Useful tips on heat press application, including:
- How to improve the quality of the bond.
- How to get garments to lay flat.
- How to ensure that the heat transfer is straight.
- How to prevent paper separation when lifting the upper platen.
- How to tell if you're using enough pressure.
How can I improve the quality of the bond between the heat transfer and the fabric?
Due to the demands of applying onto a wide variety of fabric types and different areas of garments, other than just the traditional chest or rear areas, we always recommend checking to see how you can get the application area as flat as possible prior to application to ensure a consistent bond when heat pressing. We strongly advise that you use Teflon pillows where appropriate, along with other aides (such as interchangeable lower platens, a teflon cover sheet and a grip-flex application pad) to make sure that you are getting the best results out of every fuse.
I'm printing onto the breast and rear of a polo shirt - How can I get the garment to lay flat?
We recommend using a either a Teflon pillow or a small, interchangeable lower heat platen when applying onto the breast of a polo shirt, to ensure that the area to be printed is flat in order to achieve even pressure when applying.
For the rear of polo shirts, if the shirt is large enough, we recommend "threading" the garment around the lower platen to ensure that the buttons on the front do not affect the pressure - A Hotronix Table-Top Caddie is a great add-on for making this as easy as possible. Alternatively, you can also use either a Teflon pillow or a small, interchangeable lower heat platen.
How can I ensure that the heat transfer is straight on the garment?
A simple tip is to fold the garment in half along the centre of the garment and apply a small amount of pressure for 1-2 seconds - This will put a small crease in the garment to show you were the centre of the garment is, which will greatly increase the likelihood of a straight application. We also recommend the Hotronix Laser Alignment Tool which has four lasers which can be set to any area of any heat press to ensure that the heat transfer is applied in the same precise area every time - Details of this can be found under the Accessories area of the website.
The paper is lifting when I lift the upper platen once I've applied the design - How can I stop this?
Paper separation can occur when static builds up on the upper platen of the heat press, which can result in the paper/mylar carrier lifting when the upper platen is raised - By covering the design with a Teflon cover sheet or release paper, this will alleviate the problem.
The edges of my CAD-Cut heat transfer appear to be lifting after I've printed the design - How can I fix this?
If the mylar carrier has been peeled from a CAD-Cut design slightly to hot, or if there wasn't quite enough pressure used during application, the edges of a design may not be completely bonded to the fabric - By covering the design with a Grip-Flex Application Pad and re-applying for 3-5 seconds will significantly increase the adhesion.
How can I tell if I'm using enough pressure on my heat press?
The correct pressure would be dependent on the specific heat transfer - When the lower platen is locked into place, a low-pressure this would require minimum effort, and is easily achievable with one hand. For medium-pressure, a certain amount of resistance would be felt, although you should still be able to lock it down with one hand. For high-pressure, most operators would still be able to lock of the press with one hand, but more downward pressure would be required - Under no circumstances would you have to use both hands and excessive force the press to lock off, as this would be beyond the definition of firm pressure and would likely result in damage to the heat press and the heat transfer.
The full range of Hotronix Sprint MAG Auto-Open heat presses we supply have a Pressure Indication to guide you as to the pressure you've got on the heat press when applying.
It's also worth remembering to check the pressure when pressing different items prior to application, such as printing t-shirts and then hooded sweatshirts.