Clothing styles have changed in the past decade and these changes brought with them the trend of active wear as a fashion choice. This means that there is a lot more polyester in fashion than there used to be. From jerseys to athletic leisure the demand for personalized or trendy graphic images on this unforgiving fabric has risen. So, if you are getting into garment enhancement you will want to make sure you understand how to treat this fabric when using a heat press.
In this article, we will give you a few tips for the use of a heat press with polyester as well as how to avoid those pesky heat press marks that often plague the T-shirt designed.
Heat Press Tips for Polyester
Polyester offers a specific challenge that must be addressed, so knowing a few key tips and tricks when handling polyester will help you ensure that your project is delivered with perfection.
- Heat is an important thing to monitor. You need heat when pressing graphics onto tees or other products. Some of the fabrics such as polyester are highly susceptible to heat and that may make it challenging. In fact, if you are not careful you could melt your shirt. Typically, you would want your heat at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit but with polyester, the better choice would run it a little cooler like 180 degrees
- You also need to make sure that you use the right transfer. This is important especially with polyester because some are more affected by heat than others, so making sure to check the heat threshold of the transfer is key
- You also may want to test the polyester. Use your heat press and try it at the lowest temp for polyester, so around 280 degrees. If it doesn’t scorch, then up the temp by 5 degrees. Only test a small piece until you reach a scorching point and then you have an idea of how hot you can get your heat press
- One good rule of thumb is to stick with thin cover sheets for the most part. This will allow much more heat to reach your fabric and transfer. Now if you are working with polyester you may consider a slight thicker cover sheet but just remember not too thick
- You want to pay close attention to dye migration because this happens a lot with polyester. This is when the dye from the original crafting gets heated and activates again and this may cause it to bleed into the graphic design.
These are just a few tips you can use to make working with polyester easier and to decrease the risk of error. By simply taking your time and making sure you understand the composition and reactions of polyester to heat, you are well on the way to being able to add new products to your business.
How to Avoid Heat Press Marks
Anyone who tackles T-shirt graphic design creation will eventually want to work with some fabrics that are delicate like polyester, and once you do, you may come across a problem. You may find yourself dealing with scorching or even heat press marks that seem like they just can’t be removed. This could be frustration and in truth, there is no one answer that fixes all. Before you trash that shirt because there is a huge shiny spot or scorch mark, let it cool down for a bit. That is the first thing because often, once the fabric cools and settles you will find that those marks disappear. If, however, it is still there some people suggest giving the piece a wash because throwing it in the washer can often remove those marks. Yet still, some people suggest that a stiff brush and a little elbow grease can help remove the marks.
The real way to avoid this mark is to make sure you follow the tips above. Make sure you use the right heat and test that fabric and then the odds that you will experience those marks will be highly reduced.
The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money only to end up ruining the project. That means concentrating on eliminating the factors that could damage your polyester fabric. So how do you avoid heat press marks on polyester? By following the tips above you should be able to decrease that chance by leaps and bounds. If by chance something goes a little wrong, you also have a few methods that may work to remove any heat press marks on that polyester.
By being cautious and conscientious you will be able to create some amazing graphic pieces of polyester work. Hopefully, with the information you are now equipped with you are ready to tackle working with that temperamental fabric known as polyester. Creating those awesome jerseys and making some amazing graphic tees with confidence is all that is left for you to do.