Printwear

March '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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PRESSING MATTERS ter performance wear to tri-blends, the first key to successful heat printing is to turn down the heat on your heat press and reduce the dwell time. To do this, it's important to have a compatible trans- fer. Those everyday high-temperature heat transfers may be great for cotton garments, but for tri- blends, you'll need to look outside of your standard heat transfers to find one that is engineered for printing at a lower heat application and time. A good place to start is by asking the sup- plier what options they have for application at 300 degrees F or less. With advancements in heat transfer technology, many great options will fit the bill. The low- er the application temperature, the better, and you'll find that lighter color tri-blend fabrics are less likely to scorch than darker shades such as black. The third heat press variable to examine, and typically the most mis- understood, is pressure. Too much pres- sure from your heat press will also cause marks to appear on your garment, so it is important to make sure that you are using the recommended pres- sure of the heat trans- fer you are applying. Additionally, ensure that you are not adding extra pressure to the application, as this will not help the dura- bility of the transfer. The trick is accurate pressure, not more pressure. Therefore, it is important to ensure the heat press equipment used is reading an accurate pressure. Digital pressure ma- chines should occasionally be checked to ensure they are in calibration. Con- sult with the heat press manufacturer for tips on how to check your machine. It is also important to note that changing the lower platen impacts the applied pressure. For instance, a medium pressure applied across a 16" X 20" surface area is a much firmer 34 || P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 7 Heat-sensitive transfers are necessary for tri-blends as polyester and other synthetic fibers are part of the fabric's makeup. The trick to appli- cation is accu- rate pressure, not more.

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