Unlike many other customizable items, towels have several applications. Uses can range from wicking off condensation from a drink pulled out of an ice chest, to wipe the sweat off your face or body, or perhaps to cleaning off your golf club after that untimely visit to the bunker. Therefore, it is important to use high-quality towels that are generally woven with a loop or pile that is soft and absorbent and can accommodate these (and additional) uses. Being familiar with the benefits and types of custom branded towels will help ensure you get the right solution.
And because first impressions count, you’ll want to have your logo on towels that look and feel good enough to represent your brand. But quality doesn’t stop there. The fabric is, of course, the first part but different methods of printing, play a part in the overall appearance of the final product as well.
As eluded to above, towels absorb moisture, and as you would expect, they are also able to absorb the ink used during the printing process. As is the case, when customizing towels, make sure that you’re getting them from a company that understands the different types of mesh, ink, and printing processes specific to custom branded towels. Below are some preferred methods for printing on towels along with some detail as it pertains to colors.
Tone On Tone Printing
Depending on the level of detail and overall look you are trying to achieve, tone on tone (water-based discharge printing) or black print can be great options. Tone on tone printing utilizes an ink that is a combination of pigment and or dye as well as water. Because the ink is water-based, it is thinner and can be absorbed into the towel rather than sitting on top of the fibers. After the ink is applied, the water is evaporated at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time to ensure that the ink is properly cured.
Black Ink Printing
The use of black ink is classic, impactful, and versatile. Company or organization names in black ink are hard to miss! As with tone on tone printing, black print methods also require that the water is evaporated at a specific temperature for a certain amount of time to ensure that the ink is properly cured.
Full color or sublimated printing processes create a full-color image on one side of the towel. In this type of printing, the backside of the towel would remain white. A digital printer produces a full-color image or images onto special transfer paper with sublimation ink. When using the printing techniques described previously above, the water in the ink must also be evaporated in order for the ink to cure. In sublimated full-color printing, the image is transferred to the fabric at a specific temperature and pressure that turns the image from a solid to gas during the process. The difference in the delivery system for the ink eliminates the need for evaporation. The heat at which the image is transferred also opens the pores in the fabric allowing for deep absorption of the ink into the towel fibers.
The flexibility to choose as many colors as you’d like can be an advantage to choosing this method of customization. It should be noted that this method is not the same as transferring an image using a typical heat transfer paper. While both methods do have some similarities, the use of the ordinary heat transfer method and materials only applies an image to the top of the fabric. In full-color sublimation, the ink becomes a permanent part of the fabric insuring saturated color and longevity.
It is important to understand the differences as some companies use traditional screen printing. Screen printing typically makes use of Plastisol ink. This ink is actually comprised of PVC particles that are suspended in a plasticizing emulsion. Plastisol inks are not water-soluble. When a fabric is screen printed, Plastisol ink is applied through a fine mesh screen. The inks are then squeezed through the mesh to sit on top of the fabric that is to receive the design. The newly inked fabric must be cured using a flash dryer or an oven. As a result of the ink merely sitting on top of the weave, the color of the towel underneath can be visible as the towel is being used. Details and lines within the design can be lost as the loops within the fabric move. This can change the appearance of the logo, image, or lettering on the towel. This tendency is not typically problematic on other types of fabrics like t-shirts or hats. However, if towels are customized using traditional screen printing, because the ink is not absorbed by the fibers, the towel can have a rough appearance and feel versus the other printing methods Brandables uses. The other pitfall to using a PVC based ink is the effect it can have on the towel’s ability to be absorbent in the areas of the towel where the Plastisol coats the fabric. For these reasons, traditional screen printing on towels is not recommended for custom or branded towel printing.
Another great customization option for towels is the use of embroidery. Much like the traditional, time-honored embroidery of yesteryear, modern embroidery techniques still make use of colored threads, thread tension, needles, bobbers, and sometimes hoops. However, with the use of state-of-the-art computerized machinery, embroidered towel designs are extremely detailed and succinct.
If the use of embroidery for your customized towels seems out of reach for your budget, keep in mind that the image doesn’t have to be large in order to be impressive! Many customers choose to embroider branded towels along the top or in a corner of the towel. No matter the size of the image, text, or logo, embroidery creates an impression of luxury which will entice people to use and display your towels again and again.
Whether you decide on printed towels or custom embroidered towels, either will provide that elegant touch and statement to clients, at special group functions, charity events, or even family reunions. Branded towels are an excellent option any time you want to make a long-lasting, positive statement about your company, club, or group. Brandables has the best solutions for promotional products.