Author: adamyukish

Value of Personalization

In his book How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie states, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.  We LOVE our name on things.

You see personalization everywhere.  Even the advertising we see daily is personalized.  If you search for a certain topic, the ads you see on Facebook, Google, and other websites are catered just to you!  Don’t be surprised when you search for “new Dad” books when ads for cribs, baby toys, jewelry for your lovely wife, etc. start popping up as you’re trying to research your upcoming fantasy football match up.

If you’re offering screen printing or some other type of decoration now, and you don’t have a heat press to offer the one off, customized item, you are really missing out!  I hear all the time about how screen printers “don’t have the time” to offer a one off.  You don’t have the time to make 60 – 80% margin by offering one item?  What value did you add to that customer?  Are they not likely to come back to you to get that 100 shirt order?  I hear from Sign Makers that already have a cutter that they don’t want to add a heat press for the same reason.  That’s even more surprising to me.  You’re already cutting one off signs, why not just add the press, throw a roll of material in the same cutter, and make them a custom shirt.  Easy money!

I get the value of offering only what you offer, not wanting to confuse your workers with a different method or confuse production.  Looking at personalization as nothing more than a way to satisfy your customer, or to over satisfy your customer, is an easy way to justify doing things just a little differently.

Heat Press vs. Hand Iron

Heat Transfer Vinyl has become very popular among t-shirt decorators.  The introduction of lower cost and “craft” vinyl cutters in to the market has made cutting vinyl much more affordable.

Most heat transfer vinyls can be applied using a hand iron.  It is recommended that you set your iron to the “Linen” setting, and apply as even of pressure as possible to each section of your design for anywhere between 20-30 seconds.  This will usually provide good results, but it’s tough to be sure that you were able to apply adequate and even pressure to each section of your design.

For more professional results, it’s good to invest in a heat press.  A quality heat press will provide even heat and pressure across the entire platen for the time specified by your heat transfer vinyl supplier.

Heat Transfer Vinyl will last the longest, and look the best, if the time, temperature, and pressure applied are all accurate and even.  If you are using your Heat Transfer Vinyl to produce garments for sale, it’s best to use a heat press to make sure the transfer will look great when your customer receives it, and years down the road.

Heat Pressing Performance Apparel

Decorating Performance apparel can pose a few challenges.  The low scorching point, stretchability of the fabrics, and complex fabric composition has challenged decorators and their suppliers to come up with new techniques and products.

Heat pressing Performance apparel using the incorrect products and methods can lead to scorch marks and poor quality transfers.  However, two products recently introduced can be applied at a low temp and a short dwell time, making them the ideal materials to use.

Spectra Perform Cut is a “Cut-only” Heat Transfer Vinyl that applies at only 280 degrees.  For full color, Spectra Perform is a Solvent or Eco-Solvent printable line of products that can also be applied at 280 degrees.  Both products have a unique adhesive that will adhere to Polyester, Nylon, Lycra and many synthetic blends.  Both also offer tremendous Stretch and Rebound, which will keep the decoration looking great, even after they’ve been stretched out.

If you’ve tried decorating Performance apparel before, but didn’t like the “heat press box” that accompanied your transfer, give one of these new products a try!