Heat Applied Material

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.

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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!

 

Revised Material Calculator

A while back i posted my Material Calculator and it has been the most popular post on my blog.  Many customers have used the calculator to help them determine both the yardage needed and the cost per design for their Heat Transfer Material, namely our Spectra Eco-Film (check out the Color Chart).

Since i first posted the Material Calculator about a year and a half ago, there have been a few changes to the product offering.  Some highlights are the addition of some more “fashionable” materials like our Spectra Alloy, Spectra Glitz, Spectra Gloss and a few others.  We’ve also lowered the price on our popular Spectra Patterns.

Here’s an example of what you can do using the Material Calculator:

A customer comes to you and needs 24 6×8 designs printed on the front of their shirts.  Using the material calculator, you can quickly find out you’ll need only two yards to complete the job and each design will cost you $0.69 using the Spectra Eco-Film.  You’ll also see what the cost would be for other material options if you chose to offer a glitter, glow in the dark or other type of design option.

The updated version of the calculator can be found in the Box on the left hand side.  It is named Material Calculator v.2.1.  If you have any questions at all on how to use the spreadsheet, please email me!

Creating a Distressed look with a Vinyl Cutter

How much do you incorporate fashion into your vinyl cutter business?  I covered in an earlier post some materials that can add some flair to your apparel.  Another way to make your good more fashionable is to use the latest decorating trends.  I’ve identified the Distressed look as a trend that has been around for a little while but is still very popular.

It may seem like the distressed look would be difficult but it’s really not when you use the right tools.  I sourced two fonts that will make creating the artwork the easy part for a change!  The best to use are Destroy and Gesso.  I’ve selected these two because of the ease of weeding.  There are plenty of distressed fonts available but not all will allow you to weed rather quickly.

Of the two, Gesso is the easier to weed.  Most of the lines and detail will be weeded out on the initial pull.

Destroy has a bit more detail.  Don’t get me wrong, it will take a little more time to weed this design!  However, in my opinion, the end result is the best.

The weeding process for the Gesso font took about a minute longer than it normally would.  This should be factored into your pricing.  Destroy took about 5 minutes longer.  The good news is you don’t have to get all the detail!  It’s distressed so if you leave a few spots behind that should have been weeded it actually adds to the look!

Here’s the end result:

Gesso

Destory

Simply adding a specific font to you design software can add a lot to you business!

Equipment and Materials used:

Trade Show Video

Hello all.  I exhibited at the NBM Printwear Show in Charlotte a couple weeks back and shot a video with the folks at NBM in our booth.  The video was limited to three minutes but you can get an idea of the products I represent at Imprintables Warehouse and also get a chance to view a bit of our Trade Show Booth if you haven’t made it out to see us at a Trade Show before. 

Here’s the link to the video:  Imprintables Warehouse Booth – Charlotte.

Also, if you’re interested in coming out to a show, the Trade Shows page on the site has been updated with the shows Imprintables Warehouse will be exhibiting at next year and the shows which I will be attending.  As free registrations are posted, I’ll add them to the site as well.  Keep checking  back!

Solving Dye-Migration

Dye-Migration is dye from a sublimated fabric bleeding through and dyeing a heat transferred design. Since Polyester is the only fabric that is gets its color from the sublimation process, it’s the only fabric that you’ll see migrate. Dye-Migration should not be confused with opacity. In the world of garment decoration, opacity refers to a heat transfer blocking out the color of the dark garment where as migration is the dye of the fabric coming through and becoming a part of the transfer.

So how do you solve Dye-Migration? Simply by using the right product. Standard heat transfers may not block migration. If you run in to an angry polyester that doesn’t like being transferred on to, you can use the Solutions Sub-Block for a full color printable fabric or Spectra Sub-Stop for single color vinyl cut transfer. Both products are available from Imprintables Warehouse and from me by requesting a sample.

Please see the pictures below for what migration looks like and how much a difference using the correct media makes.  The fabric this material is applied to is one of the popular performance wear garments. 

Heat transfer with Dye-Migration:

migration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same heat transfer using the Solutions Sub-Block:

sub-block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Side by side comparison:

side by side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side by side comparison really shows the migration from one transfer to the next.  It is most apparent in the white but the entire design is noticeably faded. 

Dye-migration can be a problem but certainly not one that can’t be avoided or fixed.  Just like choosing the correct transfer for a cotton or nylon, choosing the correct transfer for garments prone to migrate is essential to success as a garment decorator.

ay

High School Sports Uniform Guidelines

I just came across an interesting article about a basketball team that was penalized for their uniforms.  The team received a technical foul and the opposing team made one of two free throws before the game even started.  You probably didn’t have to read the article to know what the deciding margin of this playoff game was.

I started wondering how many of my customers where aware of what could and couldn’t be placed on a uniform.  How many decorators know that the numbers on a Football Uniform must be 8″ on the front of the jersey and 10″ on the back?  Did you know a number border width on a baseball uniform is 1/4″?  Not all rules are this strict but there are many ranges that must be adhered to.

The National Federation of State High School Associations is the governing body of High School Sports.  The information above was obtained from their NFHS Uniform Rules Summary.  Make sure you check out the site so even if the school you’re working with isn’t aware of the rules, you are.  NFHS also has a list of the Member State Associations.  There you’ll be able to find the contact information and website for your State.  Some States may have rules in addition to what is set up by the NFHS.

AY