Awards & Engraving

Start Here October '19

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78 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Heat Transfer Lower the Temperature of Your Heat Press and Reduce Dye Migration Polyester and sublimated polyester are two popular fab- rics 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 application on garments. This helped elimi- nate 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 might and are also moisture wicking so they don't hold moisture like a natural fabric will. Unless you are heat printing on cotton or other natural fabrics, you can skip this step and save time in the production process. Request a Sample and Test the Product Don't ruin a good garment on your first attempt with a new material. That's why many companies offer samples for you to test your application. There are even some wholesale fabric companies that will send you swatches to test. You can use that sample to help close the sale and keep it on display for additional promotion. In your shop, find a few of your "regular" garments and test them with different heat transfer materials noting which materials work best and the time, temperature, and pressure you used to apply them. Having these standard garments on hand will allow you to be sure the products you're selling are designed to last. Measure Twice, Press Once Just like the old carpentry adage, make sure your print is positioned correctly before you press. While you may get to the point where you can easily eyeball your placement, being cautious will give you consistent results. Use a laser alignment system to help you easily layout transfers. Or if you're on a budget, you can use a T-square or a carpenter's square for correct measurement. Knowing the fabric, heat transfer material, and how you need to press, sets you up for success from the start. With the rise in popular- ity of synthetic garments, it is important to be smart about how you're printing on them. Use materials compatible with your garment, and you will protect your reputation for quality and save yourself a lot of headaches. Not only do you need to know your material, but you need to know how to press it. If you're new to the material or new to heat pressing, get some samples and try it out before doing a professional run. Remember to apply according to application instructions and make sure you are cor- recting aligned before you press. Now you should be ready to print with confidence. 3 4 5 6 IN PRACTICE Blake Burroughs, Top Shelf Printers What got you into this industry and disci- pline? The ability to offer something different. Heat printing allows you to decorate areas that are not doable with your standard Screen print or embroidery process. The idea to be able to offer a unique placement or design to a customer to set them apart from others. What has been you most popular application? This is job dependent. Anything from bags, high- end coats, hats and much more. What has been one of your biggest successes in this business? The ability to be the source for a one-stop shop. Adding heat printing has allowed us to bring in more unique jobs and perform on them as well. What do you wish you had known from the beginning instead of learning through experi- ence? Sensitivity of products. Heat has a mind of its own when printing on certain materials. Unfortunately, we had to learn through some expensive garments. I also think the only way to learn is to have some of these issues. This allows our team to be more aware and take the initiative to learn. (Image courtesy of Oki Data Americas)

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