glossary of terms

application instructions

Included with every order, these are directions for printing your custom heat transfer product. Follow the directions exactly and if you need help troubleshooting, contact your sales representative. You can find all of our application instructions here.


A raster image composed of individual pixels which can each be assigned a different color. This type of file is commonly used for our digital heat transfers.



A patterned layer added to artwork which gives a destroyed, vintage look to the artwork. Normally used on Howard Multi-Purpose and Vintage Wash transfers. You can request to have your artwork distressed.


dwell time

The suggested amount of time a heat transfer should be applied using a heat press.


This occurs when the dye from the garment you're printing on bleeds through the heat transfer. Commonly occurs when printing on sublimated garments. To avoid, use a low-temperature application like our Howard Sub-Lock.



Refers to the sheet (usually a specialty paper) the heat transfer is printed on.


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. The supported color model for digital heat transfer printing. Use this color model when submitting artwork for 4 Color Process, Solutions Opaque, and Photo Transfers.

Cold Peel

A heat transfer which you will peel the carrier after the garment and the carrier have cooled completely. Our Ultra Stretch heat transfer is a cold peel application.

color match

Custom mixing a PMS color to match your specific needs. Incurs a one time fee of $20.00.

Color Wash

When ordering multiple colors or color combinations of the same screen printed artwork, you can do a "screen wash" instead of placing multiple orders. There is a $10.00 fee and you can order at a higher price break instead of two smaller price breaks, saving money.


full backup

A visible border surrounding all parts of the image which is necessary in some cases to produce the artwork properly.



Multiple images printed on one carrier sheet. Learn more about our gang sheets, here.


Artwork in which no two colors are touching.



Using a dot pattern to depict variable percentages of one color.


Heat Press

A machine used to apply heat transfers; manual or automatic. We are an authorized distributor of Insta brand heat presses and suggest them for use with our custom heat transfers. Our products are not intended for use with a home iron.

Hot Peel

A heat transfer which you will peel the carrier while the garment is still hot.


In reference to screen printed heat transfers, the amount of transparency in the ink. Some transfers are completely opaque, having no transparency, and some are designed with less opacity, having a small amount of transparency.


The top and bottom plates of your heat press. In most cases, the bottom platen is inter-changeable, with more sizes and styles offered.


Standing for Pantone Matching System, a standardized color reproduction system used to make true matches.

powder adhesive

An additive in some inks giving them an enhanced durability and versatility.


The amount of force required by the heat press during the application process. Our application instructions direct each transfer to be applied with either light (platen closes easy without force), medium (little force is needed to close platen), or firm (takes force to close platen).


A low resolution image of your artwork provided upon request; $5.00 fee per proof.

Teflon Sheet

Can be used to protect garments from heat during the printing process or to produce different finishes after the transfer has been applied.


Graphics created using points, lines, curves, and shapes. These images are not made up of pixels and can be scaled to a larger size without losing image quality. Most of our screen printed heat transfers will require vector artwork, typically in the following file formats: .cdr, .ai, .pdf, .eps, .svg.



Removing the excess vinyl from the artwork after it has been cut.