Tag Archives: Custom Screen Printed Heat Transfers

Heat Transfers – What are Film Positives and Screens?

What Is A Film Positive?

A film positive is an opaque image of your design printed on a transparent sheet of film. You have designed, sized, separated, saved, emailed your output ready art file and placed an order with your favor heat transfers printer, GULFSIDE HEAT TRANSFERS. So what happens next? Our art department must generate a film positive for each color you used in your design. Film positives are necessary because we use a photographic screen stenciling process to burn your design image into our printing screens.

What Is A Screen?

A screen is a piece of polyester mesh stretched over a metal frame. What’s Next? Now it is time to burn (expose) the screens. Each film positive is placed on a separated screen that has been coated with a light-sensitive photo emulsion. The coated screens are burned with an ultraviolet light source. Once the exposing process is completed, each screen is soaked with water and washed out thoroughly in a lighted washout tank. The areas of the screen that were covered by the opaque image on the film positive remain unexposed and will wash away leaving a negative stencil of your image in the screen mesh. After the screens are dried, they are blocked out, taped and sent to the printing department.

Decorating with Custom Screen Printed Heat Transfers

You do not need to be a professional screen printer to decorate T-shirts and apparel. All you need is a reputable heat transfer printer, GULFSIDE HEAT TRANSFERS, to screen print your custom heat transfer designs and a reliable heat transfer press. Gulfside’s Custom Screen Printed Heat Transfers are printed with environmentally friendly phthalate-free plastisol inks on a coated transfer release paper. Our transfers are user-friendly, and as always, allow you to decorate on demand. Our transfers apply in seconds, no muss, no fuss, no mess, and no cleanup. Screen printed transfers won’t crack or peel and with proper laundering will last the life of the garment. Did you know screen printed plastisol heat transfers are used to decorate Sports Team Apparel, Uniforms, Spirit Wear, Fan Wear, Fashion Garments, T-shirts and all types of clothing made an sold by major apparel and shoe manufacturers around the world. Gulfside employees have screen printed millions of heat transfers and have years of experience which works in your favor-We’ve been there, done that and seen it all. Gulfside Heat Transfers, we make ordering as EASY AS 1,2,3!

Custom Screen Printed Heat Transfer Art Made Easy Using Vector Graphics Software

You don’t need to be an accomplished artist or a graphics art expert to create logos, illustrations and multi-color designs that can be used to screen print custom heat transfers. You do however need a positive “can do” attitude, a little imagination and a Vector Graphics Drawing Software Program. Vector is a technique rather than a style and it is fun and easy to use. Vector software will allow you to create precise, detailed scalable, layered images that are heat transfer printer friendly. Make a mistake? No worries, vector is easy to edit. There are several vector graphic editors that offer free software or free software trials. Popular vector drawing programs are Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, CorelDraw, Xara Xtreme, and Serif DrawPlus. You can also download and use an unlimited amount of free vector clipart, graphics ideas, illustrations, images, photos and wallpaper from several vector graphics websites. If you would like to start creating your own custom heat transfer designs using vector art there are several helpful online tutorials to help you get on your way. Isn’t it time you stopped paying an arm and a leg for artwork. Why not “Reap The Rewards” by creating custom heat transfer logos and designs for yourself and your customers, your competitors already doing it.

Choosing The Right Heat Transfer Press For Your Business

Custom screen printed heat transfers are heat, pressure and time sensitive. Choosing the right heat transfer press for your business is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. There are several factors you need to take into consideration before making your purchase. HEAT: Well-made heat transfer presses will provide continuously even temperature across the heat platen. Even temperature will prevent cold spots from developing in the platen. Cold spots are the leading cause for application problems and application failure. PRESSURE: Another factor is pressure. A well-made press will provide even pressure from corner to corner, side to side and top to bottom. Uneven pressure, too much pressure or not enough pressure will also cause application problems or application failure. TIME: Too much or not enough time will cause application problems or application failure. Purchase a heat transfer press that is equipped with a digital display timer. A digital display timer will allow you to see the preset application time count down on the display screen.


  • Ease of use
  • Heat platen size
  • Silicone pad thickness
  • Power requirements/is a dedicated breaker or a special outlet required
  • Will the heat transfer press fit in your workspace
  • Is the press easy to transport
  • Press options/interchangeable platens
  • Manufacturer reputation
  • Manufacturer warranty and service plans
  • Is adequate or 24/7 technical support offered
  • The cost to replace the silicone pad

Before you purchase a heat transfer press do your homework and if possible, attend an industry-related trade show. Ask a reputable heat transfer manufacturer which heat press manufacturer or heat transfer press they recommend. All heat transfer presses are not equal. Don’t settle for a foreign made press just because it is less expensive. When you have decided on the right American-made press, shop around and negotiate the asking price. Discounts and free shipping are often available for the asking.