heat transfers

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!

 

(Another) Heat Press Innovation

Which is your favorite?  The Swing Away or a Draw heat press?  Both have their advantages to you, the consumer.  Would you like the draw action so you can view your work area from any angle?  Or do you prefer the swing away option to completely move the heat?  Odds are, you’ve had jobs where both features would come in handy.  Now what about a fully threadable lower platen?  How many different settings do you have for your various heat transfers?  Wouldn’t it be simple to cycle through them?

If you’re in the business, what is your “dream machine”?  Hotronix has created a press that should be the closest thing.  Introducing the Hotronix Fusion!  The Fusion should offer you everything on your wish list.  Fully threadable platen, check.  Easily to change lower platen, check.  Auto on/off, check.  Touch screen, digital display, check!

Do yourself a favor.  Check out the video and see what this press has to offer your 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

Heat Press Olympics

It’s my first official post.  It’s Olympic time.  Why not?  As I sit here trying to focus on my first post, I cant help but be distracted by the Olympic Games.  What is it about the Olympics that generates so much interest?  Is it the National Pride?  Is it the fact that it only happens every 4 years?  Maybe it’s just having the opportunity to see the best athletes in the world competing on the highest level. 

How interesting would it be to have a “Heat Press Olympics”?  Now what could be the games?  Don’t you worry, I’ve already thought about it…

Heat Press Ping Pong– A game of paddle skill.  Three separate classes will exist.  Clam Shell, Swinger, and Draw.    Curious about the game?  Read on.
 

The Clam Shell game may be considered the easiest of the three.  Since a Clam Shell Heat Press looks like well, a clam shell, all that will have to be done is to hit the Ping Pong ball off of the bottom then top platen.

An example of a Clam Shell style press, The Phoenix Phire, is pictured below. 

 

The Swing Away Press aka Swinger will be the medium level.  Given the Swinger’s upper platen moves fully to the side of the lower platen, the Ping Pong Ball will have to be played off the floor and then the upper platen.  You may be able to get a full view of the garment on the press and you wont be burning any knuckles, but the view of that little white ball will surely be blocked. 

The Hotronix Swinger

Finally, the Draw.  For those who may not know, the Draw Press gets it’s name because the lower platen comes out much like a drawer.  This makes it very easy to get to everything that you need to pre-press, but how can you possibly hit the ball between the platen and press at those angels?  Still only one bounce here folks.  Only the most talented. 

The Hotronix Draw

Alright, one game down.  What’s next?

Heat Press 50 & 150– No hurdles here. The 50 is a race to 50 completed Heat Transfers and, naturally the 150 is a race to 150 pressed Heat Transfers.

The race to 50 requires speed and agility. Using the Auto-Release Phoenix Phire pictured above in Clam Shell Ping Pong, each competitor will have 50 transfers of their choosing to press. With the Auto-Release, competitors won’t get easily tired out pressing and opening the press with each application.

The 150 may require a little more fire power. The Hotronix Air Swinger would be the Heat Press of choice here. The Air Swinger will apply the transfers and conserve energy for the competitors. All the competitors will have to do is press two buttons for the press to come down and release after the programed time! Seems easy, I know.

And Finally…

Speed Weeding – It can be said that this is a game of patience and requires a keen eye.  I say it just takes a little practice.

Speed Weeding will draw the crowds.  Seeing small pieces of Heat Applied Vinyls or Films as they (mostly) truly are fly through the air at astounding speeds is bound to draw awe from attending spectators and high ratings from the interested watching in the comfort of their home.  For those who don’t know, Weeding is the practice of taking away the “waste” material from a design cut on a Vinyl Cutter, leaving just your precisely cut Name, Number, Name & Number Combo, corporate logo, or just a really cool looking design on a Mylar backing ready to be Heat Pressed down.  For a fun, and I’m sure appreciated twist, Synchronized Speed Weeding can give you the help of a friend or even a family bonding experience. 

Now the best part about these Heat Press Olympics is that they do not have to be categorized as a Summer Or Winter Olympic Games.  Instead, these games can be enjoyed year round.  A Heat Press gives your business  opportunities no matter what time of year it is.  Tips, tricks, ideas and innovation will be coming your way.  Stay tuned!