Heat transfer printing is a term used for the process of customizing textiles or garments, and other materials such as mugs and plates using a heat press. This printing process uses a variety of materials including vinyl transfers for sports uniforms and sublimation inks on sublimation paper.
Also referred to as heat applied graphics, heat transfer printing is usually done with heat pressure plates called platens, with one of the platens being the source of heat. Pressure can be applied manually or can be precisely controlled with digital technology in more recent heat presses. The heat platens, which are located on the upper part of a heat press, are typically made of aluminum attached to a heating rod or heating wires.