If someone asks you to choose between a plain or customized T-shirt, hat, and mug, you will most likely select the decorated items. That is because personalized items are more fun and eye-catching than their plain counterparts. Everyone wants to stand out and be unique in a crowd, but few know how much work goes into making those items. Heat transfer is one of the easiest and most common methods of application. The process involves using a heat press machine to apply heat and pressure to transfer all your custom designs onto select materials. Here are our top 7 super cool heat transfer tips!
1) Pre-press Your T-shirts
Benefits of pre-pressing your garments:
• Removes moisture and wrinkles
• Helps the transfer adhere better
• Pre-shrinks the fabric
These benefits can increase the quality of your end products.
2) Use Teflon Sheets
Teflon sheets are placed between the t-shirt or transfer and the top platen to protect the individual materials during the application process. Most heat press machines come with a free Teflon sheet, but not every model does. While not essential, it’s best to procure one if you are a beginner or using the heat press multiple times a day.
3) Regularly Clean Your Heat Press
Like any piece of equipment, it is ideal you maintain your press. The platens get dirty after several uses. It’s best to clean them frequently to regulate the quality of your super cool heat transfers. There are great products on the market, such as EZ-OFF Hot Iron Cleaner, should you accidentally melt vinyl on the platen. Products such as these make cleaning up a breeze!
4) Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Application Instructions
You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results. The instructions include the best time, pressure, and temperature to heat press. Typically, the manufacturer will have tested and determined the best setting beforehand. For inconsistent results, you should contact them for assistance.
5) Heat The Platen Cold Spots
You must check the overall status of the heat press at least yearly. Checking the status can help assure proper functionality. One example of how to test this is using a laser temperature gun to confirm that the platen reaches temperature evenly.
6) Remember To Mirror
It is imperative if you use words in your design to remember to mirror your art designs. You may also opt to outsource artwork design services for further assistance.
7) Time Applications Accurately
Timing is everything when it comes to heat transfers. Make sure your timer sets to the recommended time per the instructions. Ensure that the amount of pressure you apply is appropriate, as it can make or break your application and affect the final result.
Heat transfers are a fun and versatile way to customize T-shirts. We hope these tips will help you to make your next project a success! If you need anything heat transfers, TKO is hands-down your winning solution!