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Printing colour photo onto neoprene

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by prophet, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. prophet

    prophet New Member

    Hi all,

    The Background:
    I'm a Nottingham expat living in Patong, Phuket Thailand where we run a thriving Thai restaurant in the heart of tourist Patong. My role in the partnership is predominantly promotional and customer relations, essentially to increase customer throughput and investigate options for increasing trade.

    The Issue:
    One of my current projects involves a restaurant specific graphic design for the neoprene drinks bottle coolers in which we serve bottled drinks to keep the drink cool. We currently use off the shelf coolers without any logo.

    We often receive requests from customers to purchase a holder as a souvenir which we are happy to grant as we can put a large mark-up on the item and it occurred to me that we could offer a service whereby we could personalise the cooler by taking a photograph of a group or individual customer at the restaurant and printing on a ready made cooler.

    The Question:
    We would need to be able to undertake this in house, so I was wondering what options there might be to do this. Perhaps there is sheet media onto which the photograph could be inkjet or laser printed and then transferred onto the cooler.

    Thank you in advance for any advise in this respect
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    The correct way to print onto this kind of material would be screen printing but that wouldn't lend itself to short runs, complex images such as photographs and you'd struggle to fit the gear into a restaurant.

    You can however get transfer paper which goes through an ink jet printer and can then be ironed onto a fabric surface BUT i dont know how the heat required to adhere the transfer would affect the bonding agents used in neoprene. I guess you could some and give it a try? Googling "ink jet iron on" or "ink jet transfer paper" should give you what you need.
  3. prophet

    prophet New Member

    Yes, precisely what I was imagining. Transfer sheets type of thing.

    Ok, I'll get Googling

    Thanks for the response.
  4. neildigital

    neildigital Member


    The magic touch, they are the guys to sort this.... paper and the blank products for you, or I can price this up, I print and transfer on many of their items, ipad neoprene covers, iphone covers and bottle holders.

  5. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    Aren't heat transfer presses coated with neoprene, it's a very stable rubber?
  6. Edd_Wiltshire

    Edd_Wiltshire New Member

    I think your best bet is to get them heatpressed as the screen printing route would mean higher setup costs and a large minimum order. I am guessing heatpressed vinyl would be the way forward and you will be able to put on some nice looking artwork via an inkjet printed durabrite patch or something along those lines.
    But i am no expert!!!

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