Heat Transfer Printing

Heat press

Here at Creative Expressions, we offer heat transfer in order to better accommodate highly customized batches for our customers. Among the different forms of customization, heat transfer is the easiest and cheapest to make in smaller, highly-customized batches.

How Does It Work?

Heat transfer customization works using a combination of pressure and heat to transfer ink or another sublimation materials onto a substrate (i.e. a t-shirt) permanently. Heat transfer is most often used on apparel, since the heat press works best on fabrics. Although heat transfer might have more limitations in terms of substrates (for example, screen printing can be used on anything from pens to sweatshirts) it has a lot more flexibility in printing batches. Because each item is individually set up and pressed using its own sublimation material, it’s not much additional work to customize.

For that reason, most people opt for heat sublimation over screen printing when working in small batches (less than 100) or with items that must be individually customized (such as baseball jerseys.)


Heat transfer (or heat sublimation) is great when used for:

  • Custom t-shirts
  • Team jerseys
  • Tote bags
  • Blankets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Bandannas

Vinyl Heat Transfer versus Digital Heat Transfer

Within heat transfer printing, there are two common techniques. Vinyl heat transfer consists of using a machine to cut the customized letters, numbers, images onto pieces of vinyl, which are then applied to the fabric using pressure and heat. Digital heat transfer, on the other hand, consists of digitally printing a pattern onto a special paper using sublimation ink. This paper is then used in the heat press to apply the ink to the fabric.

A Note about Quality

When discussing heat transfer in order to customize apparel, it’s important to note that there is a wide variety of quality available. Not only is it a matter of the quality of the apparel material and the vinyl or sublimation ink used, but it’s also important to choose the right combination in order to ensure that the transfer will be effective, aesthetically appealing, and long-lasting. Here at Creative Expressions, we have years of experience determining which combinations will yield the best results for our customers. At our workshop in Murray, we’ve been customizing apparel and promotional items for individuals and businesses in the Salt Lake area for over 25 years.

Do you have a customization project that you’d like to take care of? Give us a call today for an estimate.