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STIKA SV-8 8" Desktop Cutter

5 Common Heat Transfer Mistakes
Heat transfer media does not adhere to fabric properly.
​Heat transfer media does not adhere to fabric properly.

Various operating errors.


Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong heat transfer material for fabric type.  Refer to the manufacturer's guide on fabric compatibility.  The heat transfer adhesive may not work with certain synthetic materials like nylon, spandex, or lycra.  Also, see manufacturer's guide about layering heat transfer media on top of one another.  For example, if you are using glitter heat transfer media, you cannot layer another piece of heat transfer media on top of it. 

Mistake #2: Incorrect temperature setting on heat press.  Check manufacturer's recommendation.  If the temperature is too low, the heat activated adhesive will not melt and provide proper adhesion to fabric.  If the temperature is too high, the adhesive will burn away, thus drying out the media and eventually cracking.

Mistake #3: Incorrect pressure setting on heat press.  Make sure you have a good heat press that provides even pressure across fabric and heat transfer material.  Check the manufacturer's suggested pressure setting for the media.  If the pressure is too low, proper bonding will not take place.  It may look fine after the press, but the material will peel off after laundering.  If the pressure is too high, you will get "strike through," which is when the heat transfer media loses its opacity and the colors of the fabric can be seen.

Mistake #4: Incorrect press time on the heat press.  Check the manufactuer's recommendation.  The length of time is also affected by type of fabric and thickness of fabric.  For example, less time is needed for thinner t-shirts, while more time is needed for something thick like a sweatshirt.  Also look at manufacturer's instructions regarding peeling off the transfer mask after the press.  Most products require a warm peel or cool peel.  If you peel off too soon after transfer, the physical effects of hot vinyl and cold air will cause the edges of the heat transfer media to shrink back. 

Mistake #5: Improper laundering & care after application.  Best practice is to hand wash and hang dry.  However, if it is not possible, launder the garment inside out.  Use less heat during wash & dry cycle.  Avoid using excessive amounts of detergents & fabric softeners.  Improper care can result in cracking and/or peeling of the heat transfer material.

May 12, 2020