Heat transfers or Tagless labels for apparels offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional fabric labels for label produces to offer garment manufacturers. For the consumer, it means not having to remove an itchy label from clothing. For the manufacturer, the convenience of heat transfer labels means happy customers as well as the high visibility of your brand whenever they don your apparel.
Tagless labels can be supplied in continuous Rolls or individual pieces for application to a garment. (If you want to learn more about producing Heat Transfer/Tagless labels please visit the appropriate pages on the Website)
There are a few options for heat transfer printing machines. If you are unfamiliar with the types of available machine, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Having more information about heat transfer machines can make your choice less difficult.
The Three Main Types of Heat Transfer Press Machines
Each of the three main types of heat transfer machine has its own characteristics, as well as its own advantages, each should be carefully considered.
The Draw Heat Press
Also known as the drawer heat press, this machine has a moveable lower plate that can be pulled towards the operator. The garment is stretched over this plate before it is pushed back in and the label pressed onto it. This type of press allows heat to be directed away from the operator during use. The top plate of the draw heat press remains stationary.
This choice is best for labels requiring a degree of precision. It is also ideal for printing high numbers of labels if automated. The draw heat press is small and easy to transport, as well as being time-efficient and easy to use. The layout area and ability to pull out the lower plate allows the operator to see the garment area clearly.
If space is scarce where the draw heat press is being used, it’s important to note that this type of machine will take up space when the lower plate is pulled out. As well, garments made from bulky materials may not produce ideal results.
This particular machine features a hinge between its top and bottom plate. The machine opens like a clamshell and the top plate can swing to the side. The clamshell heat press is available in both manual and automatic versions. This type of heat press is ideal for beginners, as it is incredibly easy to place the garment onto the machine for transferring. If you have a manual clamshell heat press, then you might need to open and close the top at the start and finish of the Transfer process. The automatic version will open once the timed transfer process is finished.
The clamshell is ideal where large numbers of garments need to be labelled, as it is easy to lay garments onto the machine. It is also perfect as a first purchase for small operations that are just getting into garment labelling with heat transfer.
This type of heat press is a great alternative to other presses, as it is the most portable of the three types, and also takes up the least space. Companies looking to take this press to trade events will find the clamshell to be most convenient option.
Where labels are needed on thicker or bulkier items, the clamshell may not be suitable. Also, due to the way in which the machine opens, the layout area isn’t as visible as with other types.
More pressure is needed in order to ensure proper printing with the clamshell heat press. If pressure is not enough or uneven pressure is applied, a loss of quality can be the result. The clamshell heat press also requires a degree of skill, and so may not be best for beginners.
The transfer process takes more time to complete when a clamshell heat press is used. Finally, although it is portable, the clamshell will take up space when the top plate is swung to the side.
The swinger heat press has a top plate that swings in both horizontal directions. This particular press is used where precision is required, such as when logo details, individual letters and numbers or embellishments like rhinestones are required.
The swinger press is also very easy to use. The layout area is highly visible due the ability of the top plate to swing out in either horizontal direction. It also allows for even pressure to be applied to the garment’s surface.
Printing garment labels will take more time with this press. It also requires a greater degree of skill to operate, which doesn’t make it the best option for beginners.
In addition to the many types of machine available, there are also levels of quality to consider. Machines are available in starter, intermediate and professional versions.
Consider the volumes of Transfers you want to apply & how they are presented, individually or Semi -automatic. The temperature range for the type of garment, the target time required to apply each transfer, typically 2-5 seconds. The sizes of the transfer.
Starter models are typically more compact in size, and are ideal for applying labels in small quantities. It can take these machines some time to warm up as well, however if time is not a primary concern it will not be an issue.
The intermediate heat presses provide a more professional experience and result. They are the best if affordability and a professional result are desired. The design of intermediate machines can be simpler than their professional counterparts, but their controls do offer a higher degree of sophistication than starter machines.
Professional-level machines offer the highest degree of precision, will be automated but also the highest cost. Digital setting controls for pressure, temperature and heat, along with the ability to pre-set certain preferences are the kinds of features you’ll find with the professional-level heat presses.
When trying to decide on the best heat press for you, it’s important to consider what kind of daily productivity you require & the end result you wish to achieve. Then, find a machine that will help you to easily reach that goal.