If you’re a custom t-shirt maker and you’re reading this article, you’re already doing your part. The earth thanks you.
Eco printing is becoming more and more important as the fashion industry continues to produce waste. T-shirts are being printed now more than ever, so we must all do our part to print responsibly.
How, you ask? Heat transfers.
Heat transfers are the future of eco printing. It’s inexpensive and produces minimal waste, all without sacrificing the vibrant color necessary in certain designs.
Want to learn more about this exciting new trend in eco printing? Read on.
What Exactly Are Heat Transfers?
Heat transferring, or sublimation transferring, is a method of printing colorful prints on fabric. Colorful dyes are heat-activated to transfer a print from the pattern to the fabric through the process of sublimation.
Sublimation is when molecules are turned from a solid to a gas state, bypassing the liquid state entirely. During a heat transfer, heat converts the dyes directly to the gas form. At the same time, the heat opens up the fibers of the fabric, allowing them to adopt the color of the gaseous dye.
Once the fabric and the dye cool down, they’re permanently bonded.
Customers might ask you what happens when the dye heats up again, worried about putting the garment in the dryer. Luckily, a quality heat transfer should stand the test of time and last as long as the t-shirt itself.
Just because the dye heats up again doesn’t mean it’ll become gaseous. It requires extreme heat to get to that form again.
Why Is It So Eco-Friendly?
First of all, heat transferring doesn’t pollute the water system with harmful dyes. Since 100% of the dye is applied directly to the fabric, none will run off into the water. Another plus: brighter, more vibrant colors on your t-shirts.
It also produces the most minimal waste of all the transferring processes. The only waste produced is the used transfer paper where the dye was. After the dye has been transferred to the fabric, this transfer paper can be recycled, reducing the carbon footprint of the whole process to zero.
In an effort to reuse, the transfer paper can also be used on another piece of fabric to print again! This is called “exhaust printing.” It can yield less vibrant colors, but can also make for a rustic, patina effect that’s trending right now.
Eco Printing: More Important Than Ever
With global warming imminent, now is the time to switch your screenprinting processes over to heat transferring. It may seem like a small step in the face of a much larger issue, but dollars are made of pennies.
Now that you’ve read up and hopefully decided to go green in your business, get in touch with us today to discuss any questions you may have about heat transfers or anything else eco printing!