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Best Heat Press Ink

April 24, 2019

Best Heat Press Ink

For the best quality shirts and prints it's best to figure out which inks works best on your shirts for the prints. You want to make sure that the ink is best for washing. The ink needs to stay on the garment during the wash and wear and tear. 

Dye Based Ink: 

Dye based ink are water based inks. They are most likely to bleed when washed. This type of ink is used with inkjet printers and are considered very affordable. Though its is cheaper and has high quality image quality, it is not very durable for wear or stand washing. 

Dye based inks are water soluble and start washing off in high humidity environments. 


 Pros Cons
  • Best for color image printing
  • Most commonly used in office
  • Production costs are more affordable
  • Cannot stand wash 
  • Dye based ink are also more likely to fade with exposure to UV. 
  • Dye should never be used with warm or hot water. The dye ink must be cold washed. 
  • Dyes have poor water and dealings with humidity.


Pigment Based Ink: 

Pigments are solid tiny particles. When used with quality transfer paper they won't bleed or fade out. Also when used in inkjet printers. However, pigment based inks are compatible with all inkjet printers. Pigment are bonded to natural fabrics and utilized in cotton and natural fabrics better. Pigment inks are water insoluble and immune to the adverse effects to humidity. 


  Pro Con
  • UV Resistant
  • Waterproof. Pigments are water insoluble
  • Washing Stand 
  • Ink is more resistant to light, moisture, and other characteristics. 
  • Will not bleed or fade out. 
  • Pigment ink is made for fade resistance and long print life. 
  • You can soak pigment in hot water and even use bleach. 
  • Pigment based inks will not bleed or run in the case
  • Pigment based ink are not bothered by humidity
  • Printed image is not so clear as dye ink and sub ink
  • Pigment ink is very complex and expensive 
  • Bronzing
  • Pigment inks color shifts under different lighting
  • Pigment molecules are larger than dye molecules, ink cannot be completely attached to coating and will change the original surface appearance of certain papers

Pigment inks are great for professional or beginner professional printers. Dye based inks are water soluble. Pigment inks are water insoluable and therefore is great in humid and wetter environmnet. The same things that makes pigment inks water insoluable also has some drawbacks. The inks colors are generally more muted or dull. But this can be overcome with careful application, media and other factors. 

Sublimation Ink: 

Sublimation ink is a dye that is printed onto specific items via heat and pressure. Heat and pressure will help convert the dye into a gas state without turning into a liquid. 

Pro Con
  • Good image printing and produces brilliant color. 
  • Waterproofing
  • Washing Standing
  • Ink doesn't smudge because of high temperature
  • Last longer than other inks
  • Will not crack, peel, or wash off 
  • Sublimation provides vivid and sharp images
  • Sublimation is great for pre-coated ceramics, metals, plastics
  • Great when applied to polyester and polyester coat substrates
  • Requires a lot of knowledge and understanding the use of printer and best transfer for type of fabric
  • No Odor, no VOCs emission 
  • Low outdoor durability 

Sublimation ink is used with a specific type of printer. Sublimination is the process of transferring an image quickly and cleanly. You apply heat to the printed image with a press, through transfer paper or directly. 


Toner Ink: 

  • Toner is not a good ink for heat press transfers. They are used with laser jet printers. Laser jet printers and toners are heat based that's why it can ruin heat transfer paper. 


Related questions: 

Why is my shirt faded after wash?

Shirts are faded because due to the lack of heat. If you follow the specific instructions on the terms of heat and duration. 

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