Label Horticulture

Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer

Finding the right label and ribbon for applications or printing projects is important yet sometimes confusing. To help our customers find the right label and ribbons our Label Specialists can guide you in the right direction and provide free advice.

Direct Thermal Labels (DT)

Ribbons are not required for Direct Thermal Labels. Applications in which the label life is short work best with Direct Thermal Labels. Paper discoloration and fading print are common with Direct Thermal Labels; therefore, Direct Thermal Labels should be used and stored away from direct sunlight and heat More cost effective for short-term uses and applications. Less printer downtime with no ribbon changes.

Thermal Transfer Labels (TT)

Thermal Transfer Labels are converted with material that requires a thermal transfer ribbon to print. Label content is transferred onto the label when heat, generated through the printhead melts the ribbon’s ink pigment. Thermal Transfer Labels are ideal for applications that require a longer shelf life and better temperature resistance. Using different face stock and ribbon combinations can provide smudge, scratch, and chemical resistance. Material is less expensive than direct thermal.

The most common materials used in Thermal Transfer Labels are paper, polyester, and polypropylene.

Paper labels are mostly used for indoor applications and some short-term outdoor applications such as shipping labels

Polyester labels offer excellent tear strength and superior durability. The resistance to water and some environmental elements makes polyester labels suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. 

Polypropylene label material is resistant to tearing, dirt, grease, and water in most applications. Polypropylene labels are recommended for applications requiring durability.


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