durability. Silk screened transfers are printed in reverse on a release paper and are transferred to apparel using heat and pressure. They can be applied to cotton, polyester or poly/cotton blends and can be used on light or dark garments. A “screen” must be prepared for each color used in the manufacture of these transfers. Setup and preparation costs of these screens are substantial for multi color transfers. However, these costs can be offset by printing the transfers in quantities sufficient to lower the per unit costs.
When in close contact with polyester fibers and other polyester-coated objects, the sublimated gases penetrate and color the material fibers or polyester coating. The result is that the print actually becomes a part of the garment or coating. It doesn’t fade easily, wear or have any texture or weight. The printed image will be permanent, washable and bright.
Sublimation transfers will only work on white or very light fabrics that have a high polyester content. Polyester contents as low as 50% will work, but the resulting image colors will be subdued when compared to fabrics containing 100% polyester. Sublimation transfers will NOT work on 100% cotton.