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What is heat transfer printing? Water bottle manufacturer tells you!

4:16 pm | Blog


  • Intro
  • Introduction to Heat Transfer Printing
  • Process of Heat Transfer Printing
  • Pros and Cons of Custom Water Bottle Printing
  • When to Use Heat Transfer Printing


Printing plays a vital role in water bottle manufacturing. As a key element in designing custom water bottles, they offer a lot of room for innovation and creativity. At the same time, they can be utilized by different methods, such as heat transfer printing and water transfer printing, 3D printing, laser marking, etc. What’s more, is a great method used by water bottle manufacturers to display products. Today, NOWEST will take you to understand the heat transfer process of printing logos on water bottles.

Introduction to Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer is an emerging printing process that allows you to print your designs onto objects. Heat transfer printing uses a thermal process to transfer an image created in wax onto an object. This printing method is compatible with pre-painted images on wax paper or can be used to create images by layering wax dye onto objects.

 The process printing method is divided into two parts: transfer film printing and transfer processing.

  • The transfer film printing

The transfer film printing adopts dot printing (resolution up to 300dpi), and the pattern is pre-printed on the surface of the film. The printed pattern is rich in layers, bright in color, and ever-changing, with a small color difference and good reproducibility, which can meet the requirements of the designer. Suitable for mass production.

  • The transfer printing process 

The transfer printing process transfers the beautiful pattern on the transfer film to the surface of the product through one-time processing (heating and pressure) of the heat transfer machine. After molding, the ink layer and the surface of the product are integrated into one, which is realistic and beautiful, and greatly improves the grade of the product.

Process of Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer is a pre-printed pattern or image using offset, screen, or digital printing. Subsequently, they can be one color or multicolor. Thermal transfer offers a lot of simplicity throughout the process. The whole process is minimized to one step. However, the way to break down the key steps would be something like this:

  • Create your design: First, you need to create your design and make sure it is in the proper format for the best results. To do this, make sure your artwork is 300dpi, convert all text to outlines, and use vector-based files such as adobe illustrator files. The design was created digitally on computer software and then printed on transfer paper. This paper is specially designed to allow you to stick your prints to the surface of your product.
  • Set the Substrate and Transfer in Place: Place the substrate in place on the surface, where the transfer will be printed. Make sure it is not skewed in any areas since they might damage the final output.
  • Application of Heat: This step can vary, but the general idea is to deploy heat from one means to transfer the design from the film to the product surface.
  • Remove the Film: After the transfer carrying the design has been printed, remove the substrate film by peeling it off like a sticker.


Pros and Cons of Custom Water Bottle Printing

All printing methods have different advantages that they bring to the table. Heat transfer printing is widely used because it creates durable, heat-resistant, adhesive, and waterproof designs. Also, the colors created in the images are high-resolution, bright, and bold.

The pros and cons of custom water bottle heat transfer printing are as follows:


  • It does not require the steps of plate making, printing, and repeating color matching, so it is easy to print.
  • It has better compatibility with different materials.
  • It can reflect the transition of color.
  • The heat transfer will not have color problems.


  • It is hard to touch and has poor air permeability.
  • Pulling may cause small cracks in the thermal transfer.
  • The hardness of the finished product is relatively poor, and it needs to be brushed with a protective film.

When to use heat transfer printing

In some cases, heat transfer can be the best printing method because when performed correctly by professionals, it produces high-quality, photo-realistic color images. Heat transfer is the preferred method when transferring photo images to clothing or objects due to their photo-realism, such as printing colorful patterns as well as logos on stainless steel water bottles.