Understanding thermal transfer printing | Thermocodesystem

Whatever your needs, there is a printing process for you.

Moreover, you cannot print everything as if it was designed for a cotton t-shirt for e.g. Thermal transfer means using different printing techniques and foil specially designed for satin, polyamide or polyester.

Thermo Code System, French manufacturer of thermal transfer ribbon and hot stamping foil for labels, offers to give you an overview of a wide range of printing techniques, while focusing on its own process used for its premium quality products.

Different types of textile printing

A wide range of textile printing are available. To chose the best process, various criterias need to be taken into account such as the materials, the wanted finished result, the usage, etc.


This printing technic is much used for its efficiency especially when it comes to logos and images with limited amount of colours (company t-shirts, sports numbers, etc.)

Flocking uses a vinyl or a flocked thermofoil that is then cut. The thin film is then melted at high temperatures, thanks to strong pressure directly applied on the textile. The end-result offers a light embossed design. Flocking is highly resistant in time, but the lack of choice regarding colours does restrain the printing possibilities.

Laser transfer

The laser transfer method is essentially used to print on pastel and light coloured textile. It is usually a printing solution used during events due to its low cost and the possibility to print on a larger scale.

This technique resides in printing a paper on a laser printer. It is essential to use a HD logo or picture to obtain a satisfying result.

Direct numeric impression

Direct numeric impression is a technique to prioritise if printing logos, pictures, photography with “degrade of colours. The colour of the materials does not interfere with the complexity of the “motif” to print, as direct numeric impression will print it to perfection.

The process resides in the concept to “pulverise” the colours directly on the material, without a coloured background.


Mainly used in textile and advertising, serigraphy’s process relies on the use of extremely thin mesh by which the ink goes through. Serigraphy allows several range on materials on which to print. The resistance to mechanical and chemical aggression, to water and UV, with the quality of colour swatches are the main advantages of serigraphy.

Thermal transfer

Thermal transfer printing is a process that offers a great resistance to water, UV and washes. Thermal transfer printing, by definition, relies on a printer equipped with a thermal head. Composed by hundreds of dots, this thermal head transforms energy into heat.

The heat provoked by the thermal head triggers hot-melt transfer from foil directly onto the ribbon material. The great advantage of thermal transfer printing is its diversity: compatible with a variety of materials, from paper to textile. In the majority of cases, it can also be used for transparent materials, silicones, and even more. Its adaptability and versatility makes it a safe bet in printing techniques.

It is because of this variety of materials and its resistance that Thermo Code System privileged thermal transfer and its thermal foil to offer labels that can answer all sort of challenges. With its two flagship products, So White and So Black, Thermo Code System is able to offer hot stamping foil and finished product with an unrivalled resistance: 60° washes, ironing, bleaching, … With the OEKO-TEX I® certification, Thermo Code System is the only manufacturer of hot stamping foil in the world that can provide harmless and ecological foils. That also makes Thermo Code System’s product compatible with an extensive list of areas of application, such as cosmetics, childcare and distribution to name a few.

Finally, with a whole internalised process from A to Z, Thermo Code System can guarantee extremely qualitative foils, pure resin, and REACH® certified. Besides So White and So Black, Thermo Code System offers the widest colour range of the market, with 25 existing colours and customizable colours on demand for dark, white and coloured materials.

Find your rainbow on: www.thermocodesystem.com

Hot stamping

Hot stamping is a printing technique which consists of printing with hot transfer and the pressure of a plate. With hot stamping, it is possible to reproduce a text with very small typography, or a very precise colour swatch. This printing process is based on a magnesium plate, for its heat conductive properties. On it is engraved the wanted text that has been printed. Then, films are used to transfer the heat.

This extremely precise process presents an unrivalled quality. Thermo Code System offers 13 colours of hot stamping foil, for its client that are equipped with a functioning hot stamping printing system. Thermo Code System’s hot stamping foils are printable on any material, in particular polyester, polyamide or satin.

The quality of Thermo Code System’s products and their versatility makes Thermo Code System a specialist of hot stamping foil, especially by answering your exact needs and requirements.

If you wish to use a textile printing technique, customize your own colour, receive a sample, do not hesitate to contact one of our collaborators, who will be happy to oblige.