What are iron-ons for t-shirt printing?
Iron-on transfers are designs or graphics that can be imprinted on a fabric, and t-shirt printing is the most common use for iron-ons. This printing method utilizes a heat source such as an iron or heat press to transfer the reverse image onto the fabric of choice. Iron-ons have been a popular imprinting technique for quite some time.
When comparing iron-on t-shirt printing to digital or screen printing it is not as durable or as good quality as screen or digital printing. Iron-on shirt printing is known most for producing custom single items at an affordable price. Some people even do iron-on printing at home.
However, there are many differences between iron on and screen printing that customers should be aware of when making their decision. Iron-on can offer a good option for affordable, small quantity production; however, at larger quantities it can end up being more expensive than screen printing. That is because screen printing pricing is heavily impacted by the quantity and it gets more cost effective at larger quantities. Iron-ons are also less efficient to produce since each one has to be done by hand and there is a high margin for error such as accidentally making the design crooked.
Screen printing also offers more options in terms of what you can get done. Like digital printing, iron on printing typically works its best on lighter colored shirts with darker print colors. However, with screen printing you can print any ink color on any colored shirt and it will come out looking great. As we mentioned above screen printing also lasts longer and is a higher quality.
There is also a difference in the way each different type of print feels. The iron on print is usually of a stiffer consistency than that of the screen printing and it may not breathe as well when worn. This could result in sweating or in general discomfort.
Here at You Design It we don't offer iron on printing and instead do digital printing for all orders of five or fewer pieces. Screen printing will produce the best quality and we offer a low six piece minimum on screen printing orders. We also have embroidery options available for some of our products.