Heat Press Pressure in Direct-to-Garment Printing – There’s still much confusion about the details of DTG printing, and unfortunately much misinformation. There are two steps to look at when it comes to your heat press.
Number 1 is pretreating. Once you’ve pretreated the shirt with an automatic pretreat machine on hand-held power sprayer, and you want to print right away, you’ll need to dry the shirt with your heat press. If the pressure is too light, that extends the drying time and more importantly leaves fibers standing up on the garment. So when you are drying pretreat, use heavy pressure. As a side note, if you allow your shirts to air dry, you’ll still need to press the shirt with heavy pressure for about five seconds before printing.
Number 2 is the printed shirt that must be heat set for wash-ability. If you use too heavy pressure, it will press the ink into the shirt and mix the inks on dark shirts to give a dull washed-out appearance. When curing the ink on a shirt, use light pressure for the best result.
Mixed Media with Sublimation – One of the best things about sublimation is that once you have created and pressed a fabric item, you can always add to it! With sublimation temperature ranging from 375-400 degrees, anything else that is heat applied will be at a much lower temperature and will not cause the original transfer to gas out. Some great options are adding heat transfer vinyl, rhinestones and embroidery into the mix to create truly personalized items.
Relationships – This is a hard time of the year with business, pressure, holidays. It is very important to remember your relationships in business. These relationships extend past your customers, and includes your vendors and other stakeholders in your business. Yelling and screaming is not going to make things better, and who knows someday you might need a favor from them. Read my blog post at http://aaronmontgomery.info/2015/02/relationships-are-everything/
Spot Cleaning Guns – One drop of ink, one misplaced thumbprint, one pinhole can ruin a shirt and cost you money. A spot cleaning gun can save the shirt and your production run.
Besides the gun, a device with a screen and exhaust (commonly sold with spot cleaning guns) will help to hold the shirt in place and to quickly dry the spot cleaned area of the garment. Until you can afford this exhaust product, fill a metal coffee can with misprinted shirts and use this as your base for spraying out the shirt. Always use a spot cleaning gun in a well-ventilated area. Continue reading
How to Better Manage Your Social Media – One of the best apps available to help you manage the social media accounts is Hootsuite. This allows you to better schedule, better maintain and still interact without making Social Media a full-time job. It allows you to set up custom feeds, follow keywords and schedule social media. This allows you to schedule tweets, posts and more for the week and just check-in instead of having to be on social media all the time. Finally, my favorite part of the tool is that does auto scheduling and looks for the best time to send your posts for greatest exposure.
Pretreatment Methods for DTG – Best to Worse If it’s in your budget, buy an automatic pretreat machine. This will give you consistency with this critical step in the process. Be sure to check max pretreat area matches the potential print area of your DTG machine. Also check that the spraying process is completely enclosed. If not, be sure to spray away from your DTG machine.
Dealing with Heat Transfer Lines – I have heard and seen all sorts of remedies for when your transfer paper on liner causes polyester garments to have a permanent line around the graphics. There is not 1 solutions that works for everyone, but I have 4 ideas you should try. I’ll share one with you here and then direct you to my blog to find out more. Make the paper larger than the heat press as this will illuminate the paper causing the lines. One thing to note, you can still have issues with the edge of the heat press causing lines, but this is normally due to having way too much pressure. For 3 more ideas and a video, check out my Blog.
Using Refillable Cartridges with a Small Format Epson – The printer of choice today for outputting film positives is an Epson small format device such as the 1430. The only drawback is the standard 18ml cartridge. Refillable cartridges are the best option to save substantial dollars on ink. Continue reading
Sales Tip – Many small business people wear all the hats, including the salesperson hat. For non-professional sales people the process of sales is daunting and scary. I’m hear to say that one of the best techniques for sales is to try to get told NO. Let that sink in.. Get told NO. This helps overcome that fear by making it the goal and helps you get to yes. Read all about this technique at my Blog.
Get ALL the Right Tools – Make sure you are making the proper investment in all the tools in your business. Be in business and be professional. Getting a cheap heat press and then blaming it on the transfer or saying the printer does work when you have crummy shirts. Give yourself less headaches by investing in the proper tools from A to Z.