April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 35 mended. Bad idea. Again, the negative outcome may not be apparent immediately after pressing, but you just delivered a lump of coal to your customer. When the recommended instructions are overdone, it can cause your transfer to crack through wash and wear. This so- lution pushes the adhesive past the point of melting and moves it to a point where it becomes brittle. In the long run, this "quick-fix" will cause your transfer not to last as long as it should. CHECK YOUR APPLICATION AREA So, you've followed the recommended instructions but your customers still come back to say that you've deliv- ered a sub-par product. Check your application area. The temperature of your heat press can fluctuate from what the machine display is telling you. To check, quickly check your temperature across the heating platen with an infrared thermometer. They're available for $15 on Ama- zon and are a really handy tool. One reason that temperature can fluctuate is the place you've chosen to plug in your heat press. You should al- ways plug your heat press directly into a dedicated 20 amp wall receptacle. Plugging into a power strip can be an inadvertent cause of temperature variation. The pressure being applied to your item can be altered by lots of things like seams, zippers, pockets, neck lines, and more. Make sure that your application area, the ex- act spot where the heating platen will make contact with your transfer, is completely flat. You can accomplish this by using optional platens to focus the press on your ap- plication area or by inserting pads to raise up the applica- tion area so the heat platen is fully engaging with your transfer and only your transfer. GETTING CREATIVE There are those times when we really try to deliver an amazing dia- mond of a heat application to our customer. Usually, compelling looks are achieved by combining different types of heat transfers on one item. Here are some tips on making sure the fundamental forces of heat printing and diamond making are working together across different transfers. Check with the manufacturer of your heat transfer to make sure it can be layered. Not all heat transfers provide a good base for other transfers to sit on. Assuming that the answer is yes, it's time to employ a trick that you learned in elementary math class. Find the lowest common denominator of each transfer material you will be layering and work with those as your basic settings. The lowest temperature, time, and pressure that can be used should be used as you layer each transfer, save for the last one. On the last application, apply for the complete recommended time. Time, temperature, and pressure can create the absolute worst or best product. You can deliver a lump of coal in your customer's stocking or give them a diamond that is going to be admired and appreciated for years to come. Here's to making diamonds your gift of choice! Test your application area to assure that the temperature displaying on your press is the actual temperature. A cheap infrared thermometer will help you easily do this. Check with your transfer supplier to ensure that you properly adhere materials to substrates.

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