What can a decorator do about poor transfer application?

When customers reach out to us about transfer application issues, either the transfers were not fully bonded to the garment when they removed the carrier, or the transfer survived only a few wash cycles once applied to the garment.

If decorators are correctly following all heat press settings and application instructions, then the next thing to do is verify platen temperatures against the machine’s digital readout. Do this using a digital thermometer (i.e., calibrated thermocouple thermometer). Measure the platen’s center and corner temperatures. More often than not, this is the culprit. Consistent and accurate platen temperature is just one of the critical factors to consider when applying heat transfers.

Purchasing a low-cost heat press to save on the initial investment does not always save money in the long run. Low cost generally equals low quality and can result in inconsistencies, which can lead to unnecessary garment and transfer waste, lost production time, missed deadlines, and possibly a tarnished reputation depending on the customer.

If you have already purchased a low-cost heat press, buy a digital thermometer and use it at least once per week to confirm your machine’s platen temperatures.

Kelly Smith

Kelly is the executive director of sales and marketing at Insta Graphic Systems. Kelly has more than 30 years experience in the heat transfer, printing, and packaging industries. He manages Insta's sales professionals and works with Insta's domestic and international customers who purchase heat press machines and custom heat transfers.

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Charlie Fox

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