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Glossary of terminology

This section will attempt to explain the most commonly words used on this website, in simple layman's terms.


Clam-Type Flat Heat Press

This is a machine that presses the transfer onto a t-shirt using heat and pressure. On a flat heat , the print head comes down at approximately at a 45 degree angle. With this type of machine, you can only print onto flat objects such as t-shirts etc. (hence the name Flat Heat Press)


Swing-Head Flat Heat Press

A swing-head flat heat press does the same job as any other flat heat press with the exception that rather than the print head coming down at a 45 degree angle, the print head actually swings out of the way to give clearer vision whilst laying down your transfer onto your product. As the hot part of the print head moves out of your way, whilst laying down transfers, it is thus offers extra safety.


3D Heat Press

A 3D heat press enables you to print onto 3D objects such as mugs, iphone/samsung covers, china plates and many more sublimation products. Built into the machine is a vacuum system which sucks out the air which allows your artwork to make a perfect contact around products such as those described above.  With a 3D heat press, you will need an optional Sublimation Inkjet Printer along with specially polyester coated blank products.


For printing t-shirts etc. I would still recommend on of our flat heat presses and a suitable cutter/plotter, laser printer and transfer papers etc.



Mug Press


A mug press is a machine that is designed to wrap around a mug and apply heat directly onto transfers and then onto a mug.
The machine consists of a silicone heat pad, which, when heated, is pressed around the mug by pushing a handle/level down.
The handle is left depressed for about 3 minutes, this being the time it taken takes to successfully transfer an image from the transfer paper to the mug. Mugs are best printed using an optional sublimation printer and transfer paper.



Weeding Tool

A weeding tool is an instrument which resembles a dentist pick tool. This tool has along thin handle and a sharp pointed end (usually slightly bent). In the garment industry, we use the weeding tool to pick our unwanted bits when letters, number or logos are cut out using a cutting system, before heat pressing onto garments.


Teflon Sheet

Teflon sheet is a non-stick sheet which is placed over your transfer and garment prior to applying heat, using a heat press. A Teflon sheet will prevent your garment from scorching (burning) whilst printing your t-shirts. A single Teflon sheet should last you a very long time and can be used again and again.


Cutters/Plotters

Cutters and Plotters are computer linked cutting system which can cut out text, numbers, logos etc. Cutters and Plotters have a small sharp blade inside the machine which will cut anything it sees on you computer screen to the exact size. A blade is considered as a consumable and will need to be replaced from time to time.


Optical Eye

An 'Optical eye' is often found on cutters and plotters and is a very useful device for cutting around pre-printed images so as to remove unwanted 'boxed backgrounds'. Not all cutters and plotters on the market will have this feature. However, all cutters and plotters supplied by our company have this feature as standard.



Flex & Flock

Flex and Flock are dry sheets of 'ink' which can be fed through a cutter or a plotter to cut out text, numbers and logos. Once cut, they are heat pressed using a flat heat press. Flex and Flock are usually available in many colours - usually matt , although metallic as well as holographic finishes can be purchased.


Laser Printers

Laser Printers use fine powder particles and can produce full colour images (photo quality) to print onto special transfer paper, before pressing onto a garment using a flat heat press. Transfers printed by the laser printer method enable you to print onto any type of cotton/ poly/cotton t-shirt. Unlike sublimation printing, you do not require specially coated t-shirts. Images printed by laser printers work out more durable and cheaper when compared to images created by an inkjet printer.

Laser Transfer Paper


Laser transfer papers are special papers which are fed through a laser printer and once the image has been printed onto them, they are then placed on top of a garment and then heat pressed for a specified time and at a specified temperature. For light garments, images are printed in mirror finish and placed face down onto garments and heat pressed. For dark garments, images are printed non-mirror. The top layer of the transfer paper is peeled away from the back layer and then heat pressed as above.


Sublimation Inkjet Printer

A sublimation inkjet printer looks like a normal inkjet printer but uses special inks know as 'Sublimation inks'. These inks cannot be purchased from normal high street shop as they are only available from selected suppliers in the t-shirt printing and personalisation trade.

Products which can be printed with sublimation inks are also specially polyester coated products, once again, only available through thus type of trade. Sublimation inks offer strong vibrant colours and actually 'sink' below the outer polyester coating to give a durable and protective cover. For example, with mugs, it makes them dishwasher-safe.


Once an image is printed via the sublimation inkjet printer onto transfer paper, the transfer paper is then applied to the product and heat and pressure are used to transfer the image onto the specially coated products. During this process, the inks turns into 'gas' (non harmful) which then penetrates through the outer polyester coating and seals itself.


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