Tag printing - also known as "inkcup printing" and "label-free printing" - is perhaps one of the hottest trends in apparel manufacturing and promotional apparel industry today.
Apparel manufacturers started looking for alternatives to sew-in t-shirt labels and garment tags several years ago, mainly because they were trying to make the consumer more comfortable in their clothes. The most popular solution was to use labels that adhere to the fabric by Heat Transfer (also known as Thermal Transfer).
However, heat transfer labels did not always solve consumer problems because these labels often were not soft enough to the touch (not "soft hand" as people in the screen printing industry put it). In addition, heat transfer labels have caused skin allergies in a small percentage of babies and adults. On the production side, thermal transfer labels were not convenient for short runs because they had to be purchased in high volumes, with long lead times.
Long story short, a much better alternative was found: Pad Printing.
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