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!
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.
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!
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!