we will discuss here is inks so you will
understand the differences with the
different types of inks used to print
For the sake of less confusion, there
are only two (2) types of inks to be
considered when printing heat transfers.
Archival/OEM ink and Sublimation Ink.
these are pigment based inks that will
resist fading, bleeding and colors
running (when the garment is washed).
Archival inks come in different brands
such as Spectre, Magic Mix and a few
Archival inks are printed onto Soft
Hand transfer papers such as Hanes,
Transjet II, Soft Hand, Joto, etc... plus
they are also printed onto Opaque
transfer papers such as Avery, Hanes, Pro
Best results are always obtained by
using a heat press to transfer your
prints to garments....
OEM Inks - OEM is Original Equipment
Manufacturers inks such as Epson, Canon,
HP, etc... However, we do not recommend
using any OEM inks unless they are
genuine Epson inks. With the exception of
the Epson Durabrite inks (available on
the CX5200, C42, C82 and the new C84),
the Epson inks are Dye Based. Nothing
wrong with this but ocassionally your
transfer may run or fade unusually fast.
Being dye based, it is more reactive to
such things as sunlight, lights, weather,
The Epson Durabrite inks are pigment
based inks and are exceptionally
resistant to fading, bleeding, washing
out, etc... You will have to make a minor
adjustment in your Printer Preferences to
compensate for any ink discoloration.
All OEM transfers can be printed onto
the Soft Hand transfer papers such as
Hanes, Transjet II, Soft Hand, Joto,
etc... plus they are also printed onto
Opaque transfer papers such as Avery, Pro
World and Hanes.
With the exception of Epson OEM inks,
other brands of inks usually run when
water is applied on them such as washing
the shirts, bumperstickers in the rain,
Stay with the Epson Durabrite brand or
the other brands of pigmented inks.
WE use the Epson Durabrite inks.
'Compatible' Inks - We do not recommend
using these inks for your heat transfers
as the ingredients in them are unknown.
You could end up making shirts which will
run when it is washed. Stay with what
Sublimation Inks are a transparent ink
that is used on special heat transfer
paper made just for sublimation
The sublimation process is very
simple. You print the transfer onto the
transfer paper. Your artwork is very
dull, colorless and dark. This is normal.
When you place the transfer onto a
mousepad, ceramic tile, etc... the heat
from the press, along with the pressure
of the heat press being closed, causes
the ink to 'vaporize' or turn into a gas.
This 'gas' is forced into the actual
fabric of the garment and mousepad, or
the coating on the ceramic tile, mug,
etc... The image is IN
Once the process is completed, the
colors on your artwork POP! Brilliant
reds, yellow yellows, etc...
You must print your sublimation
transfers onto heat transfer paper
designed for sublimation ink!
Sublimation ink heat transfers should
not be applied to garments and products
that have a 100% cotton content.
Sublimation ink heat transfers WILL
WASHOUT on ANY 100% Cotton product!
Sublimation ink heat transfers should
only be heat transfered onto hard items
such as mugs, metal, ceramic tiles,
etc... that have been specifically coated
to accept sublimation ink heat transfers.
cannot go into your local Lowes
or Home depot and buy a ceramic tile and
heat pres onto it. It will not work. The
surface MUST BE COATED..
Sublimation ink heat transfers work
excellent on man made fabrics (polyester,
nylon, denier poly, etc...) Yes, you can
place an image onto a 50/50 blend shirt.
When you first wash it, the ink that is
in the 100% cotton fibers will washout.
The image in the 50% polyester fiber will
never washout. Your image will have a
washed out look. To those of us who serve
the commercial market (local painters,
contractors, etc...), this is acceptable.
Sublimation transfers should be applied
onto garments that have a 100% polyester
content. In most cases, such as aprons, a
65 poly and 35 cotton is acceptable.