August '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 3 9 Q: Many customers want multiple products decorated, including athletic bags, face masks, and even shoes. When working with items that will experience a lot of use, what should decorators do to make sure their transfers hold up to the wear and tear? Armitt: There is no real one-size-fits-all transfer. Anything that is designed to wash and wear — especially if they have a rating of 50+ washes — will be the best option for clothing. However, you would not expect to wash an athletic bag very often, so a transfer more appro- priate to the fabric and application onto that material is better. Hats are another garment to consider. If you want to bridge the seam of a six-panel hat, then you'll need the right transfer. Q: Do you recommend heat transfers for high-pile items, such as towels or robes? Armitt: Transfers will adhere to high-pile items but suffer when washed. They look lumpy and uneven as does the rest of the pile after washing. You can, however, successfully transfer onto the band of a towel with good results. Q: What about substrates like silk? Armitt: Silk can be pressed but needs a very light touch. You need to test and practice. Q: When working with heat transfers, how can decorators deal with hard-to-place spots, such as around the curve of a cap or in a small area? Armitt: The key to pressing any heat transfer is temperature, time, and pressure. Missed accuracy on any one of these will cause problems. The most frequent of these problems is pressure. Anything that does not lay flat on a heat press has the potential to cause pressure issues, so you should position your garment properly. Always remember to balance the pres- sure — what you do to one side of the platen, do to the other side of the platen. Most heat presses have a heat plate or a platen that moves, so they self-equalize the pressure. If you only build one side, then the pressure will be uneven. There are options available on the market for building up an area. I find one of the best options is to buy a spare rubber platen mat and cut that down, as the consistency is perfect and you will end up with a selection of blocks you can use for years. Always make sure the block is larger than the transfer and readjust your pressure to suit. Q: What about hard substrates — how can a decorator ensure a quality final product using heat transfer on items like drinkware? Armitt: Hard substrates such as drinkware can be transferred by sublimation transfers onto items that have a suitable polyester coating for the sublimation to transfer onto. These do require specialty transfer presses that wrap around the item. There is no substitute for testing various items you can press onto, such as wood or even paper bags. HGR The key to pressing any heat transfer is tempera- ture, time, and pressure. Anything that does not lay flat on a heat press has the potential to cause pressure issues, so you should position your garment properly. HOT GRAPHICS REPORT LONG BEACH, CA August 12-14, 2021 (Classes start August 11) Attend a class to learn new skills, inspire ideas, and propel your business to the next level! Learn from these industry experts at the expo: pms 285 Black white TRAINING IN THE HALL To view the full class schedule, visit: TRAINING STOP

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