This entry by Chris Pluck was recently published in Printwear: Puff Transfers have been used for the imaging of textiles for a long time. Their application to a variety of apparel types to produce a puff / embossed transfer finish was one of the first special effects heat transfer inks to be qualified and used in the transfer print shops. To print a puff ink around or actually on the flat printed transfer ink immediately gave the heat transfer an exciting new addition of embossed shape and dimension. This type of transfer quickly became a favorite with customers seeking to create new looks and outstanding finishes.
Move the clock forward to today and the puff transfer remains a firm favorite; but now because of the advances in the products, is has become a more versatile and durable product, creating a smooth 3-dimensional effect that combines embossed / raised ink in multiple graphic images, creating embossed effects such as faux suede, leather and animal skin finishes.
The high density transfer now has an array of fusible additions aligned with it. Additions such as glitter, metallic, shimmer sparkle, silver tone, neon fluorescents, glow-in-the dark and metallic foil finishes to name a few.
With new advances in ink technology, transfer papers and film coatings and finishes, the transfer’s hand feel finish can also be coordinated with the substrates’ matte or gloss surface to add a variety of finishes to the ink’s surface once the transfer is applied to the garment.
Check out these HD, 3-dimensional embossed heat transfers from Insta Graphic Systems, featured above.