Tote bags are definitely not a fashion accessory but instead an essential daily item. From grocery shopping to carrying elements for any project, tote bags are the most useful go-to carrier. Moreover, it's an eco-friendly item that makes it more favourable to all kinds of people.


If you also support and promote environmentally friendly items, then selling and creating custom-printed totes can be a great idea. Not only for business purposes, but you can also create tote bags for your own use or gift to family and friends. And printing designs on totes are a trend in London, where you get to design the bags and print them at a reasonable cost.

If you also support and promote environmentally friendly items, then personalised tote bags can be a great idea. Not only for business purposes, but you can also create tote bags for your own use or gift to family and friends. And printing designs on totes are a trend in London, where you get to design the bags and print them at a reasonable cost.


So, no matter what the purpose is for designing and printing tote bags, you must know what the best tote bag printing methods in London are. And this article is going to share the details of each method along with its strengths and limitations. 


What Do You Need to Know about Tote Bag Printing? 


Indeed, the tote bags are an exclusive item for promoting business at events, organizations, seminars etc. Before getting into knowing the printing methods, there are a few things you need to know about tote bag printing. So, to ensure the tote bags are long-lasting, you need to pay attention to the material. Only a top-notch quality tote bag will accentuate the design and make it look professional. 


Then comes the size. There are various sizes of tote bags available, which you can create in versatile colours and materials. For instance, you can choose cotton, jute, canvas and polypropylene totes, varying the budget. Needless to say, each of the materials has its own benefits and shortcomings. So, choose the perfect tote bag based on the need and purpose and considering the material, size and colour.


Then, for printing on the bag, you can find various kinds of ink, such as water-based, discharge ink and plastisol. The ink would vary depending on the printing method chosen. So, decide accordingly. Now, tote bags are a blank canvas without any design. That doesn't mean you should fill it with designs. It's always lucrative when the design is simple and bold. 


Lastly, before printing on the bag, make sure it's clean and wrinkle-free. To ensure the design is perfectly printed, don't forget to test print first. 


Best Tote Bag Printing Methods in London


You certainly know tote bags are used for advertisements these days. And it's a promising item for this purpose. You can print your brand name and send it out to the potential consumers. It will represent the brand value and message to the mass, not only due to the design but because of the usefulness of the totes. The ones who receive them want to hold onto them because they can use them for various purposes. 


Here are the various kinds of printing methods for tote bags that are popular in London:


1. Screen Printing


Screen printing is one of the most affordable printing methods for tote bags. Hence, it's a popular one in London. Another reason for choosing this method is the long-lasting outcome. You will be satisfied with the high-quality printing, which won't easily fade away. 


Just like any other screen printing method, here, a stencil is used to transfer the design. In this process, a printing screen is needed, which is created with a steel frame and nylon mesh. Then, using a squeegee, the ink is applied to the tote bag through that stencil you have created. For every individual design, an individual screen is needed for each colour. Hence, this printing method is recommended for the design, which consists of a maximum of six colours. 




High-quality printing outcome

Ensures long-lasting print

Affordable printing method for bulk printing 




Cannot print more than six colours 

Recommended only for a simple design 

Requires individual screen for each unique design 


2. Heat Transfer Printing


If you are looking for a smart printing method for small-quantity tote bags, then a heat transfer method can be a favourable option. In the heat transfer printing method, a transfer paper and heat press is needed to imprint the image on the tote bag. A great aspect of this method is you can create designs on leather tote bags. 


To understand the printing process, you would need an iron and transfer paper. First, the design is first transferred on the transfer paper. Then, the design is placed on the bag, and heat is applied through the iron. The iron dissolves the plastic layer and transfers the ink to the tote bag. You can get the expected outcome in this process for canvas tote bags. 




Easy to print 

Affordable printing 

Suitable for small quantity tote bags 

It can be used with any colour and complex design 





The iron is not reusable 

Recommended for canvas material totes only  


3. Direct-to-Garment Printing


DTG, or direct-to-garment printing method, is a new technology but undoubtedly a popular one in London. As the name suggests, the design is directly printed on the bag in this method. So, if you have a complex design consisting of various colours, you can get them done in high-quality production. 


Just like any inkjet printer, in the DTG method, you would require a special ink and print made for DTG printing. Then, with the command, the ink is applied directly to the material via the printer. So, you don't need any preparation or accessories to run this printer. Therefore, it's a very convenient printer for small-scale tote bag printing. Nevertheless, you would get a high-quality outcome. 




Ensures high-quality printing result

Easy to use and requires no set-up

Eco-friendly printer makes no mess 

Suitable for complex design and vibrant colours 




Moderate durability of the colour 

Not recommended for large production 


4. Dye Sublimation Printing


In the dye sublimation printing method, you would also require heat. However, there is a difference between the heat press and dye sublimation methods. Here, you would require gas-containing heat to transfer the design on a special paper. Then using pressure, the ink is transferred to the tote to establish the design. 


If you have a colourful, bold design to print on tote, then this method is what you are looking for. You would get a high-quality and durable print. It will also create a seamless design ensuring comfort for the user.  




High-quality and durable print

Ensures seamless and comfortable print

Can print any colour and complex design 




Not for dark-coloured fabric

Works on polyester material 

The costly and time-consuming printing process


Final thought 


Summing up, in the above discussion, I have introduced the four best tote bag printing methods in London. Though all these processes have their own strengths and limitations, you can find your ideal printing option by varying the quantity of the tote bags. 


Some of them provide high-quality and long-lasting print. At the same time, others are cost-effective and work on versatile fabric. So, it's now up to you to choose the right one. Before you do so, pay attention to the tote bag material, size and quantity to get the best result.