heat transfer material

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!

 

How to Create a Custom T-shirt Business

I’m fortunate to work in an industry with very little barrier to entry.  I’m also fortunate to work for a company that has taken the time and devoted the resources to making it as easy as possible to make those barriers even more insignificant.  Many entrepreneurs are drawn to our industry because the start-up costs can be under 1k.

Here’s what you need:

The steps are simple.  After you purchase your vinyl cutter and heat press, you can register a FREE account on CadWorx Live.  Login to CadWorx and find a design.  You have thousands of pieces of Clip art to choose from and hundreds of different templates!  Customize the design with your own text and send the design to your Clipper vinyl cutter.  The Clipper will cut out your design in the Heat Transfer Material of your choice.  Once it’s done cutting and you’ve weeded away the excess material, take the design to your Heat Press and heat apply to your T-shirt!

What makes my industry great is that it is as much fun to make custom shirts for yourself, friends, and family as it is to sell them to your customers!  For under 1k, you can either have a fun hobby (and probably less expensive than my wife’s hobby of shoe collecting) or a legit, profitable business!

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!

The Versatility of the VersaCAMM

Q:  What is the worst thing you can tell your customer? 

A:  “No.”

How many times have you had to tell your customers “No”?  Far too often I’m sure.  If it’s not “no”, then it may be “I’ll have it for you in two weeks” because you have to outsource the job.  There isn’t a machine out there that will give every customer everything they want, but there is one that will give you a heck of a start.  That machine is the Roland VersaCAMM.

So what makes the VersaCAMM such a versatile machine?  Consider the following.  Imprintables Warehouse offers 15 different types of Digital Media…and that’s just for garment decoration!  While most would expect a media for cotton, poly and cotton/poly blends to be available, they may be unaware that they can decorate performance wear, spandex, nylon, leather, both light and darks, just by switching out the media loaded in the machine.  Possible applications range from the common t-shirt to fire retardant leather race apparel to polypropelene bags that have become popular in the Promotional Product industry.  Not to mention socks, shoes, shorts & sandles…and much more!  And yes, i did spend a minute or two trying to think of another product you can decorate than begins with an “s” but decided to go on with the post.  No sense getting sidetracked. 

How about a printable Flock?  Anyone have a need for full color Reflective printing for safety apparel?  Have you had requests for a Puff print on a t-shirt?  Metallic is another effect that can serve an entire new market.  If your customers haven’t asked you for this yet, it may only be because they haven’t seen it! 

Speaking of new markets…Imprintables Warehouse has introduced a new line of printable material.  Our NAM line, or Non-Apparel Media is a bit of a departure from what has always been availabe from IW.  These materials were brought on to work in conjuction with the digital media for garment decoration that was mentioned above.  The difference is that these are not heat applied medias, but pressure sensitive.  Same printer, same inks, more versatility.  Imprintables Warehouse now stocks 12 more medias (that’s a total of 27 if you’re playing along) for application on to football, baseball & hockey helmets, stickers, laptop skins, removable wall graphics and posters just to name a few.  Consider the ability to print on banners, vehicle graphics, custom labels for bottles and window displays.  The list goes on and on!

Think about this.  Your customer brings you one piece of artwork.  All they may expect is a new t-shirt, hoodie or maybe a cap.  If you can offer them what they came to you for, that’s great.  Having the ability to offer them so much more will bring in more $$$$ and make for a happier customer and a happier you! 

If you are intersted in adding the Roland VersaCAMM or if you’ve already made the investment and you’re interested in any of the medias offered by Imprintables Warehouse, please email me at adam@imprintables.com.  You can also call me in the office at 1-800-347-0068 x 234 or on my cell at 724-322-1085.

If you’re interested in reading more about the VersaCAMM, please read a previous post – Comparing the Versacamm – Direct to Garment.

Thanks for reading!

AY