Screen printed heat transfers offer an alternative to direct screen printing. Whereas traditional screen printing is produced directly onto the final substrate, heat transfers are manufactured by screen printing onto a carrier paper or film treated with a special release coating. The transfer is then applied to the final substrate using a commercial grade heat press.
In both cases, similar or even the exact same inks are used – typically plastisol, water based, or solvent based inks. These inks are pushed through mesh screens to create single and multi-color designs which can be applied to a variety of clothing items and accessories including t-shirts, sweatshirts, polos, sports uniforms, bags, hats, can coolers and more.
There are many advantages to utilizing screen printed heat transfers, most notably the ability to keep stock of certain designs and logos. This allows you to print on demand and fill orders on an as-needed basis. In turn, you can decrease overhead of your blank garments.
Gang sheets allow you to fulfill an entire job with just one order. For instance, place a full chest logo, sleeve print, and heart region all on the same gang sheet, cut apart, and apply. Instead of paying for three set ups, you only pay for the single gang sheet. Read more about the gang sheet sizes we offer HERE.
You will get the same quality and durability from screen printed heat transfers as you will with direct screen printing. In fact, many of our customers and their customers prefer the look and feel of transfers.
Plastisol inks are made using PVC particles and plasticizers. Most traditional screen printing is done using plastisol inks because of their versatility, durability, and cost-efficiency.
The following products are produced using plastisol inks:
Our specialty inks include transfers made from solvent based and water based inks. These are more ideal options for industrial and performance markets because of their greater opacity, better edge detail, and the ability to be applied to a wide range of end products. Water based inks also offer a more eco-friendly alternative to plastisol inks.
The following products are produced using solvent based and water based inks:
Yes, we have several sized gang sheets to choose from. Fill your gang sheet edge-to-edge however you want.
We recommend storing your transfers in a climate-controlled environment away from any potential humidity exposure. Storage bins with tops that snap shut are a great choice.
Yes, we now offer cutting on most transfer products. Please see our cutting and bagging service options and pricing HERE.
Most files types are accepted. Seriously.
Vector files are preferred because they can easily be color separated and resized without losing detail. Vector artwork is comprised of points, lines, and curves to create a series of shapes and ultimately, your custom design. Typical vector file extensions include: AI, CDR, PDF, EPS.
Please note that a vector file must be created in a native program. Simply saving a raster bitmap as one of these file extensions will not “convert” the file to vector format.
Preferred file extensions include:
If you don’t see your file extension listed above or if your file isn’t accepted on Dashboard, you can email your artwork directly to your sales rep or to our main account at email@example.com.
Setup your file on an artboard the size of the gang sheet you will be ordering. Place your images onto the artboard sized exactly as you’d like them printed. No need to mirror the images. If you are ordering white ink, you can either send your artwork as white on a color background or you can send your artwork as an arbitrary color and note during submission that you’d like it to print white.
There is a section titled Art Specs on each product page that details the art requirements specific to each product.
Yes, send them our way. No need to overthink this. Submit your artwork with a tint, percentage, gradient, or fountain fill. Our artists will prepare the file and our RIP software will convert it to halftones. We use specific mesh screens depending on the art, so please do not try to convert your artwork into halftones before sending it to us.
We have several distressed patterns you can choose from. Our artists will add this to your artwork at no additional charge.
If you’re using your own distressed pattern, you can simply place the pattern (bitmap or vector) on top of your vector artwork. If you can avoid distressing the vector artwork itself, this will help our artists in the event they may need to make any changes to the file to prepare it for production.
To place an order, login or create an account on our Dashboard site. Click Order Transfers and fill out the information according to your needs. If you would like to place multiple orders at once, select Add More in the lower right-hand corner of the page.
If you are having trouble ordering on the Dashboard site, you may email your order(s) to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To expedite the process, be sure you have the following details. If you need assistance selecting the right product, our sales team will be happy to help direct you.
Plastisol transfer orders will incur a color wash charge of $15/screen.
Specialty transfers and Mega Gang orders will incur a color wash charge of $30/screen.
Oversize Plus+ Gang orders require a 24-sheet minimum per color wash.
Mega Gang orders require a 25-sheet minimum per color wash.
We are proud to offer the fastest turnaround on custom plastisol and waterbased heat transfers in the industry.
Take advantage of our FREE Same Day Service, available between 7am – 11am CT Monday – Friday on single color orders up to 288 sheets. Some restrictions apply. Learn more here.
You can find all of our standard turnaround times here.
If you submit an order on the Dashboard site that won’t meet your deadline, please get in contact with us at email@example.com. Remember, the humans are still in charge, not the computers.
A $25/color rush charge will apply to orders that are not available for Same Day Service or standard turnaround. Rush service may be limited or refused on high-production days. Our sales team reserves the right to refuse rush orders. Rush service is only available on plastisol transfer products.
We try to include at least one extra transfer with every order. This is supplied as a means to test your order before you begin application to your sellable garments. If you suspect you may need to conduct more than one test print, you may cut your transfer in half or into quarters to test multiple times.
Please do not rely on this extra transfer to fulfill your order as it is NOT guaranteed.
Flat Rate Shipping is available on all single or batched packages totaling 750 sheets or less via UPS Ground, 2nd Day Air, or Next Day Air Service within the contiguous United States.
What doesn’t qualify for Flat Rate Shipping?
All orders ship F.O.B., Elgin, Illinois, Huntsville, Texas, or Vernon, California via UPS. Howard Custom Transfers will not be responsible for shipping delays due to inclement weather.
Service options for packages not qualifying for Flat Rate Shipping include:
Please note: Not all service options are available in all locations. Saturday delivery is available by request only and not available in all locations.
We may be able to make special arrangements for customers outside the contiguous United States.
For single or batched packages that qualify for Flat Rate Shipping:
For packages that don’t qualify for Flat Rate Shipping, cost is calculated based on the final size and weight of the package being shipped as well as the destination. Due to variances in ink deposit, orders are weighed once completed for an accurate shipping cost. Your sales rep will be able to provide you with an estimate before you place your order.
We are proud to offer 50% off all UPS air delivery rates on every package, every day. Learn more HERE.
A handling fee of $3.00 will be assessed to all packages with the exception of those qualifying for Flat Rate Shipping.
Yes. Please be sure your complete order is being produced at the facility local to you. We have locations in Elgin, Illinois, Huntsville, Texas, and Vernon, California. Please note that not all products are produced at each facility.
A $3 handling fee will be assessed.
You should receive application instructions with every order. If not, you can find a complete list of application instructions for each product HERE.
We have a talented and knowledgeable sales team that will be happy to assist you should you need any help applying your transfers.
We urge you to seek their advice and not the advice of others on the internet. Not all advice is good advice!
We recommend our transfers to be applied using any commercial grade heat press machine.
We do NOT recommend using a home iron or any other hand-held heat press. Please be advised that if you’re using an off-brand heat press, you will need to conduct independent testing. Our application instructions are intended for the use of a commercial grade heat press. You may need to increase your time/temperature/pressure for adequate results. Request samples HERE.
We are an authorized distributor of Insta heat press machines. You can find the specific models that we suggest for use with our custom heat transfers HERE.
Yes, you can find our sample pack options HERE.
Yes, our Ink Series Color Guide and Vinyl Series Color Guide feature actual printed swatches of all available stock color choices. You can purchase them HERE.
You can find our YouTube channel HERE.
We are constantly updating our blog with useful tips, tricks, and tutorials. You can find our blog HERE.
If you have a suggestion for a future blog topic, let us know HERE.