thermal transfer ribbons
Thermal Transfer Printing is done with two type of print heads, Flat Head print heads and Near Edge print heads. Ribbons used for these two type of print heads are different and can not be interchanged. Ribbons for each of these types of print head can be further subdivided into 3 categories.

Wax: Inexpensive, mostly used for indoor applications like supermarkets, chemists.

Semi-Resin: Long Life And Good Resistance.

Resin: For Harsh Environments, Extreme Conditions and Durable.

wax ribbons
The least expensive of all thermal transfer ribbons. Wax ribbons have a high percentage of wax-based substance in the colorant. Since waxes have lower melting points, printing can be done at lower heat settings. As waxes are softer, image durability is less against smudge, scratch, chemical and environmental resistance. Wax ribbons are suitable for printing purposes where there is not much abrasion or physical contact against the printed matter or the printing is not needed for a long time. Wax ribbons can be used for general purpose labeling, price labels, food ingredients labels, shipping labels, address labels, garment tags,  warehouse applications, compliance label printing.

semi-resin or wax/resin ribbons
Semi-resin ribbons are our most popular ribbons because they are a combination of wax and resin-based substance in the colorant so they have better resistance to scratches and smudges than wax ribbons while at the same time less expensive than resin ribbons. They deliver excellent print quality on most label materials include paper and film labels making them the general purpose ribbons suitable for most applications.

resin ribbons
Resin Ribbons contain the highest percentage of resin materials. Printing with resin ribbons is done at higher energy levels or heat settings as resins have a higher melting point. Labels may need to print at a slower speed due to the higher energy levels required for printing. However the resultant printing images bear a very high resistance to chemicals, heat, abrasion resistance and other environmental conditions. Resin Ribbons are best suited for use with textile apparel or garment labels like (taffeta / satin), high gloss coated film materials including polyesters, polyolefins, destructible vinyl, warranty void labels, labels which are to be exposed to harsh environments like chemical drum labels, medical and pharmaceutical labeling, as well as industrial and automotive applications. Resin ribbons are the most expensive of thermal transfer ribbons and is only printable on film based label material.

other things to consider (barcode printer dependent)

Ink coating: Is it inside or outside?

Is it for flat type print head or near edge print head?

Ribbon width: Ideally adds min. 10mm to the label's backing paper width.

Paper core diameter: Usually either 1" or 1/2".

Paper core width: It may be the same or wider than the ribbon width.

Max. ribbon length or max. ribbon diameter.

Are there any notches at the ends of the paper core?