You probably know someone who uses one of those at-home vinyl printers like a Cricut or a Silhouette to make custom t-shirts for family vacation, or maybe even specialty orders for their Etsy business. Those machines essentially create a vinyl heat transfer that can be applied with a heat press.
With thermo seal decoration, you get a commercial grade, high quality heat transfer that works on most shirts, jackets and other apparel. (Check out how we used it here to personalize a diaper bag and burp cloth for one of our customers.)
The Process of Creating and Applying Full Color Heat Transfers
First our design team converts your artwork into a thermo seal file and selects the material best suited for your project. (We use a variety of high quality vinyls suited to different types of background colors and materials.) Once the art is ready to print, it goes to the printer, where it’s printed in full color (or the spot colors of your choice) and then cad-cut to the exact shape of your design.
Watch this video to see our new printer/cutter in action.
Once the transfer is printed and scored by the machine, our production team “weeds” away the excess vinyl by hand and all that remains is your vibrant, full color logo. (In case you’re wondering, yes, “weeding” is absolutely as time-consuming as you might imagine. Although we have to hand it to our team…they are REALLY good at what they do.)
At this point, your design is ready for the heat press, where we use just the right amount of heat to transfer the design to your item, and in a matter of seconds, it’s done!
So how do you know if Thermo Seal is the right technique for you?
You should considering using thermo seal heat transfer decoration when:
- Your logo requires 10,000 or more stitches to embroider.
- You want to avoid weighing down moisture-wicking performance fabrics.
- You’re concerned that your design will lose some of its detail with embroidery.
- You really want a multi-color logo but don’t need huge quantities.
- You’re tired of using the same decoration techniques and just want something different.
How does price compare to other decorating techniques?
With screen printing, pricing is based on three things: Quantity, number of colors in your design, and the number of locations you want us to print for you (e.g. front left chest, left sleeve, full back.) The more screen printed items you order, the more you save, so the best pricing happens on bulk orders. When you think screen printing, t-shirts probably come to mind.
Embroidery makes an excellent choice for higher-end wearables such as polos, dress shirts and jackets because you can order in small quantities. (We can do just one item for you if necessary!) Pricing reflects the number of stitches and locations, and you can catch a break at as little as five pieces. (The average left chest logo runs between 4000-7000 stitches. Just remember: Higher stitch count equals higher price.)
Unlike screen printing, all thermo seal pricing includes full color digital printing. However, the size of your artworks plays the biggest role in determining price. For thermo seal, we’ll need to know exactly how big you want your logo to be on the item. Will it fit on the left chest, or is it more like a 6×6 square? Do you need a full sleeve or leg imprint, or would you prefer a full 9×12 design?
As far as quantity goes, we can thermo seal as little as one item at a time, but pricing gets even better when you order at least 13 pieces. (Your best deal? Thirteen or more items with a full color left-chest size logo.)
Will Thermo Seal replace screen printing and embroidery?
Rest assured, screen printing and embroidery aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. We expect these tried-and-true methods to remain our bread and butter for the foreseeable future. However, thermo seal allows us to bridge the gap and offer even more solutions to our clients. (For more on our other decoration techniques, click here.)
Contact us for a quote or a consult on your next project today!