September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 8 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 Specialty platens help make hard to decorate areas achievable. (All images courtesy STAHLS') HEAT PRESS Pressing Matters J o s h & Z a c h E l l s w o r t h Hack It! MORE HEAT PRINTING HACKS First, you could use an interchangeable lower platen. This platen should be larger than your graphic going on the item but small enough to allow the buttons, seams, zippers, or whatever else may affect your pressure to fall off and not be hit by the upper platen. Interchangeable lower plat- ens replace the main platen that comes installed on your heat press and they are typically available in common applica- tion sizes like 6" X 6" for left chest or smaller applications, 11" X 15" for youth garments and the area between a hoodie pocket and the neck seam, and 6" X 20" for leg and sleeve applications. Maybe your heat press doesn't have the ability to change out the lower platen. You still have options. You could insert a pad into your item to raise the print area. Typi- P eople who write click bait headlines sure know how to make us want to click on their articles. Titles like "Secret whatever that you never knew" or "10 things we bet you didn't know about" are common topics. This article is going to let you in on a few more heat printing secrets that you may have not known. We're letting you in on the information that you can only learn by doing heat printing for a little while. These hacks were developed by professionals and amateurs to make the chal- lenges associated with heat printing a little bit easier. PRESSURE POINT If you're familiar with heat printing at all, you know that there are three fundamentals to ev- ery successful application: accurate time and temperature and even pressure. For most deco- rators, it's the last of these fundamentals that tends to wreak the most havoc with our daily applications. Pressure can vary by garment style, placement location, and operator if you don't have a heat press that reads out with a digital pressure gauge. So, how can you guarantee that your pressure is going to be even and accurate with each of these variables? Let's start with the hacks that the heat press manufacturers have built for you. If you have an item that you need to apply that requires a certain area to receive pressure and other areas under the upper platen of your press to not receive pressure, you have three main options. 2 8 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 Pads and pillows make things like zippers a breeze to heat print.

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