In the garment decorating industry, there are numerous techniques when it comes to headwear printing. Heat transfers are growing in popularity due to many products and brands evolving into an extremely high quality, durable and versatile option. The benefits of printing hats with heat transfers are numerous, including unlimited colors and being able to print over seams.
Importantly, there are some best practices to follow when printing headwear with heat transfers.
First, ensure you use the proper temperature and time settings on your press. For polyester, you’ll want to press for 8 seconds at 290 F. For cotton, 8 seconds at 320 F is best.
Next, you’ll want to use a throwaway hat for test pressing. To do so, set your pressure as tight as the press allows on a manual press. If you’re using a Hotronix Hat Press, put your pressure at 8-9. Then, give your test hat a three-second pre-press to ensure the cap is laid flat and flush against the platen.
Now, position your transfer on the hat. Be sure to use a Teflon sheet, parchment paper, or heat tape over the transfer. You’re now ready to press for 8 seconds. When your done, immediately hot-peel from one corner of the transfer in a quick, smooth motion. Peel the transfer low and without hesitation.
Finally, use a Teflon sheet or parchment to seal the edges of your transfer. You should now have a perfectly pressed hat. If you’re experiencing issues, double-check you are using enough pressure and try increasing your pressing time by two seconds.
Wondering what’s trending in headwear? Stay in the know with this article from Rhyen Campbell of Cap America.