January '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J A N U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 5 9 READ GARMENT LABELS FOR FABRIC CONTENT AND CARE Purchase heat transfer materials that are compatible with the fabrics being deco- rated. For instance, materials with a low- temperature application are recommended for heat-sensitive fabrics like polyester, spandex, and rayon. Higher temperatures on these types of fabrics can cause scorch- ing, leaving what's called a "heat press box" or "bruising" on the garment. This is when the heated top platen burns its shape into the garment. Look at tags on the garment to make sure it can withstand the temperature the design is being printed at. Some garments may have a "do not iron" symbol, while others may indicate a maximum accept- able temperature. It's advisable that when decorating a gar- ment with a blend of fabrics to check the label, and choose a heat transfer material appropriate for the fiber with the high- est content. For example, if a T-shirt is 60/30/10 polyester/cotton/spandex, you would choose heat transfer vinyl created for polyester. Waterproof, water repellent, antimicro- bial, UV protection, and other protective coatings can interfere with heat applica- tions. The adhesive on most heat transfers must form a bond with the fibers of the garment. Coatings can create a barrier to a successful application. Your apparel sup- ply company should have this information listed. If not, be sure to inquire. FOLLOW APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS It's important to follow the instructions for your product. While it may seem like a hassle to have to change the settings on your heat press for different materials, it's a lot easier than having to redo everything because a setting was off. Save time and ef- fort by taking the time to get it right the first time. LOWER THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR HEAT PRESS AND REDUCE DYE MIGRATION Polyester and sublimated polyester are two popular fabrics being decorated in the industry. These fabrics are dyed during the manufacturing process. Dyes are activated by heat, so the less heat, the less chance of the dye bleeding through to your design. Choose a heat transfer material that contains dye blockers and can be applied at a lower temperature. Also, be sure to avoid washing and drying on high heat settings. SKIP THE PRE-HEATING WHEN IT'S NOT NECESSARY For years, pre-heating was recommended as a first step to ensuring successful transfer ap- plication on garments. This helped eliminate wrinkles and remove any moisture from the apparel that might interfere with adhesion, especially with cotton. Today, many garments being sold are made from synthetic fabrics. These fabrics don't wrinkle like cotton and are also moisture wicking, so they don't hold moisture like a natural fabric will. Unless you are heat pressing on cotton or other natural fabrics, you can skip this step and save time in the production process. Heat Pressing

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