Compare Methods

Heat Transfers:

Heat transfers are literally decorations (designs) printed on paper and then heat applied to a t-shirt, a bag, etc.
The advantage of heat transfers are:
  • Inventory control, print one or many.
  • Price of heat transfers is less expensive than DTG. No expensive printers needed.
  • Heat transfers made by Art Brands are retail quality, meaning they are suitable for the many brands, retailers, and consumers we print for.
  • Heat transfers are printed with pressure and heat, the design melts into and around the weave of a product and then cools. This means the washability is excellent.
  • The feel of Art Brands transfers goes from incredibly soft to three dimensional depending on what you need.

Small initial investment. Most processes need a professional grade heat press to print; some methods only need a hand iron to print.

Silk Screening:

This is the method of printing through screens (stencils) one color at a time, directly on to the product you are printing on. You have to make screens, print one color at a time and then have them go through a drier. The problem with silk screening is that if you make a mistake, it is on the t-shirt. It is much faster and easier to use a heat transfer. If we make a mistake printing it, we throw the paper out. Screenprinting can be useful in longer runs, but it is cumbersome and takes up quite a bit of space.
Heat Press
You can print ONE TRANSFER on a heat press at a time or as many as 180 an hour. You don’t need any particular expertise to print our heat transfers. Your quality will be very consistent. Washability on our heat transfers is excellent and will compare to any silkscreen print.

DTG: Direct to Garment:

These digital machines have their place in the industry. They are great for sampling or printing one. They are, however, expensive. Machines can cost from $15,000 up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
More importantly, the cost per design is not static. One design can be 1 dollar, and the next design could be five dollars, because of the amount of white, the size, etc.
You still need a certain level of expertise to use these machines, and if you are not using them consistently, they will need a lot of maintenance.