Start Here November '21

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22 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 1 By Randy Carr Emblems By following these recommendations, you ensure that your heat applied patches will survive laundering, wear and tear, and always look professional. H eat-seal emblems are a great option for adding a logo, mascot, or identification to a wide range of apparel and accessories. They are fast and easy to apply, and application is less expensive because there are fewer steps, less equipment, and less labor than embroidered. You also have greater flexibility with location because they do not have to be hooped. Knowing how to properly apply them ensures there is a strong bond and that they perform as expected for the life of the gar- ment. All you need is a heat press, a cover sheet, and possibly a pillow or pad. Thermal tape to hold the patch in place is a plus. In most cases, you'll get the best results from a professional, commercial heat press versus a hobby-quality machine. However, it will depend on the job, the quantity, the substrate, and how it will be used. Emblem Adhesive Most emblem suppliers offer two types of adhesive backing. Low-melt glue is designed to be used on heat-sensitive fabrics like polyester, rayon, or silk. If the label says "do not iron" or "cool iron" that is a clue. This type adheres at a lower tempera- ture, 315-325 degrees F, which reduces the risk of scorching or damaging the fabric. Low melt can be adhered with a household iron, although make sure you press down hard enough and completely cover the entire emblem to ensure a secure bond. The second type, known as industrial adhesive, offers a stronger, more permanent bond, and is ideal for apparel that will be com- mercially laundered or subjected to a lot of wear and tear like a contact sport, construction, or outdoor labor. It is recommended to apply this type only with a commercial-quality heat press. The temperature will be in the 400-degree F range if you are using a pad. One characteristic to be aware of is that heat-applied adhe- sives will not properly adhere to fabric with a waterproof coating as well as some other types of finishes. A good rule of thumb is to confirm with the apparel manufacturer if it has a coating or to test before you start production. In some cases, a waterproof coating can be removed with alcohol. For example, if you wanted to adhere an emblem to a treated fabric umbrella, you might be Applying Heat- Seal Emblems The basics of heat-seal emblem application Having joined World Emblem, founded by his father Jerry in 1983, Randy Carr has done everything from running embroidery machines, to customer service, to his position today as president and CEO. A USER'S GUIDE FOR Want to reuse an existing emblem? Heat-seal strips, which are polyurethane adhesive on carrier sheets, allow you to reapply any patch to most types of fabrics. (All images courtesy World Emblem)

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