Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn

Special Offers

Labels of the Month

Product FAQs

Choosing the right ribbon for your Thermal Transfer printer

Printing with a thermal transfer printer gives you a longer lasting print when compared to direct thermal printing.  This is due to the use of a thermal transfer ribbon that deposits the ink onto the surface of the label which is then absorbed in a more permanent manner.

But which type of ribbon do you require?  Our experts tell you what you need to know.

There are three types of black ribbon; all made from wax, resin, or a combination of the two.


A wax ribbon is ideal for shipping/packaging/retail tags and labels.  It is recommended for printing paper labels and most ribbons will print in black ink. Wax ribbons offer the least amount of protection against external factors like moisture and abrasion but are the most cost-effective. Undisturbed print from a wax ribbon will last indefinitely..

Pros Cons
Cost effective Smears easily
Long lasting

At Supplyline we offer a range of Standard and Enhanced thermal ribbons which offer good smudge resistance. Our UK bestsellers including the Armor AWR470 / AWR8 / AWX-FH and the ITW B220, with a choice of black and various colour ribbons.


A Wax/Resin ribbon combines wax and resin to create print that is smear and smudge resistant with excellent print on a full range of paper and some synthetic labels. Suggested uses are for asset tracking in rough or outdoor locations, warehouse signage and medical device tracing. Wax-Resin ribbons are more expensive than wax, due to higher print quality and resistance to abrasion and moisture. They are suited for heavier duty applications.

Pros Cons
Exceptional print quality Can easily rub off many synthetic labels
Scratch resistant

We offer a huge range of flexible wax/resin ribbons to suit Standard printers that include the Armor APR6 and the ITW B121 / B128 and also for Near-Edge or Coding Printers like the Armor APR600 and ITW B112 / P110 with a choice of black and colours.


A Full-Resin ribbon is designed for virtually indestructible print for indoor and outdoor use on a range of mainly Synthetic and Fabric materials that need resistance to water, chemicals, abrasions, oil and greases. When you need print for extreme or harsh environments look no further than the Armor AXR7+ / AXR8 and the ITW B324 / B325.

Pros Cons
Durable and long lasting Expensive
Scratch and chemical resistant

Resin is ideal for printing asset tracking labels, automotive labels, medical and pharmaceutical labels, chemical drum labels, flexible packaging, compliance labels, pcb labels, and chemical or hazardous material labels.

We also offer a full range of genuine branded thermal transfer ribbons that include the Toshiba AG2 / AG3 / AS1 range and the Zebra 3200 / 2300 / 5100 range.