October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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66 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 HEAT TRANSFERS AND SUBLIMATION How do I keep my heat press clean? There are a number of ways to keep your press clean, but these are a few of my favorites: 1. Act quickly. Once you have ink on your top platen, ongoing exposure to high heat will cause the ink to cook and make it difficult to remove. 2. Turn down the heat. It's difficult enough to stop production to clean the heat press, let alone when the heat press is still at a whopping 350–400 degrees F. Turn off your heat press to allow it to cool before cleaning. It doesn't need to be completely cold; in fact, sometimes being warm helps keep the ink or adhesive pliable and easier to remove. 3. Be gentle. Use a soft cloth or old T-shirt and a gentle cleans- er like a mechanic's non-abrasive hand cleaner, a household iron cleaner, or mild soap and water. 4. Prevent a mess before it starts. While there will always be a time where a mess on your top platen happens, the best way to keep your heat press clean is to prevent a mistake before it happens. Use a paper cover sheet when you can to help keep both platens clean. STEFANIE GRAVENS, TRANSFER EXPRESS When working with rhinestones on apparel, do I have to hand-place all of the stones individually? Nope! With a flock material, the process is quick and simple. Using a vinyl cutter, cut the rhinestone pattern into the template material, pour the stones on it, brush the stones in a circular motion, and they will fall into place. To transfer the rhinestones from the template ma- terial onto a shirt or garment, you will need to lay a piece of hot-fix transfer tape on top of the stones. The stones will stick to the tape and can then be moved to your heat press with ease. Common rhinestones used in this sce- nario are called hot-fix rhinestones. The backs of hot-fix rhinestones have a glue that is activated when heat is ap- plied. Simply take the rhinestone transfer you have cre- ated using the flock material and hot-fix transfer tape, lay it on your shirt or garment, and press it with a heat press. The glue will be activated, and the rhinestones will adhere to your material. MATT VASSALLO, THE RHINESTONE WORLD Prepressing and lint roll- ing garments and other fabric items can improve the transfer's washabil- ity and lifespan. (Image courtesy Hotronix)

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