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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got instructions for tshirtsupplies.com for hand ironing with JPSS and I tried it on a sample sheet I was sent. I am a hobbyist only--maybe 10 shirts a year, so clearly most of you are in a far different category from me!

The instructions are basically to use two hands and iron with as much pressure as possible vertically and then horizontally. If the design is mostly covered by the iron when doing this, you are only supposed to iron for 45 seconds vertically and then 45 horizontally.

The only thing I can see that I did wrong is that I did not time the horizontal ironing correctly. Husband was doing it, and I was timing it, and he ironed a little too long (perhaps 20 seconds). It says to cold peel after 2 minutes and we did this.

The left side of the design looks perfect! (Not washed yet) The right side of the design looks like it faded out a little bit, and you can't see the design of the image as well as it looked on the paper alone. I remembered that some ppl said if you get a splotchy looking image (not really what I got, but it was all I knew to try), that they put the paper back on and ironed some more. So we tried that for about another 15-20 seconds on the side that looked faded.

It seems to make it look a little more faded. Obviously the extra ironing was not a good idea. Any other suggestions you would make for me to try and get a better result?

I don't want to order more JPSS for all my shirts this trip if the hand ironing thing is nto going to be good. But I have 1/2 a great result, and 1/2 just so-so

THANKS!!
 

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Do you see alot of the color still left on the transfer paper? If so then yes there was not enough pressure to force the color onto the garment. I believe that hand ironing this paper will be hit and miss, though not as sensitive as other papers it is still very pressure dependent.
 

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i did test the JPSS with a hand iron...the results were only so-so. i guess its mainly due to the image being smaller than the surface of the iron so i can get quite an even pressure (not sure if its sufficient though). when i peel it hot..there were small dots left on the paper. so i suppose its still lacking in pressure or heat.
 

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For 10 shirts a year, you "might" be able to justify a used craft/hobby press. The 9 x 12 Geo-Knight hobby press I bought on Craigslist was a godsend, and got me hooked on this whole heat transfer world. I paid $100 for it and it presses JPSS perfectly.
 

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If you are working with JPSS you need to understand no matter what someone might say. this is a commercial paper and to make it work correctly and get the highest results it need the 3 eliments.. Temp. Time and pressure. You may get it to work but not like it should. Lou
 

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When I was testing the waters before buying a heat press, I got pretty good results with a hand iron. So here are a few tips.

1. Slip a pillowcase over a large bread board so that you have a hard surface to press on. This gives you a more even surface than an ironing board with a pad.

2. Dwell time is going to be longer for a hand iron than a press.

3. After you have pressed each area of the transfer by holding the iron on that area, continue to press (using firm pressure) back and forth or in a circular motion for 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Place your pressing board on a surface that is low enough to allow you to use "down" pressure with the iron. Because I'm short, I found it much easier to use the dining table, as opposed to the kitchen counter for example.

5. Consider buying a dry iron. This way, your iron is a flat surface as well...no steam holes. Those little buggers can be hard to find. I found mine at VermontCountryStore.com for $39.

6. Experiment with cooling times. You may find you get a better print when you pull the transfer paper off while its still slightly warm to the touch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We pressed it using a pillowcase to protect our kitchen counter and husband was standing on a chair so as to use all his weight in the pressure. (Our dining room table is an antique and coffee tables are glass. It was the only other option we could think of)

Never thought of a mouse pad, but because our images are not large; that could be an entirely doable test.

I know that a heat press would obviously be first choice, but there is no possibility to get one in time now. Need the shirts by next week! I was all gung ho to get them done a few months ago (which is when I first found this site and started asking questions--btw, you guys are AWESOME to newbies), but we got tremendously busy with a family cancer diagnosis and an elderly grandfather in ICU, and oddly enough the t-shirts fell by the wayside. :(

If I attempt a project like this again (just 9 t-shirts for a family trip), I will definitely consider a used or inexpensive heat press, but for this one my hand iron will be my only option at this late date.

I knew I would likely not get professional results using a hand iron, but I figured professional paper was a better use of my money than Avery or HP for example which do not do well once washed from what I hear and experienced personally with my last project.

The thing that really confuses me is that 1/2 of the image is what I would call a perfect transfer--the other half just looks somewhat faded (granted there is more detail in the picture on the faded side, so that is perhaps the problem), but if it it looked uniformly faded that would make sense to me. Why just the side that we ironed longer?

Above, it was suggested to iron longer with the hand iron. That is what I did,and we suspected that caused the fading. Would I be correct to assume that you do not think that caused the faded looking result? Do you think the fading was caused by the lack of uniform pressure or something like that unique to hand ironing? The image is only about 7x5, so our iron covered it fairly completely and my husband used all the pressure he could.

To Badalou who asked if there was color left on the paper, there was not. Every drop looks like it transfered! I was impressed with that transfer result! But the look of it on the transfer paper was very clear and crisp, and on the shirt 1/2 just looks like the detail did not show up clearly.
 

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so if the entire image was transferred, perhaps your printer is not printing a consistent amount of ink? how does a print of the image look on plain paper?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I never printed an image on a blank sheet of paper, but it looked great on the transfer paper. I guess that is the part that confuses me. It looked great on the paper and all looks like it transferred, yet 1/2 looks great and 1/2 looks faded.

Not so faded that it isn't workable. It is just a fun shirt for my husband to wear while travelling, so we'll totally use it.

Just wondering how to keep this from happening with future images.

I will try the suggestions posted above and thank you very much for them!
 

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Hey guys, just my 2 cents, being a long time hand ironer with Ironall before going to the press and JPSS.

We also used the kitchen formica countertop with a pillowcase. I've read that formica counter tops and wooden cutting boards are recommended, and other surfaces are not, like: ironing boards, granite, and concrete surfaces. (Granite and concrete countertops are popular these days.)

My husband also stood on a stool at the counter for that downward pressure. The handle of the iron sagged beneath the pressure.

Onto things that may help your situation, or issues we had that may click as part of the problem:
*We pre-heated the iron on the highest setting it had for a full 10 minutes before we started.
*We ironed the pillowcase flat and to remove the moisture from the pillowcase.
*We pre-pressed the image area on the shirt to remove the moisture before transferring.
*We let that cool a little so the transfer wouldn't begin to melt while we placed it.

We were using Ironall for lights, which comes from the mfg with hand iron instructions. JPSS isn't specified by the manufacturer for hand ironing, but I had read where someone was using a hand iron in tests and all went well, but they wouldn't "officially" list it for hand ironing since the manufacture doesn't.

Ironall for lights fades, but has hand iron instructions, JPSS doesn't fade, but doesn't come with official hand iron instructions from the mfg. :rolleyes:

My guess, the fading may have more to do with moisture in the shirt or pillowcase than anything else. The ink appeared to be there in the print, it just didn't "get into" the fabric, and moisture can mess up a good transfer pretty good.

When I used to pre-press sweatshirts on the counter, and the arms would fall past the pillowcase, the countertop was so wet from the moisture that came out, I had to use a paper towel to dry the counter.

Good luck, oh, and I saw you cold peeled. Cold peeled without a second heating have cracked on folks, just an FYI to watch out for.

I would suggest for now, you peel hot, and very important, stretch the image while the shirt is hot and re-press again. You can put parchment paper over the bare image for the second press. This helps embed the image in the shirt and prevents cracking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate your post, Kelly (and everyone else too), and I think it must have been a post of yours that gave me some of the hand ironing basics because I used a lot of your suggestions.

Things that could have gone wrong:
I don't think it was a full 10 minutes that we pre-heated the iron, but we did let it get good and hot for several minutes.

We ironed the pillowcase flat. I did not dry the countertop afterward, but it didn't seem to be moist.

We did pre-iron the shirt, but is there a length of time you are supposed to pre-iron it for. Also we pre-ironed onto the pillowcase, so should we then have re-ironed the pillowcase just in case?

The only reason I cold peeled is because the instructions I received for hand ironing (from tshirtsupplier.com or whatever) clearly stated to cold peel after 2 minutes.

I remembered someone testing cold peel here and liked the hand of it, so I thought it wouldn't hurt, HOWEVER, I totally forgot about the 2nd press with parchment.

I turned the T-shirt inside out and washed on cold with a load of laundry and dried like the rest of the laundry.

The image has some small cracks in it, (not so much that it will bother us on a shirt for such a casual use, but I'd NEVER attempt to sell it to anyone (not that I would have but you know what I mean I hope).

ODDLY on the side that faded, the edging from where I trimed the image just seems to have faded into the shirt, and the hand is softer than the other side when you stroke across it. On the side that did not fade the edging has left a very obvious white area where the image was trimmed, AND it is definitely rougher to the touch than the other side.

Strange strange strange.

Anything I could do now to improve its look? Any point at trying a second press with parchment now?
 

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I appreciate your post, Kelly (and everyone else too), and I think it must have been a post of yours that gave me some of the hand ironing basics because I used a lot of your suggestions.

Things that could have gone wrong:
I don't think it was a full 10 minutes that we pre-heated the iron, but we did let it get good and hot for several minutes.
I'd recommend the full 10 minutes. Hand irons don't reach the same temps as the presses, so as hot as possible is the goal, but for the fading... I don't suspect this is the problem since the other side transfered.... unless, did you "start" pressing on the faded side, is there any clue there?

We ironed the pillowcase flat. I did not dry the countertop afterward, but it didn't seem to be moist.
Our counter was wet where the arms were on the bare counter. Where the sweatshirt was on the pillowcase, the pillowcase took up the moisture.

We ironed the pillowcase flat, then pre-pressed the shirts, maybe two or three at a time, then pressed the pillowcase again to dry it, then started with transferring.

We did pre-iron the shirt, but is there a length of time you are supposed to pre-iron it for. Also we pre-ironed onto the pillowcase, so should we then have re-ironed the pillowcase just in case?
We pre-pressed with the iron for about 20 seconds or so. The heat press is hotter, so with the press we only do 5-10 seconds.

The only reason I cold peeled is because the instructions I received for hand ironing (from tshirtsupplier.com or whatever) clearly stated to cold peel after 2 minutes.

I remembered someone testing cold peel here and liked the hand of it, so I thought it wouldn't hurt, HOWEVER, I totally forgot about the 2nd press with parchment.
Cold peel cracks in Chani's tests, and Rhonda's/QueerRep's discovery is that cold peel doesn't crack in the wash if the image is re-heated with the second press. It's a good idea to re-read Rhonda's thread on cold peel to remember the exact steps she took.

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/heat-press-heat-transfers/t56833.html#post337368


I turned the T-shirt inside out and washed on cold with a load of laundry and dried like the rest of the laundry.

The image has some small cracks in it, (not so much that it will bother us on a shirt for such a casual use, but I'd NEVER attempt to sell it to anyone (not that I would have but you know what I mean I hope).

ODDLY on the side that faded, the edging from where I trimed the image just seems to have faded into the shirt, and the hand is softer than the other side when you stroke across it. On the side that did not fade the edging has left a very obvious white area where the image was trimmed, AND it is definitely rougher to the touch than the other side.

Strange strange strange.
Cold peels. If you didn't re-heat it, you'll see various odd things, like the window you mention and things like that. Rhonda did a test before the recent one on cold peels, and she got a visible waxy layer from a cold peel.

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/heat-press-heat-transfers/t40080-3.html#post238245

Rhonda's most recent experiment on cold peels with a re-heat is the most promising cold peel method. Since you didn't re-heat this shirt, I wouldn't put much time into figuring it out.

If you cold peel, re-heat the shirt with the second press. You should have any troubles from Rhonda's testing. (The cold peels without re-heating are riddled with issues it seemed to me.)

If you hot peel, I don't think you will have any of these troubles.

Still to do the stretch and re-press no matter which peel you choose.

Anything I could do now to improve its look? Any point at trying a second press with parchment now?
Why not? Re-heat the image very hot again with parchment over top, peel the parchment off, stretch the shirt, and re-press. I don't think it will solve the fading, but it could somehow, but I do think it may help eliminate or reduce the cracking it has, and could prevent it from cracking again. This is a guess, so if you try it, will you let us know if it works?

Good luck to you, I hope it all works out for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, did the re-press and glad we did. Heated up both our Rowenta iron with auto shut off which did the original press, but it seemed like the auto shut off was keeping it from staying as hot as possible when we let it sit for the 10 minutes. So we also tried an older model with no features, and it seemed to stay hotter. Entirely unscientific guessing on heat as we have no heat gun.

Pressed the pillow case again, laid the parchment over the image and heated it up, then we stretched the shirt, put the parchment back over it and pressed again for probably about a minute or possibly a little longer. I think that was too long and is why part of the image transferred onto the parchment, but I am just guessing.

1. The cracks appear to be gone
2. The window is more defined all over the entire image, but it no longer looks uneven and flakey along the side that did not originally fade. It looks perfectly melded in with the shirt, but definitely defined whereas 1/2-3/4 of it appeared almost non-existent after the wash.

I forgot to originally mention that we were NOT using a white shirt, so we never expected there to be no window. We were using a blue heathered shirt ringer shirt and expected blue shirt showing through the window, but we did not like the result of 1/2 of it looking like no window and the other half white and flakey looking as it did after the wash. Now it looks evenly a little darker blue than the shirt.

Because this shirt is not important to our trip (and because all the other shirts we're making are white) and I only wanted to have to buy one set of papers, we went with the JPSS even to use on the one dark shirt. I apologize for not mentioning that earlier if it would have changed anyone's advice, but I was only focusing on the odd reaction the pressing/washing was causing and honestly forgot I was using a white paper for a darker shirt. :eek:

3. When we removed the parchment from the second press (removed the parchment immediately after pressing both times-did not allow it to cool), there was a faint trace of part of the image on the parchment. It appears to mostly be the part that did not originally fade so that the entire image looks even now.
4. The entire image is definitely much rougher than the very soft shirt. Which is a Glidan 6.1 oz 50/50. The hand of the image doesn't come close to approaching the hand of the shirt itself, but it fine and at least even now.

We decided against a re-wash before wearing it on the plane mostly because it looks better now (at least more even and maybe like it was *supposed to* look like it does) and we don't want to risk getting a result like the first washing. I'm expecting the re-press to take care of the washing issue, but not willing to test it before the trip. In hindsight, I wish I'd left it like it looked before the first wash as that was the best that it looked. Little window, and the fading on half the image was only noticable if you looked up close and were paying more attn than I'd do to a stranger's shirt :)

Definitely wondering what a wash will do to it now. I think I may wash it in hot rather than cold next time and see what that does.

Thanks for all your help!
 

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The hot wash helped someone else, maybe Chani. I think cold wash after cold peel cracked and hot wash after cold peel helped. ???

Either way, thank you so much for writing back with an update, it was great to hear on the follow up. I had to chuckle reading your post when you were talking about re-washing, not re-washing. When I was experimenting to find product combinations that worked for me, I became quite afraid of that washing machine and bit my nails waiting to see what was going to come out of it (those were my Ironall for light days, dealing with the fading issues.) So I was reading your post and thinking, oh gosh, I hear ya.... just wear it as is... :)

The hand should soften with time and washings. JPSS doesn't have the silky smooth hand that Ironall does, but on the other hand - it does not fade, that's my trade off, but the hand does nearly, if not completely, disappear with a few washes, and it's not offensive when fresh pressed, it's just not nice and smooth. Oh, well, maybe one day they'll work on that part.

Well, good luck to you, thanks again, and I hope you have a fun, safe trip, good luck with the other shirts, hope they go much smoother for you. :)
 

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THese tips are great . I have not yet trialled JPSS just cheap stuff but have found the surface pressure and time element to be essential in the outcome so i moved to the floor...using a pile of ~5 newspapers underneath with a cloth over so no ink from newsprint went onto my tshirt then over the transfer paper i placed a 100% cotton iron cloth to prevent burn marks to thsirt and i spend time a good 3 mins covering all areas and applying my bodyweight over the iron to have the 'pressure' element. I think using an iron that different areas of the iron are hotter than others so i try to ensure i cover all of the image with most parts of the iron . Results on a hard surface and leaning onto the iron have been 100% better than using an ironing board at bench height. Needing myself to explore better papers to get a more long lasting result...then will progress to getting a heatpress. cheers KT
 

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