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Foil printing

1308 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  stag

Hi everyone,

(Posted this in Heatpress section as not sure where this is best placed...)

Ive been getting into foil printing with mixed results. I am using a UK mesh screen count. Orignally using 77t, but swapped over to the 43t mesh to give better converage.

My issue stems from applying the foil to the newly cured adhesive. In fact, its best if I quickly run thru my process:
Using waterbased Adhesive with a 43t screen onto garment. Easily enough adhesive going thru and well applied. Use same procedure as with normal waterbased ink applications and this has served me very well.

For curing, I either let air dry or get the heat fan out. Both have same results.

Having tested various heatpoints with my heatpress i have settled on a 225degrees setting, tho using my infra-red temp guage gives a reading half this which is what my foil supplier actually recommends. Using the actual reading of 110 undercooks it all.

Press the garment for around 12-15 secs with good pressure, with the foil directly on the garment and white baking paper on top before pressing.

I let this cool down then strip the foil off slowly. Now whats strange is I have a main image in the middle, and big fonts above and smaller fonts below. these generally come out good, but the main image doesnt. Although it comes out ok, it has a vintage look to it, which is not what im after.

Im going to do a load of testing with the temp, times, garment placement on press and test with a different screen. But if anyone else has any ideas or advice I would really really appreciate it. Im getting there, and with each press I get closer to that perfect foil application, but those of you with experience in this, please do partake with your wisdom :)

Cheers all
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Have you tried moving the shirt around the heat press and seeing if it's that part of the image, or that part of the press, that is causing the problem? It sounds like you might not be getting enough pressure from the press over that area.
Solmu is right, you could have a cold spot on your platen.

also, if you are printing these manually with low tension screens then you may be getting more squeegee pressure in the middle of the screen causing the adhesive in that area to spread or penetrate the garment. you need a healthy adhesive deposit on top of the garment to get a good foil print.
araghh this is annoying me now. I decided to screen print adhesive onto a tee, then I cut it up as was gonna test out different variables. Well, keeping the temp. the same and 12-15 seconds, each foil print was perfect. I did this about 4/5 times testing different parts of the plate and each print came trumps.

The only thing I could think causing was having both sides of the tee on the plate (since I had cut the tee into bits so only single side was on plate).

So, tried placing a tee on one side of the plate and bang, a new shiny sliver print... NO! Patchy and worn!

I swear, the adhesive coverage is perfect. Looking at the foil after the transfer, the bits and imperfect parts follow the same pattern as on the tee. Im almost led to believe its pressure, but its not.

Just tried another using a bag. But didnt bother using baking paper as the buffer between the bag and the plate. The print was probably the best so far but still patchy. Of course it stinged the bag but could it be the paper inbetween? Im using reg. white baking paper, and checking it its actually patchy in itself.

Does anyone know what paper should be used? Im guess im using the wrong stuff...
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I haven't done much foil (mostly test printing, and a small production run of about a dozen), but when I did it I didn't use any sheet. No paper, no teflon, nothing.
you can do it without any sheet if you like, but you have to be careful when opening the press so that the foil doesn't stick to the top platen and "hot-peel" the foil.

we usually use a teflon sheet which will not buckle under the heat.
Im beginning to think it might be the heatpress. Yup, one of those cheaper jobs from Asia... Have put the thing on ebay and will just buy a proper, named brand.

I think I am going to find a professional printer with a heat press and take a tee with the adhesive on and try a print there and see if its the press.

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