Digital Decorating:

Small Transfers, Large Potential

By Chris Pluck, Contributing Writer

April 10, 2017

One area of apparel decoration that lends itself to heat-transfer embellishment is micro-sized textile imaging. Small micro graphics, tagless labels, identification/hang tags, badges and emblems, to name a few, are ideal for the micro-size heat transfer treatment.

With recent advancements in transfer carrier substrates and fusible inks, it is now possible to achieve excellent fine-line definition reproductions of original graphics as transfer images that can then be applied to multiple fabric surface materials and withstand repeated washing.

When considering micro heat transfers, it is important to take into account the graphic style and fabric type. Tiny line weights and the higher-definition graphic will need to be in aligned so the transfer can become an integral part of the fabric weave and thread thickness once the transfer is applied to the garment.

The transfer also will need to be evaluated and qualified to ensure it suits the fabric type and finish, so that the transfer print merges with the garment successfully.

In summary, when choosing small-image transfers, it is crucial to choose a transfer that can hold fine detail, has good stretch capability and is durable enough to endure multiple washes.

Chris Pluck, business development director for Insta Graphic Systems, has been in the imprinted textile industry for more than 30 years. He has a background in screen printing and offset lithography technologies, and was instrumental in establishing inventive heat-fusible printing products and print application methods. For more information, visit