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!
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:
Same heat transfer using the Solutions Sub-Block:
Side by side comparison:
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.