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What's Tagless Printing?

Printed tag vs. thermal transfer label

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What is "Tag Printing" or "Tagless Printing" or "Tagless Label Printing"?

Tag printing - also known as "tagless printing" and "tagless label printing" - is perhaps one of the hottest trends in apparel manufacturing and promotional apparel industries today.

Apparel manufacturers started looking for alternatives to sewn-in apparel tags several years ago, mainly because they were trying to make the consumer more comfortable in their clothes. The most popular solution used to be thermal transfer labels ("heat transfer labels"). However, thermal transfer labels were usually still not soft enough to the touch (not "soft hand" as people in the screen printing industry put it) and not convenient for short-run production because they have to be purchased in high volumes. So recently another alternative has been found: pad printing.
 

Tag Printing Demo:




A pad printed printed tag can be very soft, almost unnoticeable on touch; it costs a fraction of a cent and gives the flexibility to modify the image in-house any time. The challenge that most printing supply companies face is to formulate ink that not only stays in place after repeated washing, wearing and stretching but also produces opaque images - opaque enough to stand out on dark textile - without oversaturating the fabric and making it stiff. Another absolutely unquestionable requirement is to provide well-adjustable printing machines and quality printing plates, pads and accessories - so that even the finest letters and graphics are readable.

How Inkcups Now Meets the Challenges of Tag Printing:

For years, we have specialized in high quality affordable pad printing equipment geared for sharp fine graphics. As for this specific application, we offer Sapphire SB and MB series pad printing ink specifically designed for textile - including dark-colored textile. Sapphire ink product line has been used in Europe as textile ink for decades. It is safe for children, complies with California Proposition 65 and stringent European safety standards. Compared to heat transfer labels, SB and MB ink for Direct-to-Garment Applications provides the following benefits:
  • While thermal transfer label sits on the garment's surface, our ink penetrates textile thus extending the life of the tag.
  • Pad printing ink cures by air, enabling the operator to fold and stack items right after they are printed. As no drying is necessary, you can use a manual printing machine for the tags.
  • Tags printed with the SB and MB series have soft hand and yet are very durable. The printed tags will withstand 25+ industrial washings.
  • With our ink for tags, you can print fine fonts - as small as, for instance, size 4 pt..
  • Garment tags are much more cost-effective compared to thermal transfer labels, especially for short runs and on-demand production. Unlike the pre-purchased labels, the image for printed tags can be easily modified in-house so you can print personalized and branded tags any time.

Summary of Tag Printing Benefits:

  • Flexibility - easily change graphics on garments based on need, reduce inventory costs and label stock
  • Cost Savings - pad printed labels are less expensive than thermal transfer labels
  • Better durability - no cracking of the label
  • Dries Quickly - touch dry immediately, stack and pack right after printing
  • High quality image - as small as 4 pt. type
  • High productivity - from 1200 to 2000 pph depending on the graphic
  • Does not damage fabric - does not effect garment texture
  • Has "Soft Hand" - does not have a rough texture
Read Tag Printing FAQs to learm more about the benefits and limitations of tag printing.
 
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Turnkey solution for tagless t-shirt printing: complete line of Equipment & Supplies, plus unlimited tech support!

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