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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Heat Press and Heat Transfers > T-Shirt Crossover - diary of a heat press newbie
This section of the forum is where Rodney, a die hard screen printing fan, journeys into the world of heat press and heat transfers. Coming from the perspective of a complete heat press newbie making t-shirts for the first time. Jump right in :)



Aligning the design before pressing.

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Old October 19th, 2011 Oct 19, 2011 1:15:53 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aligning the design before pressing.

Hi,

I make a lot of rhinestone t-shirts and i would like to know how people find the middle of the t-shirt when applying rhinestone transfers.

As at times i do miss aligne or the transfer comes out a little tilted.
I am wondering if there is a tool which will straighten the design or a method which you use.

Hope this makes sense and someone can help.

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Old October 19th, 2011 Oct 19, 2011 11:39:23 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Hi Vix.

I have 2 methods, and i'm not 100% positive that its the right way to do it. But it has worked well for me so far. 1. I take a large ruled straight edge and measure from seam to seam under the arms of the shirt, then divide by 2 to find the center. 2. i bought the T-Square It tool and use the alignment marks on it. its a very handy tool, but is a little time consuming for me use.
 
Old October 23rd, 2011 Oct 23, 2011 6:07:07 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Fold your shirt in half from top to bottom and then stick in your press for a couple of seconds to press a crease right down the middle. Works every time and very easy to see.
 
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Old November 29th, 2011 Nov 29, 2011 6:28:22 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Thanks guys for your help.
I really like the folding the t-shirt in half to get a crease idea. That is perfect.
I cant believe something so simple as that will save me so much time.

Thanks a lot any other tips you have feel free to share them .

Regards
Vix
 
Old November 29th, 2011 Nov 29, 2011 6:32:43 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Next step is fold your design and pinch the top and bottom. Now line up the pinch marks on the crease in the tee and you are square.
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Old November 30th, 2011 Nov 30, 2011 10:08:39 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

I've taken to centering on the neck because sometimes the neck isn't centered on the shirt. If you center on the shirt and the neck is off-center, it will still look wrong.
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Old December 1st, 2011 Dec 1, 2011 2:46:36 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Centering is something that can drive you crazy. I have used all the methods above. Seems different methods work for different shirts. My go to method is underarm seam to underarm seam and center the design on the center mark. If the design in 8 in wide, I make sure the left edge is 4 in to the left of the center mark. Seems to work the best for me.
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Old March 4th, 2012 Mar 4, 2012 12:21:28 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

I have found that folding the shirt in half and closing and opening the press immediately gives me enough of a centerline crease to center the transfer without putting a permanent crease in the shirt.
 
Old March 4th, 2012 Mar 4, 2012 10:32:15 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

What you are seeing is that after a while it is a feel that has several solutions. Depending on the brand the better the more likely the label is to be in the center. That is not a given though so I do fold but do not have time to press especially if doing a lot of shirts. I like my 16x20 because more of the shirt and easier to center. I do notch the graphic or mask sheet and that gives me the center to line up. It is a feel you will get comfortable with.
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Old July 18th, 2013 Jul 18, 2013 11:18:35 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Yeah this is the age old problem. I have been using the t-square with mixed results as well. As some have mentioned results are inconsistent because the shirts are inconsistent. If you use one parameter on the shirt as a frame of reference, another parameter may not be true to the one used to measure center and the print ends up costing time and money because its a reject. I've been using a Suni press for several years - the machine is very well made and working perfectly for me. However, my best centered tshirts were back decades ago when I was doing hand draw downs with no frame etc. The only thing I used then was a cardboard shirt insert to make the shirt take the 2D shape with arms and neck in place.This seemed to negate any inconsistencies from shirt to shirt or make to make and presented a naturally centered shirt that was easy to place the design onto. Does anyone else use a shirt insert this way and what results?
 
Old October 17th, 2013 Oct 17, 2013 1:53:24 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Often you're told to press the shirt to remove moisture before you transfer - how would you keep the center fold crease if you did this?
 
Old October 17th, 2013 Oct 17, 2013 8:52:38 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jittor
Often you're told to press the shirt to remove moisture before you transfer - how would you keep the center fold crease if you did this?
Press to remove moisture first.

Really it's not difficult to line them up by eye. If I had to press creases or use t-squares before every shirt I'd go into another business.
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Old October 18th, 2013 Oct 18, 2013 7:05:35 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wormil
Press to remove moisture first.

Really it's not difficult to line them up by eye. If I had to press creases or use t-squares before every shirt I'd go into another business.
HAHA - I hear you! As a graphic designer I feel like I'm very good at eyeballing alignment but reading some of these post, and being a newbie at this it seemed like a huge issue.
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Old February 10th, 2014 Feb 10, 2014 8:30:11 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

I wish I had read this before I did this job 2 days ago. It took me a long time to do 7 shirts. Just when I thought I had it right each time. Plus it was even more of a nightmare because my unit is only 11 x15.

MY ADVICE: For any newbie out here reading this, do NOT get any heat press smaller than a 15 x 15 and make sure you purchase a T Square unit as well as do the press in the middle technique at the very least. Will save you loads of time by taking my advice here.
 
Old February 10th, 2014 Feb 10, 2014 12:47:57 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Aligning the design before pressing.

The 1st issue is to be certain the shirt is centered on the press. If that's off, everything's off. I don't have an issue centering; I'm more concerned with being certain it's level from top to bottom. [ ] not / /
 






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