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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Team,

Can you transfer a tshirt vinyl image onto a baseball cap using a standard tshirt heat press?

I assumed you couldn't and have tried to iron it onto a cap today using a rolled up towel under the cap and placing on the end of the ironing board.

The result was poor, the clear plastic film seems to have transferred aswell instead of just the ink, and the ink was left rugged and looked a bit like burnt plastic in areas.

Any suggestions?

Thanks Folks
Shelley Parkes
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, I should have explained...

I can't buy a hatpress until I start making, so I'm trying speculate to accumalate and wonder if anyone has tried to press a cap on a tshirt press. The reasn I ask is because I'm thinking of trying it, but would like to know if it has been tried before I waste material.

Where theres a will thers a way


Thanks for your reply splathead
 

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Yes....as Joe stated it would require a hat heat press, but we have done 100's of them and the results are great...there are also pre-made sporting logos/numbers that look like embroidery that can be heat applied and look very professional, I believe Stahls is one supplier of these.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have no money to buy a hatpress at the moment as I have invested in tshirt equipment, But I happen to have sublimation caps in a cuboard and I have a heat press along with the fabric vinyl, so I just want to know if I will damage a cap by heatpressing it (without a hatpress).

Thanks for your supplier recommendation IYFGraphics
 

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I have no money to buy a hatpress at the moment as I have invested in tshirt equipment, But I happen to have sublimation caps in a cuboard and I have a heat press along with the fabric vinyl, so I just want to know if I will damage a cap by heatpressing it (without a hatpress).

Thanks for your supplier recommendation IYFGraphics
While I've never tried it, I doubt it would work but who knows, the biggest problem is that you are trying to apply vinyl to a rounded surface with a flat surface, for heat press vinyl to work it needs the correct heat, correct pressure, and the correct amount of dwell time of the heat and pressure.

Hope this helps.
 

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You will most likely cause some structural damage to the cap (especially the bill area), as well as get an uneven pressure on the print if using a regular heatpress. Uneven pressure will leave either wrinkles/gaps/channels in the vinyl and provide a possible point of failure in the future should anything get underneath that. Positioning transfers on a cap also isn't the funnest thing to do as mylar tape from vinyls tends to not want to stick to the twill (even heat tape doesn't stick well). On a cap press this isn't a problem because you position it so gravity isn't working against you until you "hit it".

Unsure about inkjet heat transfers on the cap, as I only use vinyl or DTG on my caps.
 

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I know you say you haven't any extra money right now, but I want to propose a possible solution so you can make decent caps. You will never get good consistent results trying to heat the vinyl onto the curved surfaces as everyones has stated, but you CAN perhaps look for a cap press on craigslist. Before I decided to buy a cap press I borrowed one from a peer. Wow, what a difference it made! I cannot tell you how much it simplifies trying to press caps. I bought a chinese cap press after failing miserably at trying a flat press. it was $120 cash. I made a mint off of it! 2 years later I found my dream cap press on craigslist for only $250 (its a $525 press new) so now I have two awesome cap presses. Keep in mind these make a great press for small name tag type designs for Ts and Hoodies. I use them for any small work. Good Luck!
 

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I have that dinosaur that Arnold posted. I got it off Ebay in 2006 for $80.00. Still working like new. It is a HIX which is a reliable machine and at the current bid price is a steal. Unfortunately there is no way around it. If you use a flat press to press caps you will get creases in the cap which will not look good. Then there is the problem with proper adhesion. Sorry but your best bet is to look around craigslist or ebay for a good used one, and as in the previous post maybe borrow one or go to a shop and ask them how much it would be to press the caps for you.
 

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I agree with everyone about the difficulty and a hat press would be best...BUT, if i was going to try it on a flat press i would put a mousepad under the print area and hope when you press it all stays together...Ive never tried a hat on a flat press but it may be worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome Response joeshaul

You raise some really good points.
I put a rolled up towel under the cap when trying to iron to avoid the wrinkles.
And I didn't use tape at all, I just held the cap down by pulling either end of a piece of paper down over the top of the image to generate resistance and protect the cap from burning. My partner used the iron over the top of it.

From what you've said, if I use the press it will have a considerably worse effect than what occured with the iron.

Thanks so much for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your reply stuffnthingz

I will be buying a hatpress and a mug press and all the other bare essentials, but until I have covered the price of my T Shirt equipment, I will be onto the next thing. I plan to re-invest all my profits until I know my market inside out.

However, I have tunnel vision at the moment, I will not even consider buying new equipment until my materials start paying me money.

Great Recommendation, I'll look these up when when business is Boooomong
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for your reply veedub3

I would have considered taking my caps to a printers to get them pressed but I'm avoiding this to protect my designs.

Its why I bought a plotter really, because I the designs will be my partners and mine so I guess the hatpress on hold for now.

Great team help though, thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks gerry

I've decided not to try for now as I see the flaws it will occur, but...
I'm continously thinking of a way around it. When I have an epiphany, I'll share my result here.

I'm trying to think of a tool that will either punch a square under the cap and fling it up to the heat panel without letting go of the cap, or finding a solid half oval object so I can place the cap lid outside of the press whilst sitting the design area under the press.... hmmmm ponder ponder ponder
 

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I've read about hooping caps for embroidery to make them flat. I didn't have much success and think it's pretty dependent on the cap. The process can be found at:
Northern Lights Embroidery how to hoop hats with regular embroidery hoops
The problem with this method is it leaves the top of the cap recessed in.

You might be able to invert the process, however heat pressing is all about Time, Temperature, and Pressure, the last item of which still being an issue. You can stack some scrap mousepads underneath to help with pressure and prevent the cap from sagging where it needs it. I have some smalll square and round ones that I picked up dirt cheap from Coastal or somewhere that I sometimes cut up to make jigs/risers for (a good example would be designs on shirts above pockets, need to boost the design up as the press will just hit the pocket and not give enough pressure/heat). I wouldn't suggest any you've done dye sub on since I've seen you mention that earlier.

Of course, this is all just workaround type stuff and the quality you produce with it may not be beneficial both to the amount of work involved to produce and the needs of the customers. Generally people around my parts are only looking to spend a $3-4 to embellish a cap.
 
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