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.
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!
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!