CafePress allows its Shopkeepers to choose which printing methods to offer with their designs, or allows the customers to pick which option best suits them. Direct Printing and Heat Transfer each have distinct benefits that you will want to consider. Please note: Sometimes, CafePress only offers one printing style on certain apparel items.
With Direct Printing, we print direct-to-fabric with no transfers. The result is a matte image that moves with the garment because the ink is actually embedded in the fabric for ultimate wearable comfort. After a few washes, you will notice the great durability of Direct Printing. That means greater image staying power.
The benefits of Direct Printing
Things to keep in mind with Direct Printing
- Great washability - no fading
- No feel of ink on the fabric (the ink is in the fabric)
- No cracking
- No transfer lines
- Colors are not as vibrant as Heat Transfer
Heat Transfer is as durable as screen-printing, but offers more detail. Heat Transfer uses heat to create a bond between the resin and the T-Shirt, locking the ink between the two layers. Heat Transfer has a slight plastic feel when first worn, however, this feel will diminish after washing.
The benefits of Heat Transfer
Things to keep in mind with Heat Transfer
- Vibrant colors - great for photos and detailed imagery
- Good washability, fading happens over the first few washes
- May crack on ribbed garments
- Has a slightly stiffer feel
- Transfer outline may be visible with some designs
- May yellow over time
To help you choose the best printing technology to achieve the look you want on your garment, below is a side-by-side comparison chart showing the benefits of both Direct Printing and Heat Transfer.