March '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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pressure when spread across an 11" X 15" area. For this reason, many garments are ruined because too much pressure occurs on smaller, isolated print areas. Be sure to reduce your pressure substantially as the sur- face area is reduced. Another concern with pressure is related to how the garment is loaded. Have you had problems with shiny, scorched, or discolored areas such as the collar or shoulder seams when heat printing? This happens when those raised areas of the shirt are left on the heat press platen during printing, thus receiving too much pressure. To avoid this, use heat-printing accessories to get the print area completely flat. Interchangeable heat press platens such as an 11" X 15" or 6" X 10" platen are perfect for isolating your print area and getting those seams off the press, specifically on ma- chines that allow the splitting of a garment onto the lower platen. If you don't have a heat press that is inter- changeable or threadable, try using acces- sories such as heat-printing pillows or pads to insert into the garment. The last key to successfully printing tri-blend T-shirts is to choose a heat trans- fer decoration that is soft, lightweight, and fashion- able to complement the substrate. The premi- um, comfortable wear of tri-blend garments has led to their rise in popularity, so keep these same fea- tures in mind when you're choosing a heat transfer. Options include screen-printed transfers or heat transfer vinyl that have a thickness of 110 microns or less. Complete the look by uti- lizing fashion-forward colors and special effects like foil. While tri-blends aren't quite as easy as printing an everyday cotton T-shirt, they can be printed with ac- curacy by understanding the proper heat printing techniques. Consider making these garments the new spe- cialty of your store. 2 0 1 7 M A R C H P R I N T W E A R || 35 A soft transfer should be used on tri-blends to match the sub- strate's finish. Compat- ible transfers include screen-printed trans- fers, or heat transfer vinyl that is less than 110-microns thick.

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