litho transfer printing

Litho Transfer Printing

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Litho Transfer Printing – When extreme detail is required. When screen print isn’t quite detailed enough, when digital print won’t quite do it, and when sublimation won’t save the day, who we gonna call? It has its pros and its cons, but Litho Transfer Printing is an option. It has amazing detail because it’s printed onto a paper first, so onto a much smoother substrate than a textile, that will hold a really fine dot, and then be heat applied to the garment. The print onto paper first bit helps, because in essence a textile is a bunch of holes which will break up a direct print like a screen or digital option.

It will give an amazing brochure quality, like you’re walking down the street and suddenly a page out of Loaded magazine has blown onto your chest. It can look perfectly photographic. And they’re so much better than they used to be back in the bad old days of feeling like you were wearing an ironing board. But the negatives are almost too obvious to mention. This paper based form of decoration will present a slightly more iffy texture than for example a nice water based ink. Also, because it’s a transfer it can appear to be a little plonked onto the garment, so designs need to take that into consideration and appear a little more free flowing – try and avoid designs that are basically rectangles!

So why do we occasionally opt for Litho Transfer Printing?

Well, just one reason we can think of – if Disney want a picture of Pocahontas on a T shirt, and she really does have to look EXACTLY as she would on the screen, not even the slightest loss of resolution or Walt himself will be barking down the phone, then litho transfer can be the answer…it’s all about the Colours in the Wind (a Pocahontas song, not a medical problem).

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