Q&A: Are heat transfer t-shirt graphics durable?

By signcraft

Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

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Readers want to know:

“Are heat transfer t-shirt graphics as durable as screen printed? What’s the best way to produce them?”

This reader says he would add a heat press and do short-run t-shirts in house if he could be confident they would last. He’d like to know what experience others have had with doing heat transfer shirts and what products they prefer.

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john mccarty
john mccarty
1 year ago

in addition to signs I have been screen printing shirts for 38 years. I finally broke down and started heat pressing names and numbers on uniforms and simple one color small runs that never justified the time to make and set up a screen. I was impressed by how well they bonded at first but over time I have seen a few starting to get edges rolling up so I would never promote them as anything other than a temporary or promotional type product. Screen printed designs if done correctly will hold up beyond the life of the shirts, transfers I feel are limited. The creativity part is also a factor, cutting out and weeding fine detail is an issue plus doing multiple colors is time consuming.

1 year ago
Reply to  john mccarty

Mine never held, but I’m new at it and didn’t know if there was better or preferred brands that actually stick better, also what kind of material shirts should be done? Stretchy fabrics probably won’t last I’m guessing,

Always tried to ask around but can’t find answers

diane page
diane page
1 year ago

I had this same idea a couple years ago when a heat press business gave me her inventory of shirts. Thought I’d have a new revenue stream. Turned out to be a big NO for me. WAY too much labor for the small return and several of the shirts I did began to peel which led to unhappy customers

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