Label Info

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, Able Label created fact sheets for these products. We welcome your call and are happy to answer your questions. Our Label Specialists can guide you in the right direction and provide free advice. Be sure to request sample labels and ribbons to determine the product’s suitability for all aspects of the application.

Direct Thermal Labels (no ribbons required)

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. Able Label carries the following Direct Thermal Label types:

Top Coated, Non-Top Coated (Uncoated), All Temp (Chill AT®) Adhesive, Removable Adhesive, Ultra-Removable Adhesive, Piggyback, Polypropylene

Product information is also available in the following label categories:

White Paper, Color Border Paper, Flood Color Paper, Circle Paper, All Temp Paper with Rubber-based Adhesive, Removable Paper, Ultra-Removable Paper, Piggyback Paper, Polypropylene, Dymo Compatible, Mobile Printer, Shipping

Thermal Transfer Labels (ribbons required)

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’s discs, melts the ribbon’s ink pigment. Thermal Transfer Labels are ideal for applications that require a longer shelf life and better temperature resistance. 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 often known by the brand name of Kimdura®. Able Label carries a comparable material that is resistant to tearing, dirt, grease, and water in most applications. Polypropylene labels are recommended for applications requiring durability.

Learn more about the different labels we carry by clicking on these links:
Paper, Polyester, Polypropylene, Circuit Board, Jewelry, Vinyl, Kraft Block Out, Tamper Proof or Void, Dissolvable, UL Recognized Polyester
Find additional product information in these categories:
Paper, Kraft & Dissolvable  
Polyester, UL Recognized & Vinyl Polypropylene & Jewelry
Circuit Board
Tamper Proof or Void

Thermal Transfer Ribbons

Thermal Transfer Ribbons are used to print Thermal Transfer Labels. There are three ink types: wax, wax/resin, and resin for printing with paper, polypropylene, and polyester materials. Knowing the product specifications for each ink type is beneficial to determine the best label and ribbon combination for the application.
For more information, please visit our Thermal Transfer Ribbons page.

Find label or ribbon specifications for your Zebra or Honeywell Datamax-O’Neil industrial or desktop printers on the following specification sheets. For printers of other make and models, please contact us. One of our Label Specialists will be happy to assist you.


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