Awards & Engraving

2020 Sublimation Report

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32 The Sublimation Report • Spring 2020 • including percentages of each kind of fiber. This gives you some insight into how to deco- rate these fabrics. The higher the polyester count in your fabric, the more cautious you'll need to be when choosing a heat-transfer vinyl to apply. Test First. Test fabric for dye migration using your heat press. Put the garment on your heat press, cover with a kraft paper cover sheet, and heat apply for 10 sec- onds. With unstable inks, you'll see ink residue on the cover sheet after application — those are high-bleed fabrics. If you don't see any, or not much, you have a low-bleed fabric. When heat applying on sub- limated items, it's important to test the heat your garment can withstand without causing dye migration with the specific heat- transfer vinyl you'd like to apply. Skipping this step saves you time in the short run but causes unknown production and quality issues in the long run. Decorating Low-Bleed Polyester. Cool down your heat press. To pre- vent dye migration with your heat press on low-bleed garments, you can set the temperature as low as possible (within the material's recommended application tem- perature range). This reduces the amount of heat activation of the dyes in the fabric. A dark color heat-transfer vinyl is also an option for decorating low-bleed poly- ester fabrics; any dye migration will not be visible on the HTV. You can try using a heat-transfer vinyl that is opaque and thick. This kind of heat-transfer vinyl doesn't block dye but because of its opacity, it helps hide dye migration in most low-bleed polyester fabrics. Decorating High-Bleed Polyester. High-bleed, fully sublimated garments require the most care to prevent dye migration and ruined garments. Heat- transfer vinyl manufacturers have devel- oped material options for these kinds of garments that block dye migration. It's important to read product information to be sure you're purchasing vinyl that's been lab-tested to block dye migration. Many heat press manufacturers have developed platens with heat from the lower and upper platens. Using higher heat on the underside of a garment, when paired with a heat-transfer material designed to block dye, reduces both the risk of scorching and dye migration. Decorating polyester and polyester blends presents challenges for the gar- ment decoration industry. But with the growth and popularity of performance wear and other polyester blends, it's inevitable. Be prepared by reading the garment labels, and testing garments and materials. SR Decorating polyester presents challenges for the garment decoration industry. Be prepared with research and testing.

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