Thermal Transfer Printing is the process of transferring Wax Resin Ink suspended in a very thin plastic film onto a substrate (in this case a Polyester based ribbon) - This resin is transferred to the ribbon by applying a relatively low temperature through a print head that very briefly melts the ink in the image that is to be printed and then rapidly cools leaving the image behind. The film is wound onto a take up spool as the printed ribbon is passed through the printer to be wound onto a bobbin.
- This can be printed with a very fast turnaround time - Same day or within 24 hours of ordering.
- There is no need for a printing plate to be made - so is ideal for very small runs from 1 metre to several hundred.
- Can print on any Polyester based fabric from 5mm - 100mm
- Very versatile with graphics - Can print with gradient shading, ideal for photo images
- Lower resolution than other print methods - not ideal for intricate artwork
- Cannot be used for other ribbon types. ie. Grosgrain, Cotton etc.
- Wax Resin is not as hard wearing as other print methods
- Not recommended for very large runs as it is comparitively more expensive and takes longer to print
- Can only print in 1 colour at a time.