October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Printwear 2013 Q&A Heat Transfer Which films stick to nylon and coated fabrics? Some outdoor wear and nylon garments are coated to make the garments water-resistant. In decorating these garments with heat transfer films, nylon and coated fabrics can resist standard hot-melt polyurethane adhesives. To adhere to nylon and coated fabrics, select a heat transfer material with a polyamide hot melt adhesive. These polyamide adhesives have an affinity for other polyamide materials, such as nylon. While you may have heard that opposites attract, when it comes to adhesion, "like" materials usually build stronger bonds. Jim Hingst, RTape Business Development Manager I want to print cotton and poly-performance T-shirts using digital transfers. Can I use the same ink for both? While there are some inks that claim to work on all fabrics, the reality is that you get the best results by using the appropriate ink for the application. Typically you want a cotton ink for cotton materials (and 50/50) and a sublimation dye for poly/ performance. Jimmy Lamb, Sawgrass Technologies Why do I get a flakey residue around my reflective heat transfer after I apply it? And how do I remove it? The flakey, reflective residue left behind after applying a reflective heat transfer is often caused by the reflective carrier paper. Reflective transfers are composed of tiny glass beads. When you cut through those tiny beads, they can leave little shards of the glass bead on the rim of the carrier paper. When heat and pressure are used, that glass bead melts onto the garment leaving a sparkly/flakey residue. Use a pellon window to avoid this. The pellon window is comprised of two to three pieces of pellon material that are stacked and glued together. Cut out the shape of the graphic in the middle of the sheets (about 1/4" smaller than the overall size of the carrier paper). Lay the heat transfer down onto your substrate, and the pellon window on top of that, then engage the press. This will help prevent the glass beads on the rim of the carrier paper from sticking to your substrates. Sarah Kahane, Insta Is there a way to decorate performance shirts using heat transfer vinyl without getting a square mark on the shirt from the heat press? ways use a high-quality heat press with accurate temperature, even pressure control and a good timer. Chris Pisani, TheMagicTouch USA Why do some transfers have a clear or milky halo or border around them? This halo or border is most often times a clear backer. Clear backers are added for various reasons—to help give the transfer stretch, to help hold or trap fine detail, and to hold multiple colors. Most clear borders can be made very tight and small and extend only 1/64". If the clear border looks thicker than 1/64" once the transfer is applied, you may have used too much pressure to apply the transfer and it's causing the clear to smear or spread. Reduce the pressure on the platen by 5 to 10 pounds and it will greatly reduce the appearance of the clear border, especially on darker colored garments. Sarah Kahane, Insta I heat applied my transfer according to the directions, but the transfer did not apply on all areas. The image is stretched and distorted. What causes this and how do I prevent it from happening again? Most of the time, this issue is caused by uneven pressure in the application. Believe it or not, even the seam on a T-shirt collar can create an uneven pressure environment. The best remedy is to isolate the heat printing area, allowing all raised surfaces to fall outside of the print space. When an alternative/shaped heat press platen is not available, or the application isn't small enough to fit in the desired area, substitute a dense rubber or foam pad (similar to the material on the bottom pad of the heat press platen). This type of pad is specifically helpful because it can be trimmed to fit in small or odd shaped spaces, such as inside of a pocket or between handles on a bag. Alison Zuccaro, Stahls' ID Direct I prefer a matte finish rather than shiny in vinyl decorations. What cover sheet should I use? Kraft paper, when used as a cover sheet, leaves a matte finish on heat transfer material. A cover sheet not only protects the garment, it also protects the upper platen of the heat press from stains, inks, adhesives and scratches. Sue Burgess, Stahls' ID Direct Look for a heat transfer vinyl that transfers at 255°F or lower, combined with a very short heat press time. In addition, al- 96 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 96 October 2013 9/18/13 11:57 AM

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