Bleed printing or non-bleed printing?

Heat transfer printing is a customisation method that printing companies use to help put your colorful, detailed designs onto apparel. However, it requires immense care and precision to pull off, which makes it a tedious and risky process.

The heat transfer printing process has a few steps: First, printing and cutting, followed by peeling and transferring onto the T-shirt before finally, being heat press!

Sounds simple, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. During cutting, there will inevitably be slight technical inaccuracies, such as cutting errors which could result in an unsightly white outline. Furthermore, when your designs are more complex and have sharp edges or intricate details, the amount of labour that goes in to ensuring your designs are perfectly cut and aligned for heat transfer is tremendous!

As such, it goes without saying that the complexity of your design really does play a large part in affecting the cost of your customisation. However, that isn’t a reason to only have to print simple designs in order to save costs! Therefore, there is the option of using bleed printing to prevent just that.

*Cut line is the one in reddish-pink.

What is non-bleed printing?

Non-bleed printing is essentially your everyday printing, where your printing is limited by margins. In no bleed printing, there will be a border around the edge of the product that cannot be printed of generally at least 0.125 inches. (Think of those empty corners on your A4-sized papers)

This method will definitely be subject to technical errors and high risk for the labour team. Small details and fine lines make the print require a lot of close attention and time, resulting in higher costs.

What is ‘Bleeding’?

Bleed is printing that extends past the cut line (where the sheet will be trimmed), providing a kind of marginless printing. This gives the printer a small amount of space to account for the unavoidable movement of the paper during printing and design inconsistencies. When you use bleeds in your printing, you eliminate the possibility of unprinted areas appearing on your design after it has been cut.

This means that your beautiful designs stay beautiful, but with a little outline to make the printing process simpler. By making the pre-heat stamping process easier, the strain on labour for fine details are significantly lessened, it becomes more cost-efficient, and allows for your orders to be completed faster!


Of course, some designs simply look better without it. We take great pride and put in our best effort in ensuring your designs come out just the way you want it to. That is why all that time and precision put in to care for and complete your order will definitely entail a higher cost as well as a longer waiting time.


So next time before you send in your orders for customised printing, you’re going to want to decide which is more important to you! Higher cost for detail or lower costs for practicality. Regardless, we work hard to ensure that you receive will be what you want. Letting us know whether you want to choose bleed or non-bleed printing for your design will ensure you are satisfied.