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Hello,

I am thinking of getting a heat press for curing silkscreening done with acrylic ink.

I would be doing t shirts, totes, sweat shirts, and possibly lingerie.

From what I’ve seen by researching on this site, most of the presses tend to promote their ability to do transfers, I assume that they will be adequate for acrylic inks.

I’m looking to get a solid, entry level press. Probably on he larger side, 16 x 20, so as to give myself the ability to do larger pieces.

I definitely want reliable, leaning towards new, and a good price would be nice. From reading other posts, I get the impression that there may be, not cheap knock offs, but identical versions of solid name brand machines. If this is true, guidance in this area would be appreciated.

Questions I have are:

What is a good, reliable brand that would not be overly expensive for a first time user?

I understand that after a while, and even at first sometimes, the dial settings for temperature are not always accurate. What are reliable ways to check temperature? Also, what are acceptable variations of times and temperatures to cure cotton t shirts totes etc? How much will this vary for heavier items such as sweat shirts? Is it possible to heat cure acrylic ink on silk without scorching it? Is it possible to put clothing with elastic banding in a heat press without melting the elastic, or otherwise impairing its functionality?

I have read elsewhere that it is a good idea to wash anything you wish to print on once, perhaps on the idea that this wsill remove sizing and make for a better bond. Any opinions on this?

Also (and I do realize that his is a t-shirt forum, but I think that some people here may do other things) can anyone tell me a good source for 100% cotton solid color brand name (or well constructed) woman’s bikini panties, well made totes, and well made sweatshirts?

Although many presses advertise that they have thick Teflon coatings, it also seems that placing some sort of barrier between the press and the item being cured is prudent. What kinds of materials are good for this, how do they effect heat transmission, and what are sources for them?

Are there health issues with fumes, and if so, how do people deal with this? What about if I go later to plastisol and transfers?

Lastly, is there a book or other publication that addresses these and other questions in this process?

I have tried to look up this information on this site before asking questions that I am sure have been asked before, but was not able to find everything I sought, so thank you for any help you can provide.


Jim Benson
 
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