Water transfer printing is a unique art form that allows for graphics and patterns to be applied to a 3D surface such as on a product. The technique is also known as Hydrographics, immersion printing, water transfer imaging, or hydro dipping. Wikipedia defines water transfer printing as the method of applying printed designs to 3D surfaces through the hydrographic process which involves applying the artwork to the object through a clear water-soluble film, then dipping the object into the water where the film dissolves but the ink remains on the object.
Although this technique is revered as a cutting-edge method, there are also some misconceptions that people have about using water transfer printing in their art or for functional purposes. This article is designed to educate on the many uses of water transfer printing and to teach people the correct information about this rumor regarding this technique. Without further ado, let’s get on with the first myth.
1. The Color Choices Are Extremely Limited
This is a common misconception regarding water transfer printing! In fact, it’s quite the opposite, because this type of printing allows for a nearly endless realm for vibrant colors. There are tons of available colors, patterns, and graphics readily available for people to hydro-dip and transform into a beautiful piece of art. Additionally, there are unique design templates such as animal prints,geometrical designs, camouflage and more. These are solely available to be used for water transfer printing and unique to this method.
2. Water Transfer Printing Is Harmful to The Environment
This myth could not be farther from the truth. In fact, the Water Transfer Printing process is very environmentally friendly. With that being said, there are some aspects of the process that need to be verified with environmental protection agencies. You can find these aspects online either on Google or YouTube. The list will include guidelines for the location to perform the application process, but most of the oversight is easy and you can do it yourself usually. It is up to the craftsman or business to ensure that he follows all Federal, State and Municipal requirements, so it is recommended that you do your due diligence by checking online for any lingering requirements. The fact that this process centers around water is the main reason that water transfer printing is so environmentally friendly. Also, the fact that most of the inks and paints are water soluble adds to the reasoning behind this being a popular option for those interested in respecting the environment as opposed to traditional printing methods that definitely harm the environment.
3. Water Transfer Printing Is Too Expensive
This is another flat out lie. However, it is true that many printing companies abuse the perceived”learning curve” for printing items using the water transfer printing process and regularly (and shamelessly) overcharge their customers. As mentioned previously, you can do everything on your own with little overhead,just by picking up a little equipment, or you can find an affordable printer that will get your job done for a reasonable price. Overall, water transfer printing is an economical choice and alleviates problems faced by many traditional printing methods such as hot printing, screen printing, and to a certain extent, conversion coating.
If this is your first foray into the printing world, or especially into the water transfer printing world, it will be an easier path to seek out professionals that can guide you through the process and even perform the printing for you. While they are working, you can research and discover how you can accomplish water transfer printing on your own. Many printing companies are also willing to help people learn how to print on their own. Just do your research and make sure you really have a good grasp of the process and if you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to the pros.