Laser Dark 2 Step Transfers – When marrying the 2 sheets together it is best to make sure your lower platen is hot. You can hover your press over it prior to printing or do a short press for 10 to 15 seconds with nothing in the heat press. Also once you do marry the 2 sheets together, peel them apart immediately on the press so they stay warm. This helps get a clean consistent peel and will make for a better transfer to the garment. Bonus – Don’t use a teflon cover sheet on the lower platen as that tends to reflect away the heat and can cause issues.
Film Output for Screen Printers – I’m often asked, “What should I buy to create film positives?” Today, your best bet is the Epson 1430 printer, available for about $300. You’ll need RIP software to produce halftone dots. Most common is FilmMaker (formerly FastRIP) or AccuRIP. Both are $495. FilmMaker is PC only. AccuRIP can be purchased in PC or Mac versions.
Shirt Type – Choosing the right shirt in Transfers, DTG and other decorating methods is actually important. Need to have a good surface for decoration bonding with both transfers and DTG. My current favorite is the Fruit of the Loom HD Product.
Screen Print Set-up – For a quick screen printing set up on the press, place a registration mark centered at the top and bottom of each film. You can do this in any art program, and have it duplicate on each film. Then, with your T-square, draw a line straight down your shirt platen. Line up the two registration marks on each screen to this vertical line and your artwork with be perfectly square and centered when you go to print.
Heat Press Maintenance – Use heat strips to make sure your heat press temperature is correct. They are relatively inexpensive and I would suggest using these one a month, or at least once a quarter. Place them in all 4 corners and one in the middle and press as if you were pressing your most common item (as long as the temp is in the strip range) to make sure it is actually at the correct temp. Press for 10 seconds and then verify the temperature is the same as the readout.
Powder Adhesive for Cap Transfers – When printing plastisol transfers for caps, print the image in reverse onto T-75 transfer paper. While the ink is still wet, pull the paper through powder adhesive (available from most screen print suppliers) and then run down the dryer belt. Dry to the touch only, do not fully cure the ink. The powder adhesive will give the transfer a better grip on the cap front.
Polyester Transfers – Use heat-resistant foam to remove those pesky transfer lines.
Thinning your plastisol inks – Thixotropic, so first option is room temp and stir. Second, curable reducer.
Removing the curl from transfer papers – Put it in a freezer for about 20 minutes before running it to remove the moisture from it that is causing the curl.
How to cure a DTG Printed Hat – Use a Heat gun for curing DTG printed hats.