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Digital Printing

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What is HTV?

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) printing, also known as heat transfer vinyl application or iron-on vinyl, is a popular method for customising textiles, garments, and other fabric items. It involves using a special type of vinyl material that can be cut into designs and then adhered to the fabric using heat and pressure. This process allows for the creation of personalised and intricate designs on various surfaces.

Here's a general overview of the heat transfer vinyl printing process:

1. Design Creation:

Designs are created digitally using graphic design software. The design is typically a vector image, and it can include text, shapes, and intricate patterns.

2. Cutting Vinyl

The designed image is then cut onto sheets of heat transfer vinyl using a cutting machine. The machine follows the contours of the design, creating a stencil-like effect.

3. Weeding

After cutting, the excess vinyl around the design (referred to as "weeding") is removed manually or with the help of tools, leaving only the intended design on a clear carrier sheet.

4. Transfer Mask Application

A transfer mask or transfer tape is applied over the top of the cut and weeded design. This helps to lift the design off the carrier sheet for easier application onto the fabric.

5. Heat Press or Iron Application

The fabric to be customised is placed on a heat press or ironing board. The cut and weeded vinyl design, attached to the transfer mask, is then positioned on the fabric.

6. Peeling

Once the vinyl has been heated and adhered to the fabric, the transfer mask is carefully peeled away, leaving the vinyl design securely on the fabric.

Heat transfer vinyl printing is commonly used for creating custom T-shirts, hats, bags, and other fabric items. It offers a versatile and cost-effective way to produce personalised and small-batch designs without the need for screen printing or other complex printing methods. Additionally, it allows for a wide range of colors and finishes, including matte, glossy, glitter, and more.

Pro’s and Con’s of HTV?

Pros of Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing:

  • Versatility: Heat transfer vinyl can be used on a variety of fabrics, including cotton, polyester, blends, and more. This versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of clothing and accessories.
  • Customization: HTV allows for intricate and personalised designs, making it a popular choice for creating custom apparel and promotional items.
  • Small Batch Production: It is well-suited for small production runs or one-off designs, making it cost-effective for individuals, small businesses, and custom projects.
  • Color Options: Heat transfer vinyl is available in a wide range of colors, including specialty options like metallics, fluorescents, and glitter, providing flexibility in design choices.
  • Durability: When properly applied, heat transfer vinyl can be durable and withstand regular washing and wear.
  • Ease of Use: The process of heat transfer vinyl application is relatively straightforward, especially for those who are familiar with graphic design and crafting.
  • Quick Turnaround: The entire process, from design creation to application, can be completed relatively quickly, allowing for faster production.

Cons of Heat Transfer Vinyl Printing:

  • Feel on Fabric: The vinyl layer can sometimes feel thicker on the fabric compared to other printing methods, potentially affecting the feel and breathability of the garment.
  • Limited to Flat Surfaces: Heat transfer vinyl works best on flat or slightly curved surfaces. It may not adhere well to highly contoured or uneven surfaces, limiting its application on certain items.
  • Not Ideal for Large Runs: While suitable for small batches, heat transfer vinyl may not be as efficient or cost-effective for large-scale production compared to methods like screen printing.
  • Limited Detail: Extremely intricate or fine details in designs may be challenging to achieve with heat transfer vinyl, especially if the design has small, delicate elements.
  • Peeling or Cracking: If not applied correctly, the vinyl may peel or crack over time, especially after repeated washings. Proper application, including temperature and pressure control, is crucial for durability.
  • Upfront Cost: The initial cost of equipment, including a cutting machine and heat press, can be a barrier for some individuals or small businesses.
  • Not Ideal for Dark Fabrics: Light-colored fabrics are generally better suited for heat transfer vinyl. While there are options for dark fabrics, they may require additional steps and may not provide the same vibrancy as on lighter fabrics.

Understanding these pros and cons can help individuals and businesses decide whether heat transfer vinyl printing is the right method for their specific needs.

On what materials can we use HTV?

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) printing can be used on a variety of materials, especially fabrics and textiles.
Here are some common materials on which heat transfer vinyl is commonly applied:


  • One of the most common materials for heat transfer vinyl applications. Cotton T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other cotton-based garments are popular choices.


  • Heat transfer vinyl works well on polyester fabrics, providing vibrant and durable results. Polyester blends are also suitable.


  • Fabrics that are a blend of cotton and polyester or other materials can often be customised with heat transfer vinyl. Be sure to check the specific blend for compatibility.


  • Canvas materials, such as tote bags and shoes, can be customised using heat transfer vinyl.


  • Some heat transfer vinyl products are designed to stretch and adhere well to stretchy fabrics like Lycra and Spandex, commonly found in activewear.


  • Certain types of heat transfer vinyl are formulated to adhere to nylon fabrics. Nylon jackets and bags are examples of items that can be customised with heat transfer vinyl.


  • While not as common as fabric applications, some heat transfer vinyl products are suitable for leather items. Ensure that the vinyl is compatible with the type of leather you are working with.


  • Felt materials, often used in crafting and DIY projects, can be customised with heat transfer vinyl.


  • Heat transfer vinyl can be applied to denim fabrics, allowing for customisation of jeans, jackets, and other denim items.

It's important to note

It's important to note that the compatibility of heat transfer vinyl with a particular material depends on the specific type of vinyl being used. Additionally, the success of the application also relies on proper technique, including temperature, pressure, and duration during the heat transfer process.

Always check the manufacturer's guidelines for the heat transfer vinyl product you are using to ensure that it is suitable for the material you intend to customise. Different vinyl formulations may have specific recommendations regarding fabric type, care instructions, and compatibility with certain materials.


Things to take into consideration

  • Set up fee: No set up of artwork received in correct format ($60 applies if not in correct format)
  • Min order requirement: 4
  • Best suited for, things to consider: Best for logos and designs that are full colour, gradients and require minimum order qty.
  • Material best suited for: Any (can’t print on polar fleece).

How do I obtain a quote for HTV?

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    (ie, front small chest logo, large front print, large logo on back?)
    (did you have a look at our supplier cataloques? Can you provide us with the style code? If not, just give us an idea of what you are after ie, t-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts etc)
    Remember we need at least 4 for htv printing (this can be a mix of items, ie 2 x hoodies, 2 x t-shirts)
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    Loved and Trusted since 2014

    Our journey since 2014 is a testament to the enduring trust our customers place in us for all their printing needs. Experience the difference of a printing partner that has been loved and trusted for a decade – where excellence is not just a promise, but a tradition.

    Gaby Silver
    Gaby Silver
    Best service ever. I could not possibly be happier with the service that I got from Cindy and the team at Promo Printing. I had a very urgent job with a ridiculously tight turnaround and Cindy worked absolute miracles to make it happen. The finished product was exceptional quality and Cindy went way beyond the call of duty ta make sure that it was done on time. If you need embroidery or printing done on time, on budget with a personal touch, look no further.
    Ramon Dumadag
    Ramon Dumadag
    Great service from start to finish. I would highly recommend Promo Printing with all your promotional needs.
    Trent Bartel
    Trent Bartel
    The team at Promo Printing were great to deal with, great pricing and fast turnaround. I will use these guys again.
    Chloe Grimmer
    Chloe Grimmer
    AES have loved all our Promo Printing uniforms! Always professional and easy to communicate with. They are extremely helpful and we are always very happy with the finished product! Thanks Promo Printing for all your help! Looking forward to continuing working together in the future.
    Maureen Congreve
    Maureen Congreve
    I can recommend them to anyone. They are very efficient and quick to respond. Work is excellent. Would go back anytime.
    David Hooker
    David Hooker
    Great experience with Promo Printing. Excellent communication throughout the process, transparent pricing and a quality product. I will return when I need more company polo's.
    Bunmi Ajayi
    Bunmi Ajayi
    Great and speedy service from Cindy and Team. Highly recommended
    Amazing fast, professional and friendly service. I had a small, what most would find an annoying request and the job was no problem for Promo Printing. Not to mention the quality is great. Thanks so much xx
    Nicole Rojas Venegas
    Nicole Rojas Venegas
    Prompt and great service. I requested a quicker development time if it was possible, and the people from promo printing made it possible. Very happy with the result and the timing :D
    Kyle Newman
    Kyle Newman
    Such a easy and thorough process. Great value for money. Highly recommend

    We love to see your custom creations. Post a photo on social media and add #promoprinting for a chance to be featured here.

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#digitalprinting #promoprinting #hoodies #fitness #wyndham #lizard
    Just a subtle logo, nothing bold but yet still very effective.

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    Plain black polos with a two colour print.

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Talk to us about your business uniforms or next event.


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    We print and you press, easy peasy.

#digitalprinting #promoprinting #printed #melbourne #wyndham
    A special request for a coach. We have also been asked to drop the print on the front to the centre of the shirt.

Your wish is our command. 🏀🏀🏀

#basketball #promoprinting #digitalprinting #t-shirts #wyndham #melbourne #backboard
    We love this light blue for Ohana Dog wash and their line drawing logo. 

Are you winter ready? 

#sweaters #promoprinting #uniform #digitalprinting #wyndham #dogwash #logoprinting

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