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Good morning,

First off, I've been browsing your forum for about a week now and have found valuable information regarding iron-on transfers - so thank you for that!

Second, I am about to start a series of projects consisting of iron-on transfers and mousepad like material and would like any tips, opinions, hints, and helpful/insightful information from the experts here and in the iron-on business.

Basically, I will be using multiple iron-on transfer papers (possibly 4-6 per project), an HP PSC 1350 Desktjet printer, regular hand iron, and a white large mousepad like material (24" wide and 14" high). I will be using 4 or 5 of these large mats and each will use anywhere from 4-6 iron-on transfer papers (each will have different image or logo).

A couple things that I've learned which I actually have questions with...

1. Do a test run. I'll have about 100 pieces of transfer paper to work with, so that's not a problem, it's just the material that will be the problem. I am limited on the mats, so each one will have to turn out as best as it can. So for practice, I may have to revert to white t-shirts. Any other alternatives?

2. Cut close to the image as possible. That shouldn't be a problem for images, but we are also printing out text (team names and names). I can cut close to those, but I probably won't be able to cut out each individual letter. Any suggestions?

Also, along the same lines, I Heard that when transfering an iron-on, we may see a light "border". Is that true?

With images, I'm not so worried about, but my biggest concern is with the text/logo/names. If I print something such as "IronSerif", will I see a border going around the name from where I cut it out?

And finally, will these images wrinkle? As I said before, the final product will be on a cloth or polyester (I honestly don't know my materials that well, but the seller says that these mats are iron-on friendly) and we can "roll up" these mats. So if we do roll them up, will the images wrinkle after time?

Thank you for all of your help in advance. I know this was a lot of information I just through out there, but I figured this would be the best resource for information. I appreciate all help and information.

-Iron
 

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IronSerif said:
1. Do a test run. I'll have about 100 pieces of transfer paper to work with, so that's not a problem, it's just the material that will be the problem. I am limited on the mats, so each one will have to turn out as best as it can. So for practice, I may have to revert to white t-shirts. Any other alternatives?
Not that I can think of offhand; you'll be able to use the same a shirt for probably 4 odd tests though, at least.

IronSerif said:
2. Cut close to the image as possible. That shouldn't be a problem for images, but we are also printing out text (team names and names). I can cut close to those, but I probably won't be able to cut out each individual letter. Any suggestions?
You don't need to cut out individual letters. Try to cut about 1/8th of a inch away from the design, but other than that I wouldn't really worry about cutting out the whites inside letters or anything like that.

IronSerif said:
Also, along the same lines, I Heard that when transfering an iron-on, we may see a light "border". Is that true?

With images, I'm not so worried about, but my biggest concern is with the text/logo/names. If I print something such as "IronSerif", will I see a border going around the name from where I cut it out?
Using an iron... yes, you will probably see a border. To lessen the effect, cut closely to your design, and make sure you apply heavy (both hands pressing down), even pressure on the iron when transfering.

IronSerif said:
And finally, will these images wrinkle? As I said before, the final product will be on a cloth or polyester (I honestly don't know my materials that well, but the seller says that these mats are iron-on friendly) and we can "roll up" these mats. So if we do roll them up, will the images wrinkle after time?
Not very much. They might a little bit, and I don't know as far as roll-up mats go, but they don't wrinkle much on t-shirts.


I would suggest you look into getting a heat press and good inks/papers if you want to produce these mats professionally though. You'll end up with a better product in addition to a lot less physical strain for making the products.
 

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Thanks for the response!

As for a heat press - I probably won't be able to get a hold of one. I understand that they will help make this look more professional, but unfortunately I don't know anyone who has one or where I could even go to get it done.

Here is a link of the picture(s) I plan on posting on this mat, they will go on in the same exact order as they are pictured.

http://mysite.verizon.net/~vze7h5i5/pub/playmats/Abe3.jpg

So you can see where my biggest concerns are:

1. Along the left hand side, the team name will have to be cut out as an entire rectangle. My concern with this is the "light border" that will appear all the way around the team name. Since the mousepad material is white, do you think it will be very noticable?

2. I'll try to fit as many of these images as I can on one page, but since the mat is 24" long, the images will have to span over 4-6 pieces of iron-on transfer paper. Will images that have already been ironed on get ruined if part of the iron goes over it as I iron-on another image?

And any other tips/advice are always welcome :)

Thanks for the help so far!
 

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Hehe, I never really liked play mats myself ;)

It shouldn't be too noticeable if you give good solid pressure when applying it. You might be able to see it, but probably not enough that anyone will really care.

Be careful ironing over a part that is already pressed in. It won't ruin it per se, but the iron will tend to sort of 'stick' to it, so put some teflon in the way or try to avoid ironing already transfered portions as much as possible. I don't see why 24 inches is 5 transfer sheets though; couldn't you do it in 2 or 3?
 

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Twinge said:
Hehe, I never really liked play mats myself ;)

It shouldn't be too noticeable if you give good solid pressure when applying it. You might be able to see it, but probably not enough that anyone will really care.

Be careful ironing over a part that is already pressed in. It won't ruin it per se, but the iron will tend to sort of 'stick' to it, so put some teflon in the way or try to avoid ironing already transfered portions as much as possible. I don't see why 24 inches is 5 transfer sheets though; couldn't you do it in 2 or 3?
That's what other people are suggesting too, that it won't be too noticeable to where someone will care enough to point it out. Plus stuff willa lways be on it lol.

Well the thing is, since it's 24" wide, it's also 14" high so certain parts will have to be broken up. The team name along the side will have to be printed on 2 sheets because I'd like for that to cover at least 12-13"

The main image in the middle is one complete sheet.
 

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Hi IronSerif . . . .
if there is a flea market in your area . . . . check and see if there's a vendor that does T-shirts - they might do the pressing for you for a small fee . .
also, you might check on a local vendor that does graphic designs on vehicles . . in my area, those type of vendors have contacts that you or I haven't even thought of yet . . .

Good Luck
Diane :)
 

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I'm wondering if you couldn't get your whole design printed onto one plastisol transfer sheet. If you can, ordering them would be a good alternative, since the layout would be preserved and the transfer process would be much quicker. Also, there would be no need for trimming anything.
 

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Shuffy said:
Hi IronSerif . . . .
if there is a flea market in your area . . . . check and see if there's a vendor that does T-shirts - they might do the pressing for you for a small fee . .
also, you might check on a local vendor that does graphic designs on vehicles . . in my area, those type of vendors have contacts that you or I haven't even thought of yet . . .

Good Luck
Diane :)
You know what, there is! And we usually go every weekend. There is one person there who sells transfers and she puts them t-shirts. She was really busy today so I didn't get a chance to ask her

Decal_Designs said:
I'm wondering if you couldn't get your whole design printed onto one plastisol transfer sheet. If you can, ordering them would be a good alternative, since the layout would be preserved and the transfer process would be much quicker. Also, there would be no need for trimming anything.
That's a good idea. Although I already bouht 100 sheets of transfer paper from eBay lol! Do you happen to know a place online that could print images on the type of paper you speak of?

And on a second note, I did a print and an iron on test today w/ a hand iron and a regular t-shirt. It actually looked really good! The border is barely noticable...I just hope that the quality stays the same when we iron them on the playmats.

Thanks for the help and info so far crew :)
 

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Silver Mountain Graphics is one place, but there are others available also. I'm getting ready to place an order with them soon.
 

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Can a hand iron reach the 400+ degrees needed to transfer plastisol? I think normal ironing temperatures run up to 250 max.

I don't envy you using an iron for such large image areas. I hope they come out good and last. The main advantages of a press are consistent and even pressure and heat distribution, which you won't get with any iron. Even a "hobby" press for $300 would give you presentable results. Is this a one-time job for someone you know or are you looking for repeat customers as a business opportunity?

Have you washed any of your test items? Will these mats be washed at all? Keep in mind that if so, they'll bleed in the first wash and might not last as long as pigmented inks. Dye-based inks are generally not recommended for use in transfers.

Good luck.

B.
 
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